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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!
106 of 111 people found this review helpful
Some reviewers have suggested that the book gets stronger as it goes along. I actually felt just the opposite. I had not read any Reginald Hill before, but after only a few minutes of listening it was obvious that I was in the hands of a master storyteller. His unobtrusively artful use of language, the subtle brush strokes he used to paint his characters and the effortless way in which he moved through the exposition allowed me to relax and settle in to enjoy what was obviously going to be a fascinating and exciting ride. This impression was only reinforced by Jonathan Keeble's extraordinarily fine vocal rendering of both the characters and the narrative.
Nor did I, like some other reviewers, feel the book went on for too long. It continued to keep me fully engaged all the way to the last word. My only complaint is that it did begin to feel somewhat more contrived and "slick" as the plot wound to its conclusion. Sometimes even a little obvious. And the literally "bodice ripping" climax (no pun intended here) could have come straight out of the pages of a modern Gothic romance. No question that it was powerful and shocking, but it was also jarring and incongruous in a book which had been so seamless and convincing up to that point.
That said, Hill was such a fine writer and this was such a ripping good tale for most of its length that I could forgive much. I had a great time listening and I think most others will as well.
58 of 62 people found this review helpful
This is the first review i have ever done, I have to say i enjoyed this book from the first page to the last. I also have to mention the narrator, what an excellent compliment he has made to this book, so easy to listen to and switches characters with such ease and made them so believable. I will be looking for more by this author and the use of this narrator.
64 of 66 people found this review helpful
Brilliant! Good plot and wonderfully read which makes all the difference.More like this please Mr. Hill!
40 of 41 people found this review helpful
Well written, good story, great narrator. really enjoyed this book.
exciting, always wanted to find out exactly what the truth of the matter was - as set up in the first chapter right until the end.
narrator was the best of any audible book so far for me, really made the difference
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is a modern day fairy tale about Wolf Hadder (the woodcutter) and Imogene (the upper-class beauty). Wolf's fairy tale life was just that for fourteen years but then it all fell apart. He was sent to jail, confused and bitter. It starts off a bit slow and I found it hard to keep track of the different characters, but about half way it all seemed to fall into place and I then began to enjoy the book. It's a good story and I definitely recommend it.