The Woodcutter
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The Woodcutter

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  2,362 ratings  ·  335 reviews
Wolf Hadda's life has been a fairytale. From humble origins as a Cumbrian woodcutter's son, he has risen to become a hugely successful entrepreneur, happily married to the girl of his dreams.A knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison while protesting his innocence, abandoned by friends and family, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven...more
Paperback, 519 pages
Published 2010 by HarperCollins
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This ripping great genre-smashing yarn is set 300 miles northwest of London in the mountainous Cumbrian region of England. Bordered on the north by Scotland, and on the west by the Irish Sea, the location itself gives a cold, hard, craggy feel to the formative youth of our hero. His return, in later years, to this rugged place for the dénouement makes a pleasing symmetry that reinforces the chill we feel when contemplating the brutality of his life.

Our hero is born of a woodcutter, falls in love...more
Joanne Sheppard
If GoodReads would let me, I'd give this three-and-a-half stars.

Wilfred 'Wolf' Hadda is a wealthy self-made businessman with a working class rural background and a possibly shady past, married to the daughter of a Cumbrian aristocrat and with a circle of upper-class friends. At the start of the novel, his empire crumbles around him as he's arrested not just for fraud but also for child porn offences. Subsequently, his prison psychologist - young and pretty, naturally - tries to unpick the reason...more
Dana Stabenow
Three stars is not my normal grade for a Reginald Hill book. I adore Hill, I revere him, and I learn from him every single time I read him. But I am really puzzled by this book. The characters are so exaggerated it's difficult to like any of them, except maybe McLucky, and this 'revenger's tragedy' of a plot is way over the top.

One thing I do love is his descriptions of the Cumbrian countryside, as in: the darkness of a cold December night with scorpion tails of sleet riding on the back of...more
Mar 17, 2011 SenoraG rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to SenoraG by: netgalley
It is hard to give a good review of this book without giving too much away. I will say this is my first book by Reginald Hill and I don't know how I missed him!

The Woodcutter is a revenge story but so much more. It's also a psychological thriller that gets us into the mind of an accused man. I love that it was a non-stop guessing game. I felt like I was in one of those labyrinths where you think you know where you are going only to hit a wall. It was mystery after mystery with an end that I nev...more
Tammy Dotts
When an early morning police raid meant to uncover evidence of financial fraud also uncovers involvement in child pornography, Sir Wilfred Hadda resists arrest and ends up in a coma for nine months. He awakens to find a rock-solid case against him and divorce proceedings initiated by his wife. Sir Hadda – Wolf to his friends – spends the next seven years in jail while his ex-wife marries his lawyer and denies Wolf any contact with his daughter.

Wolf meets regularly with psychiatrist Alva Ozigbo....more
I love Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe mysteries, but this one is a stand-alone masterpieece. It is engagining and engrossing and I couldn't put it down. Reminiscent of Count of Monte Christo and Jeffrey Archer's A Prisoner of Birth, but so much more. The characters of Wilf/Wolf and Alva/Elf are well developed (though I had trouble picturing Elf: a Swedish-Nigerian with dark skin and blond hair...) There are some lovely, quintesentially British characters: good-natured Lord Leon, who sees pas...more
In a sense, The Woodcutter is a fairy tale. Not a cute Disney fairy tale, but one of those old Grimm Brothers’ tales, with heartbreak and revenge and bad folks meeting nasty ends. Even while parts of the story have a very modern feel, there are still ties to its more mythic underpinnings. I really enjoyed that part of the story.

Wolf Hadda is a successful businessman who describes his life as a fairy tale. His father was a woodcutter, the groundskeeper for a castle, and he grew up in a cabin in t...more
Reading the last couple of Reg Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe books has left me wondering, has the old boy lost his touch? Hill has such a delicacy of touch in his writing that a slight loss of it doesn't mean that the results aren't a terrific read but as I reel somewhat and pause for breath on finishing The Woodcutter then I can only say that in any case the answer is a resounding NO!

This standalone novel is a tour-de-force. In so many ways it's unlike anything else he's attempted. For one thing th...more
Jessica at Book Sake
The Woodcutter is the most tedious book I’ve ever read (okay, maybe not, but it’s up there). The perspective shifts from person to person and I had to reread large sections of the book to get a grasp on what was actually happening – is this a flashback, a new development in the plot, or the back of my eyelids? I was also not impressed with the plausibility of certain relationships in the book, not because I cared about the likelihood of these particular people hooking up, but because I couldn’t...more
The pluses: The plot took off and engrossed me so that I didn't want to read anything else until I'd finished. The characters are well developed, the setting in Cumbria is so concrete that by the end of the book I could have drawn a map. The private-eye is not a middle-aged alcoholic, and, also a plus, is a minor character. The cop is kind of bent without being cartoonish. The biggest plus is that the woodcutter himself is totally unpredictable.

I did feel like the last hundred pages or so was al...more
Carey Combe
Not badly written, but i got bored of the ridiculously exaggerated characters - whether 'goodies or baddies' and rather silly plot. But it had me hooked nonetheless.
Wilford Hadda began life as the son of a Cumbrian woodcutter on the Ulphingstone estate. Sir Leon Ulphingstone gave him the nickname of Wolf. At one stage in his life, Wolf Hadda held the title Sir Wilford Hadda.

Reginald Hill takes the reader through the various stages of the life of Wolf Hadda and Wolf has led a very interesting life. As a boy, he charmed Sir Leon’s daughter and left Cumbrian to earn his fortune. Wolf became a very wealthy man and returned to marry Imogene Ulphingstone. The co...more
Hill, Reginald. THE WOODCUTTER. (2011). **.
Mr. Hill is probably one of the best writers working today. He has a huge following for his novels featuring Superintendent Dalziel and DCI Pascoe, a joint investigative team that cleverly solves crimes with intelligence and humor. This is not a novel featuring those characters. This novel’s plot turns around “the wrong man” concept. The main character is Wolf Hadda (from his name Wilfred, later slurred to Wilf, then, finally, to Wolf). Wolf has led a...more
Lizzie Hayes
‘The Woodcutter’ by Reginald Hill
Read by Jonathan Keeble
Published by Whole Story Audio Books. ISBN: 978-1-40746-569-2
(15 CD’s – 16.75 Hours playing time)

Wolf Hadda, rich and successful married to his childhood sweetheart, has everything he wants, but an early morning knock on his front door and that life is over. Arrested and jailed, Wolf, is confused at exactly what has happened. Although he protests his innocence his family and friends desert him. Lashing out at all around him, he eventually m...more
Barbara Mitchell
This is a stand-alone novel by the author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series. It's a psychological thriller about a mysterious, disfigured but mesmerizing man from Cumbria in England. His name is Wilfred Hadda but everyone knows him as Wolf which is much more fitting. Wolves can be vicious killers, but they are also tender toward members of their pack, i.e. the ones they love.

Wolf Hadda is the son of the estate manager at Ulphingstone Castle. His father teaches him to be a woodcutter so that he'll...more
Marci Glasgow-Haire
I hold psychiatrists and psychologists in high esteem. They are not real people, are they, removed from the emotional experience of being human, seeing psychological motive everywhere (existent or not). How can anyone with this profession have real interpersonal relationships? The filter for mental healthiness creates, in my mind, a person who is always "on" and who cannot just be.

This book somewhat reinforces that viewpoint. I was fascinated by the look inside Dr. Ozigbo's psyche, though I won...more
Robin Spano
This is crime fiction at its best. Reginald Hill took a bold departure from his usual Dalziel/Pascoe stories, and it paid off big time. I lost sleep because I could not stop turning pages.

It's the story of a woodcutter - a rugged loner who falls in love with the modern day princess of the castle in a small English town. She sets him three impossible tasks, which he goes off and performs so that she might marry him. Turns out, not such a wise choice.

This book is actually so modern that it starts...more
Desert Rose
I got this book from NetGalley as an ARC from the publisher Harper Collins.

Sir Wilfred Hadda or Wolf Hadda as he is nicknamed was a woodcutter's son. He was living a fairy tale life.
He was handsome, filthy rich, had a gorgeous upper class wife, houses in different countries and a wonderful daughter.

After 14 years in this fairy tale, he wakes up one night to the authorities at his door with a search warrent to search his premises for accounts of fraud and child pornography.

When he contacts his s...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
With Reginald Hill's death January 12th from a brain tumor, we've lost one of the best British crime fiction writers of the last forty years, in my humble opinion. Never conventional, yet fully conversant with the conventions, Hill began his most famous books, the Dalziel and Pascoe series, as fairly straightforward police procedurals featuring an intriguing new duo (rude, whiskey-supping Fat Andy Dee-ell and polite college boy Pete Pascoe), but never stopped experimenting with form and variatio...more
Jim Coughenour
Imagine Andy Dalziel as a rich-but-impossibly-likable businessman brutally betrayed by friends and lovers – and any Reginald Hill fan can imagine Wolf, the eponymous protagonist of The Woodcutter. Hill's version of the revenge comedy is exactly what you'd expect: highly entertaining if masterfully predictable in its plot lines. Plus what you can always count on from Hill, who can't resist showing off from time to time – a running series of literary allusions. The citation I enjoyed the most was...more
I REALLY enjoyed this novel! This was my introduction to Hill's work, and I am so happy that he has such a long backlog of books for me to catch up on! There is nothing quite like discovering a "new" author!
I loved, honestly, everything about this book. Alternating P.O.V.s worked very well here, adding to the overall format. The lushly detailed writing style and the rather vast array of well-drawn, three-dimensional characters compounded with the fairy tale type theme made this such a pleasurab...more
Sam Arnold
Warning please do not start reading this book unless you have nothing to do for the next three days. That is how good it is once you start I defy you to put it down. The book starts fast and carries on increasing in speed. Throughout the book there is the intrigue of did he didn't he do it. You find out the twists and turns along with the characters and it is this that keeps you glued to reading it. The characters are dynamic and well written so you can relate to them all. The Cumbria coun...more
This is good Reginald Hill - which is very good indeed. It is not, however, a murder mystery. It is a fairy story masquerading as a thriller and as political commentary. The fairy story, it seems to me, accounts for the exaggerations of characterization - the hero so very heroic, the wicked witch so very wicked, the ice princess so icy, the elf so helpful, the magician so removed and mysterious. The two most human characters were the priest and the private detective, keeping us grounded in Middl...more
I love Reginald Hill anyway. His Daziel and Pascoe series is wonderful. This one is a stand alone. It's the story of a rich and powerful man who is accused of being a pediphile. He spends 7 yrs in prison, a large part of which he refuses to speak. A prison psychologist takes him on as a project hoping that by convincing him to accept his crime, he can be rehabilitated. This is really extraordinary in the writing, the setting and the characters. It is really riveting with so many turns and twists...more
Richard Stueber
This is the final book and novel by Reginald Hill. Hill is most famous for the Dalziel and Pascoe books of which there are 24. There are 32 other books also.
My favorite mystery writer these days is Ian Rankin of Edinburgh, Scotland. He says this: "Reginald Hill's novels are really dances to the music of time, his heroes and villa1ns interconnecting, their stories intertwining."
This is the story of Sir Wilfred Hadda (the Sir was revoked when he was sent to prison for possession of child pornograp...more
David Gallin-Parisi
Review forthcoming after the suspense book group discusses The Woodcutter...
Thriller filled with mountain climbing cripples and secret agent techniques. This many all over the place storylines combined into one mega-book. Check this out if you like more espionage and spy moves than scary stuff. The plot twists frustratingly feel like five different stories collaged into one, though the plot twists also kept me reading onward. I hate to admit it, but I liked this one more than I thought.
A very well written book that keeps the reader interested and the plot moving. I'm not fond of course language and there were a few too many uses of the word f%ck. The characters also had very liberal view on sexuality. While no long explicit sex scenes were described many of the characters were very promiscuous. For me the strong sexual aspect of the book didn't add much too the plot and could have been taken out, but the author obviously has great writing skills.
Johnny Bullard
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wilfred Hadda, sometimes known as “Wolf” has, through immense talent and hard work, risen from his origins as a Cumbrian woodcutter's son to become a hugely successful businessman. Then one morning he is awoken by the police with a search warrant. Everything he possesses is taken from him and, maimed and shunned, he ends up in prison. The prison psychiatrist, Alva Ozibo, invests a great deal in trying to help him acknowledge his crimes and rehabilitate himself. At one point, he accuses of her of...more
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A masterpiece 1 9 Jun 01, 2013 05:28PM  
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Reginald Charles Hill is a contemporary English crime writer, and the winner in 1995 of the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement.

After National Service (1955-57) and studying English at St Catherine's College, Oxford University (1957-60) he worked as a teacher for many years, rising to Senior Lecturer at Doncaster College of Education. In 1980 he retired from...more
More about Reginald Hill...
A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel & Pascoe, #1) On Beulah Height (Dalziel & Pascoe, #17) A Killing Kindness (Dalziel & Pascoe, #6) Death Comes for the Fat Man (Dalziel & Pascoe, #22) Bones and Silence (Dalziel & Pascoe, #11)

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