British writer Mo Hayder, real name Clare Dunkel, has died at the age of 59 from neurodegenerative disease, his literary agent announced Wednesday. She became known from the year 2000 with the publication of “Birdman”, the first horror novel in a series built on the character of Inspector Jack Caffery. In this first volume, the man investigates the murder of five women, found with a bird in the rib cage. “The Evening Man”, “Ritual”, “Skin” and “Preies” will follow.
Clare Dunkel had a rather hectic life before embarking on a career as a writer. When she was little, she dreamed of killing her parents. As an adult, she has worked in various professions, from barmaid to hostess in a Japanese tea bar, an establishment where geishas live. An experience which undoubtedly inspired “Tokyo”, released in 2005. The Sino-Japanese war is in the background of the intrigue, where a young Englishwoman is fascinated by the massacre of Nanking.
Recognized in the thriller world, she notably won the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award (2012), as well as the SNCF Prize for European thriller (2005) or the Grand Prix des readers de “Elle” – Police category (2006).
Posthumous novel to appear
Les Presses de la Cité, the French publishing house of Mo Hayder’s novels, paid tribute to the latter on Twitter, adding that her latest novel, “in the process of being translated”, would be published at home.
According to Le Figaro, this latest novel entitled “The Book of Sand” should be published in early 2022 in England. Mo Hayder wrote it under the pseudonym Theo Sand, in a style totally different from the rest of his work.