Mo Hayder

‘Don’t Try Anything Funny’

‘Having a pronounced sense of humour is not a job qualification,’ a teacher once told me. I could have replied that having a low droning voice like a distant lawnmower was not a teacher’s job qualification, but I fear that would have proved his point. Problem is, my desire for high learning is tempered by […]

A Few Good Scares

Having reviewed books on and off for twenty years I’ve inevitably built up a spectacular stack of them, mostly good – I don’t see a point of reviewing books you disliked because press space is valuable. The one exception I was forced to make was for a surprisingly weak Stephen King tome about farting aliens, […]

Male & Female Reading

Despite the new century’s welcome seismic shift in sexual equality, we all know there are gender divisions in reading. Or as my father once put it; ‘Romantic novels are for middle-aged women who hate their husbands.’  I’ve met few men who profess to having read ‘Jane Eyre’, a novel I find turgid and deeply peculiar, […]

Crime Collectives: Why ‘Killer Men’ Wouldn’t Work

Crime fiction accounts for a third of all UK fiction sold, and the majority of its readers are women. As the crime festival season gets into gear this weekend, starting with Bristol Crimefest, a new collective of crime writers has formed called Killer Women. A vast swathe of novels fall into the mid-list category, where […]

Can Male And Female Writing Be Told Apart?

I was reading a piece in the Independent, and halfway through it I stopped and mentally checked what I was reading with this thought; ‘Oh, it’s a woman writing – a man would never think that.’ Can male and female authors be told apart just by their writing? A Noel-Levitz study examined a massive 97,000 […]