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The Hanging Wood

(The Lake District Mysteries #5)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  696 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Twenty years ago, a teenage boy, Callum Hinds, went missing in England’s Lake District. His uncle was suspected of having done the boy harm and interviewed by the police. When he committed suicide close to his cottage in the Hanging Wood, everyone assumed it was a sign of guilt. But the body of the boy was never found.

 Now his sister, Orla Payne, who never beli
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  696 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Bruce Hatton
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-crime
Despite this being the fifth book in a series I'd not read before, I found it still worked perfectly on its own without needing to know the back-stories of the central characters.
The apparent suicide of troubled, alcoholic Orla Payne is somehow linked to the disappearance of her brother Callum some 20 years earlier, followed by the suicide of her Uncle Phillip.
The novel is set in the beautiful, rugged countryside of the Northern Fells around Keswick, Ambleside and Derwent Water. The
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sisters, brothers and Murder

A young boy went missing many years ago. His troubled sister never stops looking for her vanished brother even though others find her obsession distressing and even a sign of mental illness. She meets a young man who might have the key to unlock her past but is he helping or hurting her? She breaks into her estranged, bitter father’s farm, falls into his grain silo and dies. The interplay between upper and lesser classes plays out. Seemingly the only thing
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Reasonably entertaining murder mystery. A few pinkish herrings along the way, a satisfying ending, and well written characters. The author is keen to promote the Lake District but it isn't comfortably part of the narrative and is quite embarrassingly clunky in places. If I was looking for a quick read, I might read others in this series but I don't feel compelled to hunt them down.
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another series I really love. A cold case team, led by Hannah Scarlett and an ex-Oxford Historian called Daniel Kind lead this series. Daniel is researching his new book and has taken himself to St. Herbert's Residential Library, on the grounds of the Mockbeggar Estate, where he meets Orla Payne who works in the library and hears her tragic tale of her brother, Callum, who at the age of 14 years, disappeared without a trace one Summer's afternoon, some 20 years earlier. Daniel urges Orla to cont ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'll have to find the earlier books in this series. This was a very unpleasant set of deaths set in a farming community in the Lake District.
A young teen disappeared twenty years before, his uncle committed suicide, and the conclusion was that the uncle had interfered with the boy and then killed him. That is the phrase they would have used at the time and it blurs what may have happened. The boy's younger sister eventually left the district but has now returned and tries to make the polic
Cathy Cole
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Greg Wharf's evolution is one of the many reasons why I enjoy this Lake District series so much. Edwards' characterizations are layered and as you're drawn into the stories, you come to realize how much you care for these people. Daniel Kind and Hannah Scarlett are made for each other, but they're taking their sweet time in getting together, partly due in fact to Hannah's difficulty in ending her old relationship with bookseller Marc Amos. And Wharf? In so many other series, he would remain fore ...more
Karla Huebner
This was a book whose premise seemed promising but that did not really impress me remarkably. A young woman whose older brother disappeared when they were growing up tries to interest the police in re-opening the investigation, but she's drunk and incoherent and wanders off to jump or fall or be pushed into her father's grain silo, which certainly gets the attention of the police. The book has its sensitive, atmospheric, and funny moments, but seemed uneven and forced, with mundane details and e ...more
Rog Harrison
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed Martin Edwards' Harry Devlin series so when I saw this in the library I thought I'd give it a go. After a few pages I realised that I had read a previous book in this series but I could not recall what it was and I had to check Goodreads to see that I had read "The arsenic labyrinth" in 2009 and had given it three stars but had not written a review. "The hanging wood" has a decent plot and the person responsible for the crimes comes to a gruesome end. There were several twists and this ...more
Linda Lanoue
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Although I'm very glad to have discovered this series, I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the others. There were so many characters between the resort owners, the resort employees, and the library staff, that I had trouble keeping them straight. If I could, I would give it 3 1/2 stars. I think it's better than 3, but not as good as the others that I rated 4.

I always learn something new with each of these novels. In this one, I learned about residential libraries, and 99 ice cre
Ant Koplowitz
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This felt a bit hum-drum to me. The plot was ok, but some of the characters just seemed too one dimensional, not engaging, and made me not really care about them. Martin Edwards is a good writer, but I think that the Lake District setting is too small, too parochial, and this limits plot and character development. I got fed-up with chippy Hannah Scarlett and wet Daniel Kind. Time for me to move on, even if they won't.

© Koplowitz 2014
Apr 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
To be short and sweet, I've enjoyed the series to date and I found this to be a strong entry. I'll definitely read the next book of Lake District mysteries. Good primary characters and action that grows out of the setting.
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Over the top! I highly recommend the Lake District mystery series. This is book #5, and I completely enjoyed it and am looking forward to book #6 with anticipation.
Avid Series Reader
The Hanging Wood by Martin Edwards is the 5th book of the Lake District mystery series set in contemporary England. DCI Hannah Scarlett is in charge of Cold Case Review Team in the Cumbria Constabulary. It was a bit of a demotion (or sidelining) due to office politics, but she enjoyed finally achieving justice for victims whose cases had gone unsolved far too long. Hannah has split up with bookstore owner Marc, enjoys her solitude most days, but almost succumbs to his pleas to resume their relat ...more
Wendy Percival
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m slowly working my way through Martin Edwards’s Lake District mysteries, featuring fictional historian Daniel Kind and DCI Hannah Scarlett. The Hanging Wood is the 5th book in the series.

The story revolves around the unsolved case of missing teenager Callum Hinds, twenty years before. It begins with the apparent suicide of the Callum’s sister, Orla Payne, in bizarre circumstances, resulting in Hannah Scarlett and her cold case team being given the opportunity to delve afresh into
Oct 16, 2016 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I’m usually a fan of the Lake District mysteries however I found this one very difficult to get into. To begin with I found there were far too many names of interlinked members of the main families. It would have been easier if a simple family tree had been included at the start!
I’m also finding the relationship between Hannah and Daniel a bit frustrating as the will they won’t they plot is getting a bit boring.
I will read the next one and hope I engage with it more easily from the start.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Three and a half first Lake District mystery book and much, much darker than expected. Numerous (and gruesome) murders past and present are involved but the recurring characters are well drawn enough that I will probably try another book from this series.
John Booth
Took ages to get going. Second book of the series I've read and I still don't feel I've got that much sense of the main characters. Some of the little descriptive sentences seem out of place in that they seem to interrupt the flow rather than add anything relevant. Still, I read it to the end...
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. The characters are all well developed and the plot unfolds well to reveal clues along the way. The mystery itself is interesting but a bit gruesome at the end. Well written.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read

Yet again Martin takes you on a journey, not always the comfortable first class trip, but sometimes a bumpy, rough, basic trip, through the different characters along the road that becomes the lake district mysteries.
Nicky Warwick
Book #5 in the series.
Another good story but the will they/won't they get together of the heroine DCI Hannah Scarlett & her former bosses son, historian Daniel Kind, is wearing a bit thin...
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The fifth Lake District Mystery follows DCI Hannah Scarlett and her late mentor's son historian Daniel Kind as they unravel another intricate cold case.
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it

THE HANGING WOOD is the fifth book in the series by Martin Edwards which is set in the Lake District of England. This is a story about families and how any number of commandments can be broken in 264 pages.

Orla Payne has returned to the Lake District, the place where she grew up and where her family has very strong ties. Twenty years before, when Orla was seven years old, her fourteen year-old brother, Callum Hines, disappeared without a trace. An extensive search was mounted but the
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The most gory of the books as far as deaths are concerned, it really ignited the mystery and suspense of the book.
May 15, 2016 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Mensing
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it
This fifth in the Lakes District series was by far the weakest for me. If I didn't already have a connection with the characters from previous books, I wouldn't have built one from this. And if I didn't already love the setting based on the descriptive language in previous books, I would have felt as though setting was something this author didn't bring to life. My least favorite aspect of this book was how dialogue-driven it was. The book starts promisingly, setting up a cold case for Hannah to ...more
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to be allowed to read this book from the publishers prior to it's publication via

It's a story about teenager Callum Hinds who went missing and his Uncle was suspected of having killed him. This caused the Uncle to kill himself. Twenty years later his Sister Orla comes back to the Lake District to find out what happened to her brother as she doesn't believe that her Uncle would have harmed her brother. She speaks to Hannah at the Cold Case team asking for her brother
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Once again, Martin Edwards combines a cold case with a modern murder to bring historian Daniel Kind and police detective Hannah Scarlett together. The Lake District setting is perfect -- within yards of each other are a farm filled with icky ways for people to die, an elegant residential library where Daniel is researching Thomas DeQuincey, and an upmarket caravan park (what we'd call a trailer park but much fancier), plus the ancestral home of the caravan park's owner's wife. A young woman work ...more
Jan 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Martin Edwards is a completely new author to me and this is the fifth in the “Lake District Mysteries” however that should not deter anyone from trying this. A well written detective story that keeps you dangling throughout, with just enough subtle clues and red herrings to keep you reading.

The strength of Edwards writing is not so much in the storyline as the way the characters are fleshed out and developed. The landed gentry having to marry into new money to keep the ancestral home in the family. Treading.

Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This interesting British countryside novel started off strong, bogged down, and finished in a flurry of new evidence and scurrying characters. Our protagonist is a chief inspector with the police cold case squad, and she's informally partnered-up with an historian/author (who I'm sure is the author's fantasy self). They seem to be the perfect couple for romantic entanglement, but alas only tantalizingly-close situations pop up. The author wants readers to want to read #6 and subsequent volumes o ...more
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Martin Edwards’ latest novel, Gallows Court, was published in September. He is consultant to the British Library’s Crime Classics series, and has written sixteen contemporary whodunits, including The Coffin Trail, which was shortlisted for the Theakston’s Prize for best crime novel of the year. His genre study The Golden Age of Murder won the Edgar, Agatha, H.R.F. Keating and Macavity awards, whil ...more

Other books in the series

The Lake District Mysteries (7 books)
  • The Coffin Trail (Lake District Mystery #1)
  • The Cipher Garden (Lake District Mystery #2)
  • The Arsenic Labyrinth (Lake District Mystery #3)
  • The Serpent Pool (Lake District Mystery, #4)
  • The Frozen Shroud (Lake District Mystery, #6)
  • The Dungeon House (Lake District Mystery #7)
“Readers came and went, only the books stayed forever.” 4 likes
“She says I ought to throw out at least two books for every one I buy. I had new bookshelves put up in the cottage after moving in, but already the to-be-read pile is mounting on to floor of the spare room.” 2 likes
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