The Woodcutter by Reginald Hill
This is a humongously long book but...well worth it. I wasn't sure what to make of it at first. As you look at the outer cover, it seems almost like a fantasy, with the misty light in the forest. Then, as you see the inner cover, it is the painting of a woodsman as he surveys the land. Visually, it led me to believe perhaps a historical fiction, something during pioneer days? I could not have been more wrong. The story begins with the intrigue of a nameless boy, some secretive government spies, and a plan gone extremely awry. It is only in the last half of the book that those beginning snippets of mystery start to become clear. The main character is a man named Wolf Hadda, and he has had a seriously bad last few years...falsely accused of horrific crimes, years spent in prison, and a disfiguring accident. Through stories to his psychiatrist, we hear the tales of his youth and of his 'crime.' The rest of the book is a roller coaster ride through family intrigue, friends betrayed, international espionage, and thwarted love. In other words, it's a humdinger! While I didn't want to put this book down, I had to at times, thanks to essays to grade. Happily, the story was quite easy to pick back up and get into easily, reading the last 100 pages on a free Saturday afternoon. This is not a straight mystery - it's so much more - but it is definitely a page turner - highly recommend.