Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Hanging Hill

by Mo Hayder

“In this superb stand-alone from British author Hayder, the brutal murder of 16-year-old Lorne Wood, found dead in a park with words written on her corpse, draws together the Benedict sisters, Zoë and Sally, who have been estranged for years. . . . Hayder uses her trademark violence to perfect sinister effect.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 448
  • Publication Date April 09, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2085-4
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $19.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date February 01, 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9479-4
  • US List Price $15.00

About The Book

Mo Hayder, internationally best-selling author of Skin and Gone has firmly established her reputation as a master of gritty, gripping page-turners, and her latest novel is no exception. Fast-paced and addictive, Hanging Hill centers around a pair of estranged sisters—one policewoman—and the gruesome homicide of a teenage beauty, which leads them deeper than they ever anticipated into an underground world of sex and violence.

One morning in picture-perfect Bath, England, a teenage girl’s body is found on the towpath of a canal: Lorne Woods—beautiful, popular, and apparently the victim of a disturbingly brutal murder. Why was she on the towpath alone late at night? Zoe Benedict—Harley-riding police detective, independent to a fault—is convinced the department head needs to look beyond the usual domestic motives to solve the case. Meanwhile, Zoe’s sister, Sally—recently divorced and in dire financial straits, supporting a daughter who was friends with the dead girl—has begun working as a housekeeper for a rich entrepreneur who quickly begins to seem less eccentric than repugnant, and possibly dangerous. When Zoe’s investigation turns up evidence that Lorne’s attempts to break into modeling had delivered her into the world of webcam girls and amateur porn, a crippling secret from Zoe’s past seems determined to emerge.


“The very best thing a writer can do is to thoroughly and completely immerse the reader in a strange new world. Mo Hayder does it to perfection.” —Michael Connelly

“Bad people, but great writing . . . Hayder, whose new novel Hanging Hill continues her astonishing string of brilliant, hypnotically readable mysteries, is part of a golden era of literary crime novels. . . . Hanging Hill features an ending so shocking it may reverberate through you long after you’ve finished the book. . . . Yes, the ending is a surprise—but it’s the implication of that ending, spiraling off in horrific directions, that rocks you back in your seat.” —Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune

“Readers would be making a mistake if they overlooked the masterful British crime writer Mo Hayder’s new novel Hanging Hill. . . . Hayder . . . bring[s] this superbly plotted tale to an end more alarming than anything that comes before.” —Sherryl Connelly, New York Daily News

“Mo Hayder is emerging as one of the best crime writers in Britain. She consistently delivers original plots, with solid characters and fascinating, eccentric premises. Hanging Hill is . . . classic Hayder.” —Margaret Cannon, The Globe & Mail

“[Hayder] has in no way lost her ability to shock, thrill, entertain and occasionally torture us with her use of words. . . . A chiller to the very end. Hayder deals with Britain at its grittiest.” —Peter Millar, The Times (London)

“A suspenseful, fast-paced thriller. . . . Mo Hayder’s tightly plotted Hanging Hill keeps the suspense taut, and the characters are realistic and multifaceted. . . . Hanging Hill is finely put together and entirely satisfying—at least until the terrifying ending, which uproots the safe feeling of resolution into which the reader was lulled.” —Julia Jenkins, Shelf Awareness (online)

Hanging Hill is an authentically disturbing, gripping winner.” —Christopher Fowler, Financial Times

“Nobody concludes a novel quite the way Mo Hayder does: with a revelation that leaves the reader staring at the page, poleaxed, willing more words to appear or flicking back to see just how she did it. . . . Here, as always, a Hayder plot that seems straightforward is masterfully skewed.” —Anna Mundow, Barnes & Noble Review (online)

“Mo Hayder has crafted a powerful and frightening thriller that grips the reader from page one to the blood-freezing shock of the final page. Utterly compelling.” —Irish Independent

“In this superb stand-alone from British author Hayder, the brutal murder of 16-year-old Lorne Wood, found dead in a park with words written on her corpse, draws together the Benedict sisters, Zoë and Sally, who have been estranged for years. . . . Secrets, both past and present, bid the sisters yet threaten to ruin multiple lives. Hayder uses her trademark violence to perfect sinister effect.” —Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“Hayder’s latest roller-coaster ride into the heart of darkness. . . . The fascinating Zoe would make a fine series lead. Hayder’s acclaim in the genre . . . stands only to grow in the wake of her latest triumph.” —Elliott Swanson, Booklist (starred review)

“This Brit rising star pens character-driven anti-thrillers, where tension is subtly ratcheted into a lingering pall of menace. . . . To call the ending a cliffhanger is to denigrate the cliff. Prepare to be pushed off—and pole-axed. Top-notch.” —John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press

“Hayder will keep you up at night.” —Library Journal

“This book isn’t for the faint of heart. It is, however, a hell of an exciting read for those who enjoy shocker-thrillers. . . . A remarkable accomplishment.” —Lawrence Kane, ForeWord Magazine


She closed the diary, and as she did, she noticed a small pocket on the back. When she inserted her nail she found a tiny object in there. An eight-gigabyte camera card.

She sorted around on the desk until she found the camera it belonged to, plugged in the chip and began clicking through the photos. Lorne was pictured here, right in this bedroom. From the awkward position it looked as though she’d taken them herself using an automatic timer. In the first three she was dressed in a bikini—standing full length. But it was the fourth and subsequent shots that made Zo’ sit down on the bed, dismayed. Lorne appeared dressed in garters, stockings and a corset, poised coquettishly . . . In the last two she had taken the corset off and was looking provocatively into the camera, her tongue held lightly at her glossed lips.

She took the card out of the camera and held it in the palm of her hand, trying to decide if the photos were important—the portal to a whole separate side of Lorne that no one was mentioning . . . It would be better just to leave them in the diary, taped out of sight . . . Or destroy the chip.

Or treat it as an investigative lead.