Mo Hayder: Pig Island

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Mo Hayder Pig Island
  • Название:
    Pig Island
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Жанр:
    Криминальный детектив / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2007
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • ISBN:
    0-87113-952-9 / 978-0-87113-952-8
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    4 / 5
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Pig Island: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Journalist Joe Oakes makes a living exposing supernatural hoaxes. A born sceptic, he believes everything has a rational explanation. But when he visits a secretive religious community on a remote Scottish island, everything he thought he knew is overturned. Questions mount: why has the community been accused of Satanism? What has happened to their leader, Pastor Malachi Dove? And perhaps most important, why will no one discuss the strange apparition seen wandering the lonely beaches of Pig Island? Their confrontation, and its violent and bloody aftermath, is so catastrophic that it forces Oaksey to question the nature of evil, and whether he might not be responsible for the terrible crime about to unfold. In her compulsive and haunting new novel, Mo Hayder dares her readers to face their fears head on and to look at what lurks beneath the surface of everyday normality. "Pig Island" is about the unspeakable things people can do to each other. Brace yourself for a terrifying read.

Mo Hayder: другие книги автора


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Mo Hayder

Pig Island

Acknowledgements

After leaving school at fifteen, Mo Hayder worked as a barmaid, security guard, film-maker, hostess in a Tokyo club, educational administrator and teacher of English as a foreign language in Asia. She has an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University, where she now teaches.

She is the author of Birdman and The Treatment, which won the 2001 WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award, and Tokyo, which was shortlisted for the CWA Gold and Steel Dagger Awards for Novels of the Year, 2004. Pig Island, her fourth novel, was a Sunday Times bestseller.

For more information about Mo Hayder, please visit www.mohayder.net

www.booksattransworld.co.uk

'And he laid bold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.'

Revelation 20:2

Part One

CRAIGNISH

AUGUST

Oakesy

1

The alarms first went off in my head when the landlord and the lobsterman showed me what had been washed up on the beach. I took one look at the waves breaking and knew right then that cracking the Pig Island hoax wasn't going to be the straightforward bit of puff I'd expected. I didn't say anything much for a few minutes, just stood there, probably scratching the back of my neck and staring, because something like that… well, it's going to get you thinking, right? However much of a big guy you think you are, however much you reckon you've seen in your life and however lairy you are about the mad stories that go round, looking down at something like that splashing around your shoes, it's going to make you scratch a bit. Why didn't I listen to those alarm bells, turn right round and walk away from the whole thing there and then? Don't. Just don't. I stopped asking myself that question a long time ago.

That summer what they called the 'devil of Pig Island' video had already been around for a couple of years. Disturbing thing, it was. Genius hoax. And trust me, I know hoaxes. It had been shot on a sunny morning by a tourist out on a boozy sightseeing tour of the Slate Islands, and when it hit the public the whole country went off on one, whispering about devil worship and general bad shit happening on the remote island off the coast of west Scotland. The story might have run and run, but the secretive religious group that lived on the island, the Psychogenic Healing Ministries, wouldn't give interviews to the press or respond to the accusations, and with nothing to fuel it the story died. Until late August last year when, after two years of nothing, the sect decided to break the silence. They cherry-picked one journalist to stay with them on the island for a week to see how the community lived and to 'discuss the widespread accusations of Satanic ritual'. And that canny old git of a journalist? Meet me. Joe Oakes. Oakesy to my mates. Sole architect of the biggest self-fuck on record.

2

'Seen the old video, have you?' said the lobsterman. It was the first time we'd met and I knew he didn't like me. There were only four of us in the pub that night: me, the landlord, his dog and this moody old shite. He sat in the corner huddled up against the wood panelling, puffing away at his rollies, shaking his head when I started asking about Pig Island. 'Is that why you're here? Fancy yourself a devil-wrangler?'

'Fancy myself a journalist.'

'A journalist no less!'

He laughed, and looked up at the landlord. 'Did ye hear that? Fancies himself a journalist!'

The place had that leery feel you sometimes get in these struggling local holes — like any minute a fight's going to kick off behind one of the fruit machines even though the place is half empty. There were two alehouses in the community — the tourist one, with its picture window overlooking the marina, and this one for the locals, up a cliff path in the soggy trees. Stained plaster walls, stinking carpets and dingy, sea-dulled windows that stared out to where Pig Island lay, silent and dark almost two miles offshore.

'They'll not let you on the island,' said the landlord, as he wiped down the bar. 'You know that, don't you? There's not been a journalist on that island in years. They're as mad as kettles out on Pig Island — won't let a soul on the island, much less a journalist.'

'And if they did let you on,' said the lobsterman, 'God, but there's not a soul in Craignish will take you out there. No, you won't catch any of us gaun out to auld Pig Island.' He squinted through the smoke out of the window to where the island lay, just a dark shape against the gathering gloom. His white beard was nicotine-stained, like he must've been drooling in it for years. 'No. Not me. I'd sooner go through the old hag's whirlpool, pure fatal or not, than go round Pig Island and come face to face with auld Nick.'

One thing I've learned after eighteen years in this trade is there's always someone who gains from supernatural phenomena. If it isn't money or revenge it's just good old-fashioned attention. I'd already been to Bolton to interview the tourist who'd shot the video. He had nothing to do with the hoax: poor beer-bloated sod couldn't see past the next Saturday-afternoon league tables, let alone set up something like that. So who was gaining from the Pig Island film?

'They own the island, don't they?' I said, twisting my pint of Newkie Brown round and round in the circular beer stain, looking at it thoughtfully. 'The Psychogenic Healing Ministries. I read that somewhere — they bought it in the eighties.'

'Bought it or stole it, depending on your position.'

'Was an awful fool, the owner.' The landlord leaned on the bar with both elbows. 'An awful fool. The pig farm goes belly up and what does he do? Lets all the farmers in Argyll dump their dodgy chemicals out there. Ended up a death pit, the place — pigs all over the island, old mine shafts, chemicals. In the end he has to give it all away. Ten thousand pounds! They could have stole it from him, it'd be more honest.'

'You won't like that,' I said, in a level, casual voice. 'People coming from the south and buying up all the property round here.'

The lobsterman sniffed. 'Doesn't bother us. What we don't tolerate is when they buy a place, then lock themselves away and get up to all their queer rituals. That's when it bothers us — them hunkering down out there, consorting with the de'il, doing nothing but eating babies and giving each other a rare auld peltin' whenever they've a mind to.'

'Aye,' said the landlord. 'And then there's the smell.'

I looked at the landlord. I wanted to smile. 'The smell? From the island?'

'Ah!' he said, throwing the tea towel over his shoulder. 'The smell.' He fished under the bar for a giant bag of crisps and opened it, shovelling a fistful into his mouth. 'Do you know what they say? What they say is the signature smell of the devil? The smell of the devil is the smell of shite — that's what it is. Now, you go to anyone out there-' He jabbed a crisp-covered finger at the window. Crumbs confettied on to his T-shirt. '- out on Jura or in Arduaine, and they'll all tell you the same thing. The smell of shite comes off Pig Island. There's no better proof of their rituals than that.'

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