A bone-chilling new mystery from the acclaimed author of The Devil of Nanking
Mo Hayder , a rising star of hardcore horror fiction, returns with a riveting and macabre novel that explores the evils committed in the name of faith. Journalist Joe Oakes is a born skeptic who makes his living exposing supernatural hoaxes. But his stay with a cult-like religious group on Scotland?s remote Pig Island might be enough to turn him into a believer. When the island erupts into bloodshed, Oakes must abandon everything he thought he knew to discover the secret behind exiled cult leader Malachi Dove, who lives alone behind a wall of electricity and toxic waste on the island?s far end. As the cataclysm of violence crashes down around him, Oakes is ultimately forced to confront the very nature of evil itself.
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Mo Hayder has worked as a barmaid, security guard, filmmaker, hostess in a Tokyo nightclub, and teacher of English as a foreign language. She is the author of The Birdman and The Treatment.Review:
"Hayder skillfully melds an atmosphere of fear and a gripping sense of place in this thriller set on a remote Scottish island owned by Psychogenic Healing Ministries, whose followers the locals believe to be Satanists. A humanoid creature with a long tail has been captured on video, and repeated analysis reveals no hint of technological fraud. But world-weary, thirtysomething hoax buster Joe Oakes is on the case. His history with PHM's former leader, Malachi Dove, spans two decades. Oakes blames faith-healer Dove for his aunt's horrendous death and for duping him into believing he had a deadly tumor. He published an expose, and Dove's threatened retaliatory lawsuit fizzled because the healer was presumed dead. Years later, Oakes finally lands an invitation to Pig Island, home of 30 PHM cultists. It's rather a paradise, except for the occasional smell of putrefying flesh. To Oakes' amazement, isolated on the other side of the island behind a row of pig skulls is none other than Malachi Dove. Whitney Scott
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Another astonishing mutation of the crime thriller . . . [Pig Island] masterfully exposes not only the horror but also the human frailty at the story’s core (Anna Mundow, The Boston Globe)
"At the start of Hayder's profoundly creepy and creepily convincing thriller, hard-bitten journalist Joe Oakes arrives on the west coast of Scotland to visit a reclusive cult on remote Pig Island. Oakes hopes to investigate a supposed half-animal, half-human creature distantly glimpsed in a tourist's film and settle his long-held grudge against the cult's founder, charismatic crackpot Malachi Dove, who has long since withdrawn to his barricaded compound on Pig Island. In the ensuing mayhem, Oakes wins the confidence of Dove's mysterious daughter and learns the hard way that the investigative skills on which he prides himself are flimsy at best. Though gruesome enough to satisfy even the most hardcore horror fan, this rigorously imagined novel is also full of apt (if bleak) detail and graced with a perfect plot twist at story's end. Hayder (The Devil of Nanking) offers both a riveting story and a nuanced, distinctly modern look at secrecy and publicity, belief and skepticism, normal and taboo, (in)sight and blindness. (Mar.)
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