Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Mo Hayder: R.I.P.

Sad news. Crime writer Mo Hayder (Clare Dunkel) died from motor neurone disease on July 27, at the age of 59. Mo Hayder's jobs included filmmaker, Tokyo nightclub hostess, and English language teacher in Asia. She was also the author of Birdman; The Treatment; The Devil of Nanking, winner of the Elle Magazine crime fiction prize; Pig Island, shortlisted for the Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel; Ritual, shortlisted both for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award and for the coveted Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award; Skin; and Gone; as well as the winner of the 2011 Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library award for outstanding body of work.

From The Bookseller:

“It is with much sadness that we announce that Clare Dunkel died yesterday morning,” her publisher Century announced on 28th July. “Clare was diagnosed with motor neurone disease on 22nd December. She fought valiantly, but the disease progressed at an alarming rate. She leaves behind a husband and daughter.” The 59-year-old lived in England's West Country and was a full-time writer.

The news comes four months after it was announced she was turning her attention from crime fiction to speculative thrillers with a switch from long-time publisher Bantam Press to Century. “Most recently, Clare had started a brand new series in a new genre, which she was very excited about,” Century said. “Writing as Theo Clare, The Book of Sand will be published posthumously by Century in early 2022. It is set in an alternate universe where nothing is quite as it seems.” 

Dunkel had said of the book: “It has taken me four years to finish it… I am so happy to be writing fiction set in an entirely imaginative universe of my own creation.” 

Writing as Mo Hayder, Dunkel published 10 novels with Transworld's Bantam Press over the past 21 years. Her fifth novel, Ritual, was nominated for the Barry Award for Best Crime 2009 and was voted Best Book of 2008 by Publishers Weekly. Gone, her seventh novel, won the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and her novel Wolf was nnominated for Best Novel in the 2015 Edgar Awards and is currently being adapted for the BBC. In 2011 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Dagger in the Library award for an outstanding body of work. 

Altogether she has sold 1.2 million books in the UK for £6.17m through Nielsen BookScan; her UK bestseller is Gone, which has sold 143,580 copies in paperback since 2010.

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Jane Petersen burfield said...

Such sad news. But boy, will she stir up heaven.

Jane Petersen burfield said...

Pre 2020, if you wrote about a 17 month lock-down, no one would believe you.