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Review: Pig Island by Mo Hayder

book review pig island by mo hayder

Pig Island

Mo Hayder

Journalist Joe Oakes makes a living exposing supernatural hoaxes, but when he visits a secretive religious community on a remote Scottish island, everything he thought he knew is overturned…more.

My Rating:

A decade long grudge between journalist Joe Oakes and former cult leader Malachi Dove comes to a brutal and mesmerizing conclusion in what was the fourth book by Mo Hayder. Pig Island follows Joe, who works at debunking supernatural hoaxes, as he traverses to the secretive island of a cult known as the Psychogenic Healing Ministries. Previously run by the once charming Malachi Dove, the PHM has fallen out with their once fearless leader, now they keep their distance. But on Pig Island, a wild rock off the coast of Scotland, there have been sightings of a cloven footed creature, a “biforme” as they call it. “Pan,” they say, is stalking the woods. When Joe makes his visit to the island, things take a turn south, and what unfolds is a story of carnage, paranoia and legend.

I’ll admit, one character’s course had me feeling a little like someone who’d had their surprise party ruined for them only hours before the big reveal. So as the ending came somersaulting to fruition, it felt as if the story was already well and done for me, my investment plummeted. However, this does nothing to take away from the perfectly composed symphony Mo Hayder orchestrates in all of her novels. Till the end, this novel was full of grotesque scenes, ones that are hard to digest. Mo Hayder may be the creator of nightmares, spending nights weaving dreadful terror into wispy webs that float out her office window, into the night skies to fall into the heads of unsuspecting sleepers.

This isn’t the first, and it probably won’t be the last, of her work that has more than one scene that makes you shiver. If you read her work, be warned, it is not for the faint of heart, for she includes such concisely constructed details of gruesome affairs, it’s hard not to feel bile rising in your throat. To say she is a writer of thrillers seems to me an understatement; pure horror tints the pages of her work more often than not. Read at your own risk. But, if you love the dark, dingiest aspects of humanity, you’ll be a fan of Mo Hayder for life.

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