« 52 Books in 52 Weeks - February 2008 | Main | Camouflage - Joe Haldeman »

March 11, 2008

Pig Island - Mo Hayder

Pig Island - Mo Hayder

Book 14 of my 52 books in 2008

An author whose books I've seen on the shelves for a few years now. This one was second hand, in good condition and cheap, so I got it.

Horror is a genre I've neglected in my reading recently. No particular reason. I think I've grown out of it a bit. I should do a little research and see if I'm missing anything good.

There are two types of horror story. One is probably more of a violent thriller - 'Silence Of The Lambs', 'Misery' or "Psycho" are examples. In these the fear is driven by real world people and events. Psychopaths, rapists and serial killers are the kind of people in these. They can be very effective indeed, and in fact, can be much more scary than the second kind.

In the other type of story, supernatural creatures and phenomena create the scares. Fear of the unknown is exploited in stories like 'Dracula' and 'Salems Lot', and in films like 'Alien' and 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'.

Some stories like to play with their audience, alternating between paranormal and real, giving the reader a constant guessing game about whether there really is a realistic explanation for the spooky happenings going on. Pig Island is one of them.

In Pig Island, the main narrator is a reporter who makes his living by investigating weird stories, and debunking the ghosts or goblins he doesn't find as hoaxes. He is covering a story on an island off the west coast of Scotland where a strange creature has been spotted in the woods. Is it some kind of bigfoot, or has the strange cult living there summoned the devil or one of his beasts from hell.

He goes to the island and meets the cult, who seem like a peaceful lot, except for one member who lives alone, estranged from the rest. Something terrible happens, and then the pace hots up a bit.

This is quite an entertaining read. The main plot is a bit far fetched, but I what do you expect? There is a weird sub-plot with the reporters wife, who seems to be completely bonkers, and this never really gets resolved properly. Another negative is that is all gets a bit gynecological, with more medical information than I needed to know - if Hayder is trying to gross out her readers, it's worked.

Very readable, but I'm not convinced by the author, and will probably not be trying any more. There are plenty of other authors to try.

Posted by se71 at March 11, 2008 06:41 PM


Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?