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Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill

I love Reginald Hill.  I love Dalziel and Pascoe.  The Woodcutter, however, is a stand-alone novel and not part of the Dalziel and Pascoe series.

Wolf Hadda comes from a pretty common background, then there are several missing years.  When he returns, he gets the girl he wants, a Knighthood, and becomes very, very rich.

His perfect world comes apart one morning when the police storm his house and accuse him of having child pornography on his computer.  Absolutely certain that he doesn't, he gives them permission to comb through his computer, where...of course, they find pornography.

An unbelieving Wolf (a man with a short temper at the best of times) lashes out at the policeman in charge.  Things go from bad to worse when his attorney (and supposed friend) proves to be more hindrance than help.
His life continues to deteriorate, partly from his own actions, and Wolf ends up badly disfigured and crippled from an accident, and eventually convicted crimes he didn't commit.

A reviled man, he spends seven years in prison.  When a new psychiatrist arrives at the prison, she eventually manages a break-through in Wolf's claims of innocence and gets Wolf released on a  British version of parole.  Wolf Hadda (who had done some reading about denial and about the psychiatrist) is determined to discover who was involved in setting him up and why.  Pay back, is in order.

I was glued to the pages.  So different from the Dalziel and Pascoe novels (which I adore), The Woodcutter is an excellent novel!

Other reviews/opinions:  Auntie Em,   Kittling: Books,  My Shelf Confessions,

Fiction.  Drama/Mystery/Thriller.  2011.  528 pages.


  1. I've got this one to read on my Kindle. Your enthusiasm makes me want to read it soon. Yea! Looking forward to it.

  2. Kay - I love the Dalziel and Pascoe series, but had only read one other of his stand-alones (The Stranger House), which I liked, but not nearly as much.

    I really enjoyed The Woodcutter and hope you do, too!

  3. I had trouble getting into this but maybe I should give it another try!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, too. I've only read Hill's standalones. I started the Dalziel and Pascoe series, but I'd seen the UK TV series based on the books first. The series followed the books so closely that I gave up. I don't particularly like knowing what's going to happen in advance!

  5. bookmagic - I didn't much like the first when you know an innocent man is being set up, but after that, I was engrossed.

    Cathy - I haven't seen the UK TV series, and I don't think I could watch it now because Hill's characters are so entrenched in my mind.

    One of the things I love about the series is that the books are always chock-full of literary allusions. The man is amazingly well-read and eases allusions in so skillfully!

    Does the TV series give any time to the allusions?

  6. This title and author are new to me, but it sounds like a very interesting read.

  7. I've looked at this one a couple of times but have hesitated to add it to my TBR. Your review makes me want to seriously consider it again.

  8. Jill - There is a Count of Monte Christo theme very evident in this book, which is kind of fun!

    SuziQ - There is a flashback at the beginning that is a little slow and confusing and then the tension of Wolf's situation with the accusations, but then it gets much more interesting!

  9. It's been long enough ago that I don't remember. I'd have to watch a few episodes again, which isn't any great hardship!

  10. This sounds very good. I'll put it on the wish list.

  11. Cathy - I'm really torn on whether or not to see if I could get the series through Netflix. I'm afraid the characters won't match my image--I mean, who could play Fat Andy?

    Caroline - Hope you'll give Reginald Hill a try!