Wednesday 18 November 2009


Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened 'Haters' by the media, the attackers strike without warning. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people are becoming maddened, vicious killers.

There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand and then thousands, right across the country. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race, sexuality or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a Hater. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them with murderous intent.

By the end of today you could be dead. By the end of today you could be a killer. Attack first, ask questions later...but the answer might not be what you expect...

With cover quotes from Guillermo del Toro and JA Bayona, I was instantly interested in this book. Apparently, I found out about it a little later than most, and it looks like it's going to be made into a movie soon. But late or not, I'm really glad that I read HATER before watching it.

The story opens with a violent scene involving an umbrella. This sets the mood for the remainder of the book, before we meet the very average, Danny McCoyne. Danny is an everyday type of bloke who works for the council. At the moment he works in the Parking Fine Processing office and puts up with a horrible supervisor who doesn't like him. The monotonous job he performs isn't something he really enjoys, but it's his Monday-to-Friday grind. With a partner and three kids, he's got no choice but to keep working this deadend job and continue on with his boring life.

Then strange things keep happening around him. It's almost as if the world's going mad. As if people all over the place are turning on others and killing them with their bare hands. Danny and his family get caught up in the middle of it all, unable to escape the visual horrors, they try to get on with life while listening to the reports on the news that don't seem to offer any answers about what's going on. But when schools are closed and less people are turning up at work, they find themselves stuck inside their flat.

Trouble finally comes to Danny's house, and he has no choice but to face the awful truth and deal with things the only way he now knows how to. The world is a different place and will never be the same again.

Hater is an intoxicating book that grabbed a hold of me from the first page and didn't let me go until I got to the end. The confusing, violent events gradually build up to a crescendo that echoes in Danny's life. The second half of the book constantly had me wondering where it was going. I really enjoyed the unpredictability of this story and honestly didn't know how it could possibly end.

By the time you do get to the end you'll be left with more questions, but satisfied by how Danny leaves things. And you'll certainly be left wondering who the Haters really are. Lucky for us, there's going to be another installment released next year.

Hater, April 2009, ISBN 0575084677, Gollancz Paperback

No comments:

Favorites More