Untidy but compelling characters

Hanging Hill, by Mo Hayder (Bantam Press, RRP $40):

This is the story of two sisters who on the surface are polar opposites but have one thing in common: they would do whatever it took to help their children.

So what do you do if you find yourself divorced and broke, with a teenage daughter to support?

And what if you have a crippling secret that might destroy you? A secret you have held on to for 20 years.

This book opens with a funeral and two sisters sitting outside the church, thinking back over the events that led up to the funeral.

The opening pages are intriguing and almost a little gentle in comparison to what is to come as the reader is taken on a ride through the criminal world of extreme pornography and illegal drugs; a world in which teenage girls can go missing.

Mo Hayder is one of those authors who has the knack of drawing the reader in to a story that feels uncomfortably real.

The characters aren’t tidy, even the good guys, but they are always compelling.

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