The Unexpected Death of Mo Hayder

The crime fiction world was surprised and saddened by the death of Mo Hayder at age 59. She had been suffering from motor neuron disease.

From The Guardian:

Hayder was the pen name for Clare Dunkel. Her death was announced by her publisher Penguin Random House, which said she had “fought valiantly” since her diagnosis on 22 December, but that “the disease progressed at an alarming rate”.

Dunkel left school at 15 and worked as a barmaid, security guard, film-maker, hostess in a Tokyo club and teacher of English as a foreign language in Asia before bursting on to the literary scene in 1999 with her debut novel, Birdman. Shockingly graphic, it followed DI Jack Caffery’s investigation into the horrific ritual murder of five young women in London; the Guardian hailed her as “a young writer in touch with her dark side and a major new talent”.

She followed Birdman with The Treatment, which opens with the discovery of a husband and wife found beaten and restrained at their home, their young son missing; the Observer called it “a bleak, powerful story of child abuse”. Dunkel went on to publish 10 novels as Mo Hayder – her seventh, Gone, won the Edgar Allan Poe award and her 10th, Wolf, is being adapted by the BBC. She won the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library award for an outstanding body of work in 2011.