Dark Pines

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 04 Jan 2018 | Archive Date 09 May 2018


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.

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...

A Note From the Publisher

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working many varied jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working many varied jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781786072535
PRICE £12.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

Send to Kindle (PDF)

Average rating from 88 members

Featured Reviews

Dark Pines is one of those books where I look up from the pages after finishing it, slightly dazed, going Yep THAT is what I am looking for.

Beautiful beautiful writing, totally immersive from the very first page with a main protagonist that you just fall in love with and an atmospheric, haunting sense of things that will linger for a long time. Will Dean’s intuitive prose just sends you to Gavrik, a small town, a tight knit community, people just looking for a quiet life, but there is a dangerous underbelly to it all that you just feel throughout the reading. Tuva is truly intriguing, living and working in Gavrik to be close to her unwell Mother, just waiting to escape but somehow so very much a part of it all anyway. Her so called “disability” is just part of her, she works around it with no sense of being different to anyone else and I loved that about her.

The scene setting is a huge part of what makes this so very very excellent though. The “Dark Pines” of the title, that brooding, beautifully threatening forest is a character in its own right – making you want to visit and want to hide from it – always in the background, a definable, vivid environment that ingrains itself into the wider story with a truly imaginative intensity.

Then you have the quirky, odd and realistic characters that live in and around Gavrik – from the sisters (my favourites!) with their extremely strange creative profession and their lilting way of talking to Tuva herself, everyone you meet in Dark Pines will give you a different emotional response. The mystery element is so so SO well done, I don’t even want to say anything about it, you should just read it and live in it and wait for that downright eerie ending that is elegantly achieved.

I loved every moment of this one. Every word. It was just blinking brilliant. This is DEFINITELY one to watch in 2018 and has pretty much guaranteed itself a place in my top ten reads for this year – Dark Pines is a novel to watch and Will Dean is an author to watch. I sense great things ahead.

Highly HIGHLY recommended.

Was this review helpful?

I received a free ARC of this novel form NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuva Moodyson works for the Posten, a local newspaper in a remote Swedish town of Gavrik. She moved from London to the isolated forest town, despite her fear of nature, in order to care for her terminally ill mother. Tuva is deaf and often tunes out the world in order to write, something she hopes will be her ticket back to the city.
After an eyeless hunter is found shot dead in the woods, the case is linked to an unsolved string of murders that happened 20 years prior. Tuva is assigned to report on the case but as she begins her investigation another hunter turns up dead. There are secrets among the peculiar residents of Gavrik that someone doesn't want her to know...secrets that just placed her in the killer's sights.

I enjoyed this novel and the author's description of Gavrik and the local townspeople. At times it was a little difficult for me to appreciate the author's writing style, it was still very well written and kept me intrigued.

Was this review helpful?

Nordic noir at it's finest! What a compelling story this was. This is a slow burning novel but never once did I lose interest. Our main character Tuva is a deaf, bi-sexual reporter whom I've become seriously attached to. She is such a wonderful character that you just can't help but root for her. The scenery depictions really sets the atmosphere of this novel. I almost felt like I was in Sweden while reading it.

The mystery centers around hunters being murdered in the forest, and if that isn't bad enough, they also have their eyes extracted. I'll admit that I did guess who the killer was and I was correct. Normally this would disappoint me. I like being tricked. In this case though I realize I would of been disappointed otherwise. It just HAD to be this person. At least it's who I wanted it to be.

The only thing that irked me a bit was the mention of all the insects while it's freezing outside, even snowing at times. She mentions it's 0 degrees quite often and even if that is Celsius that would be 32 degrees Fahrenheit and surely mosquitoes, ticks, gnats and the like wouldn't be a nuisance in those weather conditions yet the insects are referred to many, many times. Unless Sweden has super scary crazy insects that thrive in any condition. If that's the case then any plans I have ever entertained to visit Sweden have been destroyed. As you can see this is a very minor quibble but something I did pick up on while I was reading.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This follows Tuva, a deaf journalist, who is reporting the murder of a man found in the forest. He's been shot and his eyes have been neatly removed, just like the signature series of murders that occurred twenty years ago in the same forest. The killer back then was never found and was popularly referred to as 'Medusa.' Has the killer resurfaced or is this is a copycat?...
I highly enjoyed this thrilling, gripping read. I loved the protagonist, and found it refreshing that she has a disability (not often included in mainstream crime novels). Dean does a great job capturing Tuva through his brilliant prose that evokes all the senses. I also liked the small town setting, and community feel this novel has. However I gave this is a 4 instead of a 5 because I did find the killer predictable and a little clichéd. Nonetheless this was an enjoyable read and I'll definitely look forward to the next Tuva book.

Was this review helpful?

This is a taut dark, atmospheric crime noir, set in a remote town, Gavrik, in Sweden. Tuva Moodyson is a local reporter, deaf since she was a child, who moved here reluctantly after working in London. She has settled in rural 'shitsville' only because her mother is terminally ill, expected only to live for a year. Two people make life bearable for Tuva, her half-Nigerian editor, Lena, whom she admires and learns a lot from, and Tammy, her best friend and crucial support. Surrounded by forests, Gavrik is small, everyone knows one another, with a large number of gun owners and hunters, teeming with insularity and prejudices. Utgard forest is the biggest, a dark eerie and menacing wood of dank pine trees, wet, soggy, rotten, cold, permeated throughout with clouds of mosquitos and other bloodsucking insects with the sounds of gunshots and the native wildlife all around. Tuva is remarkably adept at dealing with her deafness so that she fits in with everyday society and life without any glitches.

Back in the 1990s, three middle aged hunters were shot in the torso and had their eyes removed in Utgard forest. Known as the Medusa Murders, they remained unsolved, only now another hunter has been killed with the same macabre MO, Tuva is determined to get her exclusive, a story that will make her name and give her options to move back to a big city national newspaper. Tuva is obsessed with exposing the serial killer as further murders take place amidst the growing tensions and febrile atmosphere in the town. Locals start to become hostile to Tuva's press coverage, feeling that it threatens the economic livelihoods of many and hunting, which culturally defines the region. Tuva makes frequent visits to Mossen, a tiny village close to where the killings have taken place. The residents are eccentric, from the weird and strange sisters that carve trolls, and the loner, David, an odd ghostwriter. Utgard forest terrifies Tuva and turns her into a nervous wreck , and the rural makes her feel like fish out of water. However, she is going to have to go deep into the forest, to face her fears, to uncover a dangerous serial killer.

This is a beautifully written crime story that ratchets up the tension and suspense. Will Dean creates a truly compelling character in the deaf Tuva, plagued with unease and guilt over her mother whose personality changed for good when her husband was killed by a bull elk. Her good intentions to spend time with her mother are constantly derailed, despite her need to talk with and connect with her. The pine forests are a character in their own right, menacing, with numerous rotting animal corpses, where a killer roams free. This is an absolutely brilliant and gripping novel which I loved reading. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Oneworld Publications for an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

An intriguing mystery with a really strong atmosphere. I loved the setting of Gavrik and the pine forests. I did think however that the writing was a bit messy and could have used further editing. Personally I wouldn't read any more books in this series (if that's the plan) but I can see them being popular and think this will do well.

Was this review helpful?

On a recent trip to Oregon, I noticed the trees lining either side of the highway. Autumn is my favorite season, so I always make it a point to look at the leaves with their changing colors announcing the coming of winter. However, this time I noticed more than just the beauty of the trees. I imagined myself being surrounded by these trees on all sides- the place I worked, shopped, and lived being surrounded by a tall, ever-present, and towering forest. This trip allowed me to briefly step into the shoes of Dark Pines main character, Tuva Moodyson.
Tuva Moodyson is in her late twenties and feels trapped in Garvik, Sweden. Garvik is small rural seasonal hunting town surrounded by the Utgard forest. When her mother became ill Tuva moved from London to be closer to her mother. Tuva is working at the local newspaper and waiting for a big story to propel her career. When a person is found dead in the forest and the circumstances resemble 3 unsolved cases from the 1990’s, Tuva is sure the case is her opportunity to make a name for herself and will earn her a one-way ticket out of Garvik.
Dean’s writing easily enabled me to imagine life in this town. He paints a picture of isolation and loneliness. With the addition of a killer on the loose, the creepiness of the town is magnified. I have read many books about a killer on the loose in a Scandinavian city, but the setting in a small town somehow made the story even more immersive and scary.
Tuva Moodyson is the most original and interesting character I have come across in some time. The pace of the book was rather slow until I got about 150 pages or so in. Tuva is the reason I wanted to keep reading. Her dedication and tenacity is what made the book so compelling. She is resourceful as well. While she hates to be shown any pity for her hearing impairment, she uses her impairment as a tool when it is to her advantage. Tuva is brave but she has her fears as well, she is terrified of the Utgard forest. She is also very lonely. I enjoyed the tough side of Tuva but I also enjoyed her vulnerable side as well. The central mystery is well written but for me Tuva was the main attraction. I had to know what happened to her, I was not really interested in crime at the core of the novel.
I find it very interesting that no matter what part of the world you live in, when you hear someone describe a place as a “small town” two things are almost always included in the description- boring and nosy people. Garvik is not an exception to that rule. Tuva points out that everyone in Garvik shops at the same stores, which why everyone “smells, eats, and looks roughly the same.” She too shops at these stores but Tuva has not managed to fit in. In Garvik, Tuva is an unwelcome outsider. When her articles about the murder appear in the paper, many Garvik residents are unhappy with the way their town is being portrayed. They are also concerned because unsolved murders are bad for a tourist town. The anger of the town’s residents serves to further isolate Tuva, but she does not let this deter her. In fact it is what drives her to solve the case and report the truth.
I cannot remember the last time I read a book and while going about my life, being quickly transported into the world of the main character of my current read. There are still some unanswered questions about Tuva’s life, I am hoping Dark Pines is book one in a series. Dark Pines is a dark, murky and atmospheric novel perfect for any fan of Nordic Noir.
Murder and Moore Rating:
4 ½ out of 5 Stars

Was this review helpful?

Will Dean’s Dark Pines is an excellent, well-paced and intriguing mystery. It’s got an eerie and claustrophobic atmosphere, a great protagonist and interesting characters. While I do think the writing needs some more editing and the ending could be more fleshed out, I really love this book.
Our narrator is reporter Tuva Moodyson who has moved to the tiny and isolated town of Gavrik to be closer to her dying mother. She’s also looking for the story that could make her career. She gets her chance when two eyeless hunters are found murdered in the forest. Are these new deaths connected to the mysterious Medusa killings which happened twenty years earlier? While investigating the mystery, Tuva unearths numerous secrets about the claustrophobic tightly-knit town. As she digs deeper, she angers the town’s residents who are worried about the way she’s depicting the town in the newspaper. She has run-ins with some creepy characters and someone may be following her...
Tuva is an interesting and well-written protagonist. She is extremely relatable as she tries to cope with her father’s death and her mother’s slow deterioration. Her strained relationship with her mother is particularly poignant. Tuva is also deaf and bisexual and I greatly welcome the diversity because her uniqueness is not a throwaway feature. Instead, it adds an interesting and new dimension to the character and novel. She is also resourceful and brave and although she is scared of nature, she is determined to venture into the forest to investigate.
I also really like the novel’s other fascinating well-written characters which include an eccentric ghost-writer and a pair of sisters who create trolls from their own body parts. They all seem like plausible suspects and they perfectly add to the creepy atmosphere permeating the book. I also love Tuva’s supportive best friend, Tammy, and I wish she had a bigger role. She is Asian, and Dean realistically and unflinchingly presents the racism she experiences in this small Swedish town.
I did guess the murderer’s identity halfway through the book. However, the gruesome mystery is well-crafted and captivating. The plot is taut and fast-paced with some nice twists and red herrings. However, the big reveal and the aftermath feels a little rushed while the killer’s motives are also a little cliché. I would really like some more explanation on certain aspects of the mystery.
Although the writing is sometimes too abrupt and the transitions are a little choppy, I love the tense and eerie feeling of the novel. Dean’s descriptions are so vivid and realistic that everything, especially the forest, really comes to life and I truly feel as isolated and claustrophobic as Tuva does.
Dark Pines is an engaging mystery with a perfectly tense atmosphere and well-crafted characters. This book is definitely worth the hype because it’s a well-written and satisfying read. I hope that Will Dean writes more books starring Tuva because I will definitely read them. Thank you to NetGalley and Oneworld Publications for this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Without question, one of my favourite reads of the year. Dark, twisted, urgent and desperately atmospheric - so much so that if I shut my eyes I'll somehow smell pine, mud and blood. One of those books that will live with you long after reading not just because it was excellent, but because it's so far under your skin you can't possibly hope to get it out. Outstanding.

Was this review helpful?

This is a dark and atmospheric crime noir, set in a remote town, Gavrik, in Sweden.

Gavrik is small, everyone knows one another, everyone owns a gun and everyone hunts.

An unsolved murder case known as the Medusa Murders, has come back to haunt the residents as another hunter has been killed in the same way.

This is a brilliant read, it is beautifully set and amazingly written. I was literally in awe of the authors style and I cannot wait for the next book

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to like this book more than I eventually did - I'd heard rave reviews from other people but sadly for me it fell short. Show not tell was lacking in extreme, every move made by our heroine was over described and under delivered. I've never read a book so obsessed with Fruit Pastilles in my life, and those asides and additions did nothing to further the story or the immersion for me.

While the plot is an interesting one, I wanted more unease and less timeline minutia.

Was this review helpful?

Dark Pines is one of those novels that I’d heard a lot about months before it’s publication, and when it became available on Netgalley I knew I had to read it.

Eyes missing, two bodies lie deep in the forest near a small Swedish town.
Tuva Moodyson, a deaf reporter on a small-time local paper, is looking for the story that could make her career.
A web of secrets. And an unsolved murder from twenty years ago.
Can Tuva outwit the killer before she becomes the final victim? She'd like to think so. But first she must face her demons and venture far into the deep, dark woods if she wants to stand any chance of getting the hell out of small-time Gavrik.

When a hunter is found in the woods under circumstances that are similar to a previous, unsolved, spate of killings, journalist Tuva Moodyson is sent to investigate. Tuva is relatively new to Gavrik, having moved there to be near her mother, and keeps to herself beyond the few friendships that she has developed in her time there. I think that Tuva is a wonderfully unique heroine – she’s strong and capable, and I loved her quirkiness and her attitude to reporting the facts accurately in her newspaper articles – she is particularly aware of the impact that misreported facts can have, and this felt particularly relevant given the recent occurrences of "fake news".

The plot moves quickly, and has plenty of potential suspects and red herrings thrown into the mix. I found Tuva’s investigation to be thoroughly absorbing – this was a novel that I wanted to read nonstop to find out who was behind the murders! And I enjoyed that the reader saw the investigation from the perspective of someone who isn’t on the police force, and without the same resources or information available to them, although Tuva does have her contacts there, and does manage to glean a few hints along the way. By the time of the big reveal, I had several theories, and whilst one of them did prove to be correct in terms of who (more guesswork than intuition on my part), I enjoyed the revelation of that person’s motive.

If you like a small-town mystery, then I highly recommend this novel. Dean perfectly captures the small-town vibe, where everyone knows each other and where residents are, more often than not, related to each other by marriage if not by blood. There are some wonderfully idiosyncratic characters in the small town of Gavrik – I won’t be forgetting the Sørlie sisters in a hurry! – and everyone has their secrets, loyalties, and grudges which make it so difficult to solve a crime, particularly for someone who is an outsider.

I really hope that Dean plans to return to Tuva and Gavrik in future novels – I’d love to see what she gets up to next, and I think that there are avenues left to explore from this novel.

Dark Pines will be published on 4 January by Point Blank. Many thanks to Will Dean, the publisher, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.

Was this review helpful?

Dark Pines is just my kind of book. Dark, atmospheric, suspenseful and with a protagonist you very quickly come to adore, I read this book all the way through without pausing for breath.This is Nordic noir at its finest. Contemporary drama that grabs you and doesn’t let go until, panting for breath, you lie wrung out on the floor.

Tuva Moodyson is a journalist on the local paper in the very small town of Gavrik. She has left a good job as a London journalist to come to Sweden to be close to her dying mother. Theirs is not an especially close relationship, but they are all the family each other has and Tuva is determined to be there for her mum.

In Gavrik she churns out the usual local paper stories; the start of elk hunting season; church notes, how the paper mill is doing, how the local sports teams are faring. She knows she is blessed by having in Lena a good editor who recognises the quality of her writing and is prepared to let her work through the bigger stories.

Gavrik is surrounded by dark pine forests, eerie, forbidding spaces it is far too easy to get lost in and full of biting insects, rotting vegetation and carcasses and both cold and damp. When, in the midst of elk hunting season, a dead body is discovered with gunshot wounds to the chest and the eyes gouged out, it is not long before local people start to speculate about the relationship between this death and the so-called Medusa murders some 20 years ago in the same town.

Tuva is responsible for writing up what will be the papers main focus for many weeks and to do so she has to really get into the lives and attitudes of the people connected to the story. What a cast of characters she meets as she investigates. From the reclusive David Holmqvist with his peculiar culinary habits to Alice and Cornelia Sorlie, carvers of specialised figures to the head of the main hunting team, Hannes Carlsson and Viggo the local taxi driver. These and other characters are all put under Tuva’s spotlight as she bravely tries to overcome her very real fear of the forest and the creatures that live in it in order to get to the heart of her story.

Along the way she also has to grapple with a growing hostility from the town’s business people, concerned that Tuva’s writing may be giving the town a bad name.

I love Tuva’s complex character. She is brave and feisty, has absolutely no idea of how to take care of herself and I want to know more about her and her life.

Will Dean’s writing is tense, well- crafted and full of very creepy moments. The plot is taut and fast-moving with plenty of false leads and twists. Writing in the first person really works for Tuva’s character and I loved her best friend Tammy, also an outsider to the town, whose perception of the challenges she faces is hard hitting and in your face.

I really loved this book and hope there will be more of Tuva (and Tammy) to come.

Was this review helpful?

"Something just died. I don't know how I know this but I do. The air has changed around me."

I really enjoy thrillers that are reliant on their setting. I recently read The Dry (review to come) and the harsh and arid landscape is integral to the plot. Dark Pines is the same, but with a completely different environment. A small Swedish town on the edge of a mighty pine forest, where stepping off the path can be deadly, yet most inhabitant's livelihood depends around the forest.

It's an ideal place to set a murder mystery and Will Dean does this brilliantly in Dark Pines (which is also a perfect name for the book). You really feel the forest setting the whole way through, and it just wouldn't be the same if it was set somewhere else. It's intensely claustrophobic yet there is a power and energy both in the setting and the story.

I think the wild setting in Dark Pines is so pronounced because of the feelings of protagonist and city girl Tuva Moodyson. She doesn't want to be in Gavrik and hates the forest, yet as a reporter she has to investigate the murders, which means entering the woods everyday.

I think Moodyson is a great invention. She stands out, not just because she is deaf, though this is unique in my reading, but because she is funny, independent and determined. She's got her own demons but she's not the usual grissled detective that we usually follow in thrillers.

The cast of characters on the whole is excellent, including a varied and believable cast, though some are downright bizarre, like the Sørlie sisters, who are disgustingly wonderful and original. I would love to know if they were drawn from real life.

The story itself is a little slow moving and doesn't roll along as easily as some thrillers I've read, but it was still page turning.

However, that's a little niggle, overall I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Pines and felt it was atmospheric and thrilling.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I received a copy of Dark Pines, via NetGalley, in return for an honest review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

Was this review helpful?

Dark Pines is more than just a crime thriller, it’s a story full of quirky characters with depth set in an atmospheric and creepy surrounding.

With a wonderful main character, Tuva Moodyson, a deaf, bi-sexual reporter who has found herself relocated from London to Gavrik (Toytown) to be near her dying mother and working on a small local newspaper when a body is discovered deep in the forest in the middle of hunting season with the same signature as a serial killer from the 90’s. Determined to solve the crime herself, Tuva decides to investigate despite hating nature, elks, the forest, the dark, insects and small towns.

Dark Pines is my first Nordic Noir and boy did I pop my cherry on a good’un! Atmospheric, creepy, tense, dark, descriptive, gripping and beautifully written.

Was this review helpful?

Something I‘ve come to love in books is when a murder investigation takes place through the eyes of a journalist because the main protagonist, in this case, Tuva, isn’t bound by police protocol but instead has the freedom of a journalist and that leaves the plot wide open.

Tuva is a wonderful character, who I liked instantly; she’s tasked with reporting on the latest murders to hit the small town of Gavrik, not only does this mean venturing into the woods, which, understandably, she finds terrifying, but she also has to deal with the hostility from the local folk who believe her story will give the town a bad name. But Tuva is concerned with the truth, and she’ll be damned if she isn’t going to find it! I applaud Dean for, what felt to me like, an accurate and insightful portrayal of a character who is deaf; prior to reading this novel, I had no idea, for example, about the static that could interfere with hearing aids.

Dark Pines is set in a small-town and conveys that small town atmosphere very well, in the sense of everyone knowing everyone. And what an odd set of residents this town has, from the weird taxi driver to the woodcarving sisters, just about anyone could be responsible for these murders.

I did enjoy this novel, but I’m slightly torn about my overall opinion of it – there’s no denying it has all the right ingredients to make a fantastic read: small-town, dark woods, creepy characters, cold climate, murder mystery, but something was just missing in this one for me. It just didn’t carry that moody atmosphere I crave in Nordic Noir, that beauty wrapped in darkness, it’s hard to explain but it feels like I read this book at surface level, and was never really able to immerse myself fully in the novel the way I would have liked and is usually a given when I read Nordic Noir. While I recognise all that’s good about this book, I just struggled to connect with it in the way I would have liked.

Was this review helpful?

Every so often, a book comes along that is written in a way that is so in tune with the way I read and delivers exactly what I need from a great read, that it really does read itself to me. It's just a joy to sit down with a book that is so far away from hard work, so easy to block out everything else and totally immerse myself into. This was one such book and I devoured it in just one sitting (plus comfort breaks!)
It also helps when I connect with the main character right from page one and, in Tuva, I almost think I've found a new friend. She is so much on my wavelength it's scary! Some of the things she says and does just had me nodding my head in absolute agreement. Especially some of the commentary about her being deaf. It actually got me thinking with something she said about total silence being something she can create whereas the majority of hearing people often have to work hard to achieve it. She's a reporter for a small, local paper but really is better than that having worked in major cities including London. She has had to return to the wilderness because her mum is real sick and really kinda resents it even though she puts on a brave face and tries to do the best for her community. She loves and has a flair for investigating as soon becomes evident to all and sundry when she embroils herself in a murder case. A hunter has been shot dead in the forest. Is this just a nasty accident, it is elk season after all, or is it connected to an old cold, unsolved case from the 90s where three people were shot and had their eyes removed; it could even be a copy cat? As the police start to release certain details, Tuva's investigative juices start to really run but is she creating trouble for herself in her investigations, and when I say trouble, I actually mean danger! Can she cut through the noise and, often strange, suspects to get to the truth before the killer strikes again; or worse, turns on her?
I've already said that I loved this book but apart from being beautifully written , well plotted, and played out by a fantastically colourful cast, I really can't put my finger on exactly why it was so brilliant. I guess like with regarding a painting, you can't always explain why you like it, you just do. In the same way, I am powerless to explain what exactly gave this book the wow factor to me; just that it did. There were so many little things that connected me to what I was reading. So much that just felt right to me. So many little observations that the author included that actually had me reading bits of the book out to my brother along the way. It's also quite funny in parts to, whether it means to be always is debatable but some parts really tickled me.
But, you know what the very best thing about this book is? The fact that it is book one of a series. That is catnip to my reading juices and I will definitely be counting the days until I reconnect with Tuva again. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

Dark Pines is the ideal read for Winter! Set in an isolated town in Sweden it's the perfect mix of thrills, heart pounding tension and murder. I love the main character Tuva Moodyson and hope we'll be seeing more of her.

Was this review helpful?

A really polished and accomplished debut and I'm loving that this is going to be a series!

Dark, atmospheric and at times claustrophobic, Dark Pines is well written, the characters are vividly drawn and I loved the witty and observant descriptions of life in the remote Swedish town. It's a tense and compelling mystery and Tuva Moodyson has joined the list of my favourite characters :)

Thank you Oneworld Publications for the Arc of this book - I'm really looking forward to the next instalment.

4 - 4.5 stars

Was this review helpful?

Hard to put down this book as one becomes immersed in the darkness of the landscape and the forest. Tuva is a likeable character who shows she has weaknesses and not afraid to tell others. It was nice to see that when she was afraid she turned back or when given a gun to protect herself said no as she didn’t know how to use. The descriptions in this book were unbelievable and at times a bit over the top. The author likes explicit detail. The mystery component was interesting with the five houses along that eerie stretch of road. All unique characters. Very good read . Could of used less of the descriptions .

Was this review helpful?

Awesome debut novel of Nordic Noir by the author. I can’t wait for the next Tuva book.

Was this review helpful?

Many thanks to Netgalley, Oneworld publications and Will Dean for the opportunity to preview this book. It’s an excellent creepy, atmospheric crime thriller with a lead character very different from any I've read before. Tuka is deaf and this book is so well written and descriptive that I felt I was experiencing the claustrophobic town of Gavrik along with Tuka.

A really good read.

Was this review helpful?

I am blown away by the fact that this is a debut novel. Admittedly at first, it was the cover that drew me to the book but after reading the synopsis I knew I needed to read it.

Will Dean has managed to create such a vivid setting with his writing, so much so I felt cold just reading it. Set in the isolated town of Gavrik, Sweden. The characters have such depth and such individual voices that I felt every single one of them was believable, regardless of their quirkiness. This is the first 'Nordic Noir' that I've read in a very long time and boy was a spoiled with this one! I enjoyed this so much that I have actually pre-ordered a finished copy and it'll be arriving on the day that it's released.

Tuva, the protagonist in the story, is brilliant. A deaf reporter that moves from London to Gavrik to be closers to her unwell mother. She find a job as a local reporter and decided to investigate when a body is found in the depths of the woods, the MO matching a serial killer that was loose in the 90's.

It is thrilling, mysterious and thoroughly gripping. I think this book will be a massive hit when it hits the shelves on the 4th of January and I'm betting you'll soon be seeing it everywhere, and that would be totally well-deserved.

Was this review helpful?

Have Scandi Noir crime thrillers run their course?? Well on the evidence of this brilliant novel I think there's still room for a new name and it seems a new star to investigate crimes in the dark cold countries of the northern hemisphere.
Tuva Moodyson has moved back to the small town of Gavrik in Sweden having started her journalistic career in London. Her mother is now terminally ill and Tuva has taken up a job on the small local newspaper which has very little to report beside the closure of businesses and the timings of the elk hunting season.
One night when she is driving through the dark overgrown Utgard forest she swerves to avoid an elk and then hears a gun shot. The next morning a dead body is found shot in the chest with its eyes gouged out. The death reminds locals of the notorious unsolved Medusa murders during the 90s. Has a local serial killer re emerged to seek other victims? Will the small suspicious town lay bare its fears or close ranks against those brave enough to investigate the murders?
Tuva is an interesting character. She is deaf, using hearing aids to pick up some sounds and is escaping some ghosts herself - her father's death and the life she led back in the UK. She knows some of the locals but is still seen as some what of an outsider and is scared of the terrifying depths of the forest and the local village residents who provide some classic suspects for the crimes. Who can forget the image of wood-carving scary sisters making life like trolls using human and animal hair!
The atmosphere is truly Scandinavian with darkness, numbing coldness and locals who live for "TV coffee and alcohol:the holy trinity pf cold countries", however Tuva is a bright light in the midst of this gloom and doggedly works to get her story, sort her life and solve the crime.
There will probably be more books in this series with Tuva Moodyson and author Will Deans has struck a good slant on an old idea inviting us into her world and the dark undertones of firs, fire and frozen nights.

Was this review helpful?

I don’t tend to read Scandinavian/Nordic type thrillers, although I’m not sure why. This one caught my eye and I’m glad I picked it up.

It was very atmospheric , the grimness of the town of Gavrik where Tuva Moodyson has moved to, so that she can be closer to her mother who is dying, was so astute.
Tuva works for the local paper as a reporter and starts investigating the murder of a local in the nearby Utgard Forest....and then another murder occurs. These murders have the hallmark of similar murders that happened in the same area in the 90’s. Are they related or just copycat killings?
I did find the novel a little hard to get into at first, I think this was more to do with getting a handle on the type of person Tuva was and the unfamiliar sounding names. But once I got going I was very invested. The sense of time and place was great. I could feel the darkness and cold of the forest and Tuva’s fear of all the area (she hates nature)
Then there were the strange inhabitants of the village that sat on the edge of the forest. Strange and quirky is all I can say.
I really enjoyed this story and admired Tuva, suffice to say I will certainly pick up the next installment of the series.

Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy to read and review.

Was this review helpful?

Traditional Nordic noir isn’t to everyone’s tastes. It can be oblique as well as beautiful, taking subtle understatement to the brink of a stilted stall. The bitter chill of a Scandinavian winter can be brittle and unwelcoming – not only to the characters, but to a new reader who might struggle to engage with the stoic nature of a soul honed by months of darkness in lonely isolation. At times, the genre can push matter-of-fact minimalism far beyond the boundary of mainstream crime fiction.

Dark Pines is the exact antidote to this. It seizes the core concepts of Scandinavian crime fiction and amps them up with a quarter-million volts of electric energy. It perfectly captures the eerie atmosphere of small-town rural Sweden, and blends it with the page-turning pace of an American thriller. You can feel the frost on your face and sense the menace in the twilight world of woods and wilderness. But author Will Dean doesn’t let the plot get bogged down by the stark beauty of the landscape. Instead he pushes events along with the urgency of an episode of 24 – there’s barely time to draw an icy breath…

Nor does Dean skimp on the characters. We ride along with journalist Tuva, a savvy young woman who’d be far happier working for a multinational media conglomerate in a hectic urban environment. She’d rather eat sushi than sheep’s head, any day. But for intensely poignant personal reasons Tuva is spinning her wheels at a local paper – trying to come to terms with a deep-seated grief while writing puff pieces about snow ploughs, school plays and planning applications.

When an elk hunter is found dead in the woods – with his eyes scraped out – Tuva seizes the chance to write her big story. And once she starts pulling on the threads of the investigation, we see just how solid a character she is; how committed and capable, but also terrifyingly vulnerable.

Tuva’s profound deafness is skilfully woven into the fabric of the story; her dependence upon her hearing aids feels like second nature by the end of the novel. This isn’t a token disability, but instead is an unflinching and realistic portrayal of coping with an additional challenge. In Tuva, Will Dean has created a genuinely three-dimensional protagonist, one who demonstrates considerable grit without breaking the boundaries of the real world.

The supporting cast are equally engaging – or threatening, depending upon their role in the absorbing storyline. People who live in log cabins in the middle of nowhere are likely to be out of the ordinary, and these guys are far from the usual suspects. One of them is a serial killer, a successful stalker and cold-blooded murderer. All of them are strange, slightly out of kilter, unsettling and sinister. Most have secrets they’re trying to hide – and Tuva swiftly discovers the sordid side to many hidden lives.

The result is a Scandinavian thriller which is perfect for people who haven’t tried (or haven’t liked) conventional Nordic noir. It’s accessible but complex; fast-paced but deeply layered. Think of the paperback equivalent to The Bridge or The Killing. Dark Pines would be a considerable accomplishment for an established author with dozens of books to his credit – it’s flat-out astonishing for a first novel. Definitely one of our best books of 2017, and a perfect way to start the New Year…

Was this review helpful?

Well, apparently I am in the minority here. I never found my way into the story. I also never connected to Tuva. To be honest, I did not like her. I found her actions and investigations quite stupid.

Yes, there was a dark and disturbing atmosphere. The setting is creepy but the story itself did not work for me. I got bored and almost stopped reading. But I tent to finish books I got from NetGalley, just to give it a proper chance. Also there are a lot of raving reviews so I thought I was just missing something. But the end was no twist for me, maybe a bit of a surprise but the motive was ridiculous.

I also did not like the writing style. It was very slow and full of strange metaphors. For example: “The three-quarter moon makes the woods as grey as the blood you find under a cooked salmon filet”. Hm….I just kept stumbling over such strange sentences.

I always feel terrible when I have nothing good to say about a book which was given to me kindly by a publisher. I wanted to like this book so much. Fortunately I am almost the only one who did not like this book. It is probably me. Maybe I get picky or just read too much thrillers over the years. I find it harder and harder to be thrilled by a book these days. I hardly had a 5 star-review last year and I am very disappointed in myself that my first review in 2018 is just a 2 stars.

I am very sorry but “Dark Pines” war not my cup of tea.

Was this review helpful?

I am a HUGE fan of Dark Pines. This book is everthing I hoped it would be and more. It’s a very unique read with a setting and lead character which are just so different to what I’ve read before. First of all, we’re thrust deep into the dark forests of sweden in the middle of elk season.Now I was lucky enough to attend a gathering where people were out shooting in the woods and the noises, the feeling, the excitement and fear are brilliantly evoked here. The sense of darkness and claustrophobia tingles your senses and the book just gets better from here.

A great newness to this novel is the man character who is deaf and uses hearing aids. Again, more claustrophobia but this was more than that – I really got to feel part of her world and experience her world of silence and sounds – so through the ears of a character this time as well as her eyes. She is very much her own person – her disability is not her weakness. You don’t mess with this lady.

The mystery which takes place initially off the page with that gunshot in the woods ramps up big style and the ending is just perfect for the story.But oh my,what a journey it takes you on first. Through those dark unforgiving woods, the eerie shades of the dark pines cast shadows on the actions being played out below. It’s a backdrop to a theatre show where the actors are mere silhouettes – the forest rules here.

Brilliant in every way. I loved the little touches of Swedish humour and history – the ICA supermarket, the Prins Polo sweets…I hugged the book when I’d finished it.

Highly recommended. Will Dean I need book two NOW!

Five starts easy but this would be more if more existed on this scale

Was this review helpful?

All reviews can be found on www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

OMFG this is such an amaaaazing book, I am not sure my review will do it justice! But I will give it a go!

The reader finds themselves in Sweden facing loss; grief; differences; secrets/lies; discrimination; small-town mentalities; judgement; a search for the truth – all is not what it seems in the isolated Swedish town, that’s for sure!!

Can I just say that the description throughout this debut novel was EXQUISITE!! I could just about smell the forest as I drank in the scenery that was so beautifully portrayed in this eery and somewhat haunting setting. Soooo atmospheric. *sigh* – I simply loved it! I also LOVED the story/plot! This was a total page-turner for me as the thrill of the mystery and suspense just grabbed me and would not let me go until I finished! I love how the suspects were all laid out early on in the book and as you got through each chapter you were left wondering – could it be….AWESOME! For me, the pace was perfect – a gradual build up of tension throughout until the big reveal and OMFG – what a BOOM!

As for characters…this book was RICH with some fantastic, well developed characters that had me curious throughout! I wanted to know EVERYTHING about them – and Will Dean did not disappoint. I will mention just a few though as I think this is the type of book where you have to EXPERIENCE everything and my own views may differ from others.

Tuva Moodyson is now on my list of favourite characters- no doubt about that! After leaving London to help her mother, Tuva finds herself working in a small town newspaper office as a reporter. Tuva is deaf – though she can hear with the use of hearing aids. I love how she switches off her hearing aids when she wants to shut out the world. I also loved that she was determined that her hearing impairment doesn’t define her. I suspect there is a lot more for the reader to learn about this character, especially relating to her life in London as we really only scratch the surface – Eeeek! I can’t wait!

Another character…well two…who captured my interest were those creepy sisters and their trolls….WTAF!? I rarely get freaked out…but WOW – totally got under my skin ….even now I am getting shivers just thinking about them!

Finally – Frida and Hannes- a helpful couple, right? Erm…the pair are the type of couple that everyone seems to love on the surface but talk about behind their back. I personally thought this pair were fascinating. Frida is exceptionally inappropriate but you get the impression that although what she says at times is very offensive, it is down to her ignorance rather than being intentional. I really want to mention a few more characters – but I don’t want to overload readers and take away the pleasure of discovery when they first come across them! So I won’t – buy the book and find out for yourself!

So the million dollar (pound??) question is – would I recommend this book? Holy sh*tballs, peeps! You bet your sweet arse I do…with bells on! This was an incredible debut and I am soooo thrilled I had the opportunity to read this prior to publication. Dark, intriguing, atmospheric – the perfect delivery of noir on a plate – a deliciously twisted journey that will have you aching for more when you hit the last page – grab your copy of Dark Pines now and tell me I am wrong! #TopReadof2018 #BOOM!

Was this review helpful?

I don't know what I feel about this book. I did enjoy it, there were all the elements to make this a great read. A small town, the woods, creepy characters, but something was missing. I didn't connect with the book the way I thought I would have.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that I already saw the end coming. In fact, it seemed too obvious. Maybe it was because I have read so many crime mysteries that I don't feel thrilled anymore. I also didn't enjoy the pace, but that's just me, I prefer books with a faster pace. HOWEVER, I do understand the beauty of an evenly paced and meticulously written story.

Overall, I think a lot of people will like it (which they clearly already do).

Was this review helpful?

This is my first foray into Nordic Noir and I am sure it won't be my last. In his debut, Will Dean has created a vivid but haunted and claustrophobic town in Gavrik, Sweden and a lively, spirited and forthright character in Tuva Moodyson. The story might be gruesome and overwhelmingly creepy, but that doesn't stop it from being humourous in places.

"My mouth’s dry and I’m hot in my sweater. I’m reversing into a crash with an elk in my face."

Despite the few lighter moments, the plot is generally quite dark and there are some very freaky characters throughout the book - almost literally everybody is a suspect in the ominous Mossen village and I did not work out whodunit.

"‘Well,’ I say. ‘It’s not like the killer will be wandering around the forest with a sign and a pocketful of eyeballs is it?’"

The story starts with a bang - and gives you a really good feel for the place and for Tuva - but I did find it a little over-long in the middle. That said, the final fifth or so was absolutely thrilling and frankly terrifying, and I raced through it. I will definitely read more from Will Dean and from Tuva.

Thank you to NetGalley and Oneworld Publications / Point Blank for the ARC of Dark Pines.

Was this review helpful?

Do you ever truly know your neighbors? In a Scandinavian town so small that our main character refers to it as "Toytown", that very question is put to the test. As a newer addition to the town, Tuva Moodyson might just be the perfect person to figure out who is committing gruesome murders and whether or not these crimes are connected to a killing spree from a decade earlier. After all, is there really a better perspective than that of an outsider in the middle of it all?

Tuva is a character that I absolutely loved getting to know. I found myself rooting for her throughout the novel, sympathizing with her hardships and celebrating her successes. All in all, she's someone that I would want to be friends with, a quality that I think really adds to the success of a character. Getting to know her and the other members of the town through her eyes made the book even more enjoyable, as Dean has successfully crafted a witty, yet entirely realistic voice that makes readers want to keep coming back to her story. I also personally appreciated the representation shown in Tuva's character - she is a bisexual, deaf woman who Dean managed to seamlessly write without the use of overdone stereotypes, making her a believable character who was not defined by those traits, but simply had them as a piece of her.

This is not your typical procedural novel, primarily because of the fact that Tuva is a journalist. The fact that Tuva finds out most of her information secondhand rather than witnessing the crime scene up-close adds to the slow burning pace of the novel and adds a unique twist that I personally haven't seen used in crime fiction before.

While it did take about 100 pages for this book to really pick up, I couldn't put it down once the story hit its stride for me. Overall, Dark Pines is a fantastic, refreshing novel that I enjoyed every second of.

Was this review helpful?

Gavrik is a remote Swedish village where news is mundane until the body of a hunter is discovered in the forest. The local paper sends Tuva Moodyson to cover the story. She is a deaf reporter who has returned home to work while her mother is in a nursing home dying of cancer.
Years ago several bodies were discovered with their eyes removed were dubbed the Medusa killings and police never found the killer. Tuva learns of similarities between the murders and suspects the killer has struck again or it is the work of a copycat killer. Handmade trolls left on her doorstep and an incident with the creepy taxi driver are a few of the events leaving her with the impression she may be closer to discovering the murderer than she realizes.
Since the death of her father, Tuva has had an intense fear of the forest. Before the end, she will have to confront her fears before she faces the killer.
What a story rich with characters and in an almost bleak environment. Set in a strange village with unusual residents where the weather is cold and the forest dark and intimidating.
It took me a while before I realized the main character was female but that knowledge did not make a scrap of difference to my enjoyment.
I also didn’t realize trolls could be so gross or learn of the wealth of folktales surrounding them until reading this book. They certainly compliment the atmosphere created by the author and a stunning one it is! This is the sort of book, which draws you in and keeps you there until the nail biting end. Perfect for fans of Nordic fiction/mystery/thrillers.
Thank you to the publisher for providing a digital copy of this book via Netgalley. This was a definite five star read and thanks for the opportunity to provide a review.

Was this review helpful?

Do you watch Scandi thrillers? Well this is one for you. A gripping read set in the dark cold Swedish winter. The characters are so well drawn that they live in your head long after you have finished the novel. It did meander slightly in parts but soon came back on track leading the reader to a glorious twisted end. Look forward to seeing Dark Pines on BBC4 or Channel4 in the near future. It is that good.

Was this review helpful?

Yet another new novelist and a cracking read. This serial killer thriller is set in Sweden and the atmosphere is s Yet another new novelist and a cracking read. This serial killer thriller is set in Sweden and the atmosphere is spot-on! A journalist on a local newspaper in rural Sweden is investigating the deaths of prominent local men and she links the current killings to a series of historic crimes. Although the book sometimes lacks the nerve-jangling tension of the very best thrillers, it is nevertheless a very good novel.pot-on! A journalist on a local newspaper in rural Sweden is investigating the deaths of prominent local men and she links the current killings to a series of historic crimes. Although the book sometimes lacks the nerve-jangling tension of the very best thrillers, it is nevertheless a very good novel.

Was this review helpful?

I found Will Dean's book Dark Pines very refreshing to read. Because he would use every day material exceptionally well. For example, Tuva;s hearing aids were an integral part of the story and were there for the action, or not, whenever it took place. The run in with the elk or moose at the beginning of the story was exciting, since her father was killed by an elk. It was exciting whenever Tuva had to go to the woods even time she had to get a story as a reporter. Frida, Hannes, Cornelia & Alice, and David Holmqvist were some of the characters that were under Tuva's radar for the killer. But what happened, you'll have to read this book to find out. You won't be disappointed. I gave it 5 stars and highly recommend it. What a find.

Was this review helpful?

There are so many things I want to say about this book, some of them will have to wait and be said further down the line, once I have processed everything I have just read.

If you like crime thrillers then this is a great book for you. We experience the story and the world through the eyes of Tuva, and deaf journalist working in Gavrik, who's trying to write the story of her career, but just what kind of trouble will that get her in to?

Will Dean does an incredible job of describing the landscape, the town, everything that Tuva experiences. At first, it seems like a lot, but it puts you firmly in the seat of understanding Tuva, what she is going through, how the place makes her feel and what kind of town this takes place in.

The story will lead you down different paths, you'll feel like you've got it all figured out only for it to flip you around and change the pace. If you're looking for a dark, slow burning book, this is for you.

Was this review helpful?

Dark Pines is as atmospheric as Lullaby Road, but instead of the bleak expansiveness of the desert, the setting is the looming menace of the forest of Utgard near the small town of Gavrik, Sweden. Both novels have a full contingent of odd characters.

Tuva Moodyson, a deaf reporter, has returned to Sweden, leaving a more promising arena in London to be closer to her terminally ill mother.

This must be the year of deaf protagonists for me, and Tuva has some similarities to Caleb Zelic (Resurrection Bay, And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic). Both lost their hearing very young as a result of meningitis, both are determined to pursue the career each has chosen, and both are irritated when people comment that they "sound so normal."

Tuva, however, is unapologetic about drawing attention to the fact that she doesn't hear well even with her hearing aids and needs to record statements to be certain she hasn't missed anything. She also takes pleasure in the silence when she removes her hearing aids. Tuva exhibits none of Caleb's desire to hide his deafness; she accepts her lack of hearing and is comfortable with it.

When a hunter is killed, the entire town of Gavrik develops an inexorable fear that there will be a recurrence of the Medusa murders that took place in the 90's. For Tuva, the story may mean a huge step in her career as an investigative journalist. When a second hunter is murdered, the connection to the Medusa murders is affirmed by the trophies taken.

A determined and resolute protagonist, Tuva needs to overcome her fear of the malevolent atmosphere of Utgard Forest and the increasing animosity of Gavrik's citizens to pursue her story.

A fine debut by Will Dean and a new and intriguing character in Tuva Moodyson.

NetGalley/Oneworld Publications

Mystery/Suspense. Jan. 4, 2018. Print length: 400 pages.

Was this review helpful?

I'm really glad I took a chance on this one; I liked it way more than I thought I would!

The reason Dark Pines appealed to me so much was the fact that it takes place in Sweden, and the main character is deaf as well as bisexual - all of which I have not previously encountered in a book, so it was nice to broaden my reading experiences a little more. :)

As far as the plot goes, I felt it was pretty strong; it held my interest, and the murders were certainly creepy enough to keep me guessing at who the killer really was.

The characters were likeable (but not quite lovable), even if they were all a little suspicious at times - which makes for a good mystery, of course! I liked Tuva enough, but she seemed more than a little reckless at times, especially when it came to her safety and her hearing. Being deaf and all, I seriously doubt that I would allow the batteries in my hearing aids to run low/die/get damaged, especially out in the dense and dangerous wilderness.

The writing style was a bit jarring at first and a little difficult to get used to, but once I did it was actually pretty enjoyable.

The setting was my favorite aspect of the book by far! It was dark and rich and wild. It was captivating to read about the denseness of the forest and all the wildlife that filled it. The birds and insects and rodents and elk and all of their habitats were described perfectly. That, coupled with the force of the storms and the unpredictable weather conditions, really made me feel like I was in Utgard forest myself. I loved it.

This being said, I did have a few problems with the book that prevented me from giving it a full 5 stars...
1. Pace
It draaaaaagged so much because Dean incorporated such detail into the story - and I'm not talking about the kinds of details that pick you up and sweep you away and keep you mesmerized until the very last page. No. I'm talking about writing that is bogged down with bland, minute details that really were unnecessary to the story line. I mean, how many times can the main character shower/get dressed/apply facial moisturizer/microwave shitty and unhealthy breakfasts/drive into town/check emails/walk into the police station before you want to scream and launch the book across the room and never pick it up again??? *shudders*
2. Animal-related stuff
Once again, I found myself struggling through a book that described butchering, meat eating, and hunting in such graphic and upsetting ways that I was left convulsing with disgust. And before I am accused of being ignorant because this book was, after all, ABOUT hunting, let me just say this: I get it. I really do. I definitely do not agree with it or understand it, but I do get that that was a major aspect of the book. I just wish Dean had spent less time describing a giant pile of rotting mice and rats against a garden wall or someone eating calf heads whole, or stepping in and slipping on the slippery and bloody entrails of an elk or deer or whatever the fuck. Was any of this REALLY necessary to the story? I highly doubt it.
3. The killer's motive
I was able to get on board with who the killer actually turned out to be. But I could NOT get on board with the killer's motive for murdering. Can we say trite?? (view spoiler)

Despite these issues, I honestly did enjoy the book. It was interesting, and it was entertaining. I'm glad I took a chance on it.

*Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Was this review helpful?

A great debut that is crying out to made into a movie.
I really enjoyed this atmospheric Scandi noir. The writing is very accomplished and the plot kept me guessing throughout.

Was this review helpful?

Lots of people will say that this is an excellent thriller, suspenseful with a colourful small town vibe.

What I loved about this book is completely unrelated to that. My mother is deaf in one ear. She is continuously struggling with her hearing aid and the batteries make a piercing buzzing when they are low on a power. She takes her hearing aid off in restaurants and turns her deaf ear to the bed when she sleeps in order to drown out background noise.

Dean's central character is deaf. This is just a fact of her existence and an appropriate amount of page is dedication to how this affects her life; how she needs to keep it dry, how the batteries are a pain, how she turns it off in the office in order to concentrate.

But, more crucially, it was just a part of her character. It didn't result in something terrible happening to her, her disability didn't drive the plot, she just happened to be deaf.

I have never read that in a book before? It made the read familiar and comforting and I am so pleased that it was included.

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely incredible! It took me a couple of chapters to get in to the story but once I did I was hooked and couldn’t put it down! I loved how sensitively Tuva’s deafness was portrayed and that the author sought advice from a member of the deaf community. The crime at the centre of the story was grisly and kept me guessing right up until the big reveal. Can’t wait for the next instalment!

Was this review helpful?

Dark PInes has a setting that takes on a life of its own. The sense of remoteness, isolation, and a small community that hides a disproportionate amount of secrets makes for a compelling backdrop to the plot itself. Tuva Moodyson is a conflicted character that holds the strands together brilliantly. She wants to be away, working in London or New York, but can't leave her mother alone on the slippery slope of Alzheimers. She's like a dog with a bone, pursuing her leads, linking present day murders to a spree of brutal killings decades ago, but there are plenty in town who would rather the past stayed buried. Great debut!

Was this review helpful?

This is an a mystery set in atmospheric Sweden. The setting and the writing style add to the suspense and build up of the story. I feel that this story is setting the scene for the next books in the series. I would have liked some more action in this book. I would like to read the next book in the series to see how the characters progress.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: