I always expect quality from Reginald Hill, and have loved every book he's ever written.
The Woodcutter surpassed even my high expectations with an engaging story, great characters and a study in justice that leaves a lasting impression. To me, Hill's greatest talent is to remain completely invisible as the story unfolds. Too often I read stories that, while interesting and thought-provoking, feel like a message from a writer on his soapbox. The Woodcutter is filled with moral ambiguity, and leaves the reader with much to contemplate, but, at least for me, my reaction was to events and aspects of Hill's characters. Not once during the entire book did I feel the presence of Hill's hand as the story progresses through bad acts committed by good people and surprising kindness from some "bad guys." There is suspense throughout, but it didn't feel dark ... occasional humor and never forcing the pace of action keeps the tragic elements of the story from overwhelming the reader. Highly recommended!
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