Book review: Wolf

Mo HayderI am new to Mo Hayder and her detective Jack Caffrey so didn’t know what to expect. This was a spine-tingling ride from page 1. I read the book over two days, putting it down for a break but unable to resist picking it up again. I do not like being frightened but I do like tension, and Hayder knows her subject her so well that I could feel the depth of her knowledge behind every word. So from the disturbing beginning with five-year-old Amy who gets lost in the woods, I stuck with it. And I am glad I did. I will now go back to the beginning and read her debut novel Birdman, the first in the Jack Caffrey series. Wolf is the seventh.

The story centres on the Anchor-Ferrers family: Oliver who has just had heart surgery, replacing a heart valve with that of a pig; his wife Matilda; and troubled daughter Lucia. Oliver needs to convalesce after his surgery and so the family go to their isolated country house, the location 14 years previously of the murder of two teenagers, one of them Lucia’s boyfriend. The house and the family’s memories of what happened are central to the story of Wolf. We piece together facts about the past and present, as Hayder feeds the reader the information in an expert manner calculated to add to the tension. What exactly did happen to Lucia’s boyfriend, what is Oliver’s mysterious job, has the murderer being released from prison, what is Wolf, and why does Hayder start the story with Amy?

The big question for me: why is this family still living in the isolated house with all its bad memories?

Mo Hayder


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If you like this, try:-
‘Wilderness’ by Campbell Hart
‘Shroud for a Nightingale’ by PD James
‘Snow White Must Die’ by Nele Neuhaus

‘Wolf’ by Mo Hayder [UK: Bantam] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
WOLF by Mo Hayder #books via @SandraDanby


  1. I have a long-term crush on Jack Caffrey and I didn’t know that she had published a new book, so I’m off to Amazon right after this comment to buy it.

    The crimes are absolutely disgusting and so horrific I struggle to wrap my head around them, sometimes, but gosh! I still love the style and the characters.

    Thank you for telling me about her new book! I think you just saved my Easter holiday.

    • Yes I struggled with the violence at first but the story and characters carried me through. I will certainly read more Mo Hayder. A great holiday read! SD

  2. Mo Hayder’s expertise is the creation of goosebumps, indeed. The Jack Caffrey series is a must for readers who like the sometimes hair-rising tension. You will certainly like the other books as well, Sandra.