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Journalist Joe Oakes makes a living exposing supernatural hoaxes. A born skeptic, he believes everything from Bigfoot to the Loch Ness Monster has a rational explanation. But when he visits a remote Scottish island as the guest of a secretive religious community, everything he thought he knew is overturned. Questions mount: Why has the group been accused of Satanism? What has happened to their leader? And perhaps most importantly, why will no one discuss the strange apparition seen wandering the lonely beaches of Pig Island? The answers, and their violent and bloody aftermath, are so catastrophic that they force Oakes to question the nature of evil and ask himself whether he is responsible for the terrible crime that unfolds.

Pig Island is a dark thriller that will keep you guessing. When Oakes receives a video of “the devil of Pig Island” he can’t resist debunking it. It turns out he has a bit of a past with the bizarre preacher who leads the religious community on the island, which was previously used as a waste dumping ground. During his investigation, Oakes uncovers even more mysteries. The locals are reluctant to speak to him, especially about the isolated part of the island and the reasons for the preacher’s disappearance.

Mo Hayder is also the author of the psychological thriller Birdman. As in that book, some of the twists here are gory and depraved, so you may want to avoid this one if you have a weak stomach. There’s a hint of horror wound throughout. The narrators are not very well fleshed-out, but there’s enough suspense to keep you reading. The conclusion, involving a truly strange femme fatale, is shocking, and nearly derails the entire book. Nearly. Somehow, Hayder pulls it off, and the ending gives a supernatural taste to the earlier events. I wish I could say more about it, but I don’t want to give it away.

The novel basically reads like a slasher horror film. If you like creepy thrillers, you’ll enjoy Pig Island. 

3 1/2 out of 5 stars – creepy fun