• Publication date: 7 Dec 2017
• Publisher: Oneworld Publications
An isolated Swedish town.
A deaf reporter terrified of nature.
A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest.
A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.
It’s week one of the Swedish elk hunt and the sound of gunfire is everywhere. When Tuva Moodyson investigates the story that could make her career she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take the eyes? Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.
I was sent an ARC copy of this book by the publisher but I also bought a kindle copy to read out and about because I couldn’t stop reading it
My Thoughts & Review
I loved, loved, loved this book. I really find it hard to believe that this excellent book is a debut, but it really is. I must stop predicting THE book of the year for every one of the fantastic books I’ve read so far this year because there is another contender. Dark Pines will most definitely be one of THE books of the year.
The protagonist is Tuva Moodyson, a deaf female reporter for a local newspaper in the small Swedish town of Gavrick.
It’s elk hunting season and two hunters are found dead with their eyes missing echoing a historic case back in the 90’s when there was a similar murder case.
Tuva is given the job of covering the story, all the while hoping that her articles may bring attention from larger newspapers and with it better job offers. She’s determined that her articles will reflect the truth of the story and she’s conscientious about sticking to the facts. Her articles though about this particular case don’t exactly put the locals in a very good light which brings some unwanted negative attention from some of them. Many of them are off the wall eccentric characters who all seem to be inter-related. Think Twin Peaks with bells on!
I really enjoyed reading about the colourful odd characters, any one of whom could have been a suspect in the case. I really loved Tuva, a feisty independent young woman but with vulnerabilities and a deep sadness about her relationship with her dying mother.
The story largely takes place in and around the richly described beautiful spruce forest. I could smell and feel the atmosphere of the place which was at times threatening and broody, particularly so for Tuva who had a fear of nature but had to frequently conquer it to turn investigative reporter when the local police were lacking in the wherewithal to try to solve the case.
My husband wears hearing aids and I can vouch for the problems Tuva had with hers, keeping them dry, having to have spare batteries at hand and coping with the increases in volume of noises we take for granted.
I was bereft when I finished the book. Wish it were still in front of me to be read anew and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
There is hope in that there’s going to be a series. This one is described as ‘Tuva Moodyson Mystery 1’. Can’t wait for the rest!
About the author
Will Dean lives with his wife and son in Sweden. He is British and, while living and working in London, travelled to Sweden twice a week to build the woodland home where he now lives. Dark Pines is his first novel and he is currently writing the second novel in the Tuva Moodyson series.