** advanced copy received via Netgalley **
Author : Will Dean
Title : Dark Pines
Series : Tuva Moodyson Mystery #1
Pages : 400
Publisher : Oneworld Publications / Point Blank
Publication date : January 4, 2017
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 can’t quite explain where my recent fascination with Scandi-Noir comes from. For one, I absolutely hate cold weather and the mere mention of freezing temperatures and snow makes me want to run for the hills. And yet, when one of my dearest blogging friends couldn’t stop raving about Dark Pines, I dived right in and didn’t look back.
Tuva Moodyson is a journalist, working for the local newspaper in the tiny town of Gavrik. When a body is found in the forest, Tuva sets out to investigate the story that could make her career. But there is a fine line between telling the story truthfully and not alienating the community you live in. On top of that, Tuva must face her biggest fears and head deep into the dark woods.
There’s an incredibly threatening and claustrophobic vibe running throughout this entire story. It doesn’t just come from the small town feeling, but also the forest, which is almost a character all on its own, and the residents themselves. Each and every one of them is a suspect in this murder and I probably pointed my finger at all of them. From the massively creepy woodcarving sisters, to the ghostwriter in his fancy house, to the taxi driver with his slightly odd son, each and every one of them displays a certain level of eccentricity that made me eye them in the most suspicious way. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love it when an author can keep me guessing.
Everything in Dark Pines works like a charm. The atmospheric setting, the weather and our main character being deaf adds another brilliantly intricate layer. I loved how Tuva doesn’t make a big deal of her deafness. It’s just a part of her, like the colour of her eyes. I can’t for the life of me imagine what it’s like, thankfully, but I feel the author did a great job incorporating it into the storyline. Especially by explaining how certain sounds can interfere with hearing aids. I had no idea.
The investigation into the murder is utterly gripping. Will Dean will have you second-guessing everyone and everything at every single turn of the page. Just when I thought I figured out the who, there was a curveball. And I completely gave up on figuring out the why but the reveal blew me away. Fantastic!
So, a brilliantly executed plot, an extremely interesting protagonist, a cast of fabulous if slightly weird characters and an amazing setting. What more could you possibly want? Scandi-Noir has completely won me over and Will Dean is most definitely one to watch. I have no doubt Dark Pines will do well and it’s kicking off the new year in style!
Many thanks to the publisher for my advanced copy, which I received via Netgalley and chose to review honestly!
Dark Pines will be published in paperback format in January.