David Moody is not only a hero of British Horror to me, but also a self-publishing role model. I absolutely love Hater and this is the second time I've read it as I now finally have the next two in the series to hand. I'll be cracking into Dog Blood as soon as I've hit 'publish' on this one.
There isn't much I can say about Hater that hasn't already been said many times, and it's not easy to talk about without spoilers, but I'll give it a go. Initially, I loved Danny. I feel for him, shitty job? money worries? kids? I'm there. But...with Danny it goes a bit further and he loses me. As an Everyman figure he starts out well but soon descends into the next level of self-pity, the one that loses sympathy and generates annoyance. He becomes the man too lazy to make things better, the man who shouts at his kids and takes his resentment of them a step too far. His disdain towards his family unsettled me far more than the physical violence portrayed within the novel. This bothered me the first time I read it, but now, second time around it works well given that I know what happens at the end. It all fits, the anger and the fear and the intolerance are all heading somewhere and when you hold this in mind it makes Danny work perfectly.
Hater is a very short, fast paced novel. Moody's writing is lean and you'll burn through this in an evening once it gets hold of you. It's fun, it's frightening, and it's guaranteed to make you think. Given the tension Moody builds up it's also guaranteed to give you heartburn. I loved it, twice, and I'm now about to head off and finish the series.