Dark Pines
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.

Dark Pines Details

TitleDark Pines
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 4th, 2018
PublisherOneWorld Publications Point Blank
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Mystery Thriller

Dark Pines Review

  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    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, G 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.
    more
  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    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 dangerou 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.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Do you need a new book to add to your TBR, one that has not only a chilly atmosphere but also a chilling plot? I’m assuming you’re nodding your head thinking, yes that’s exactly what I’m looking for, because that’s why you’re here, right?! There is nothing better than a reading a book that matches the current season, a beach read in the summer, a horror novel in the fall or a book like Dark Pines in the winter. It had a fantastic combination of a strong and interesting lead character, a creepy s Do you need a new book to add to your TBR, one that has not only a chilly atmosphere but also a chilling plot? I’m assuming you’re nodding your head thinking, yes that’s exactly what I’m looking for, because that’s why you’re here, right?! There is nothing better than a reading a book that matches the current season, a beach read in the summer, a horror novel in the fall or a book like Dark Pines in the winter. It had a fantastic combination of a strong and interesting lead character, a creepy setting in the dense forests of Sweden and an strange murder case that left me puzzled.Tuva is a journalist which is always a nice change of pace in a crime novel, I like the uniqueness of having someone other than a police officer investigating a case. She was really intriguing, she’s deaf and not your typical lead, she’s not overly brave or tough, in fact she’s actually terrified of the woods and the combination of her fear and not being able to hear made for some great, eerie situations. She’s an outsider in her small town having only been living there for two years and the oddball group of locals don’t know what to make of her. These characters were really great, they were all SO weird and had so many off the wall quirks, you never knew quite what would happen with them next and it made it all the more difficult to figure out whodunnit.This read like a classic murder mystery, a nod to old school style books and I thought the pacing was spot on. The chapters would often end kind of abruptly but oddly enough it worked really well for me. I was totally caught up in this one, it had a quiet ferocity that reminded me of Ragnar Jonasson and fans of his work should definitely give this a try!
    more
  • Rachel Hall
    January 1, 1970
    Dark Pines is another overhyped debut of 2018 which proved disappointing lacking in the wow factor for me with its unconvincing attempt at capturing the magic of the Nordic Noir. After an inauspicious start which takes too long for the story to take hold, Will Dean’s insipid deaf protagonist, twenty-six-year-old Tuva Moodyson fails to inspire and is steadfastly behind the curve in journalistic instinct failing to gain any real traction for the majority of the novel. Added to that are pages of re Dark Pines is another overhyped debut of 2018 which proved disappointing lacking in the wow factor for me with its unconvincing attempt at capturing the magic of the Nordic Noir. After an inauspicious start which takes too long for the story to take hold, Will Dean’s insipid deaf protagonist, twenty-six-year-old Tuva Moodyson fails to inspire and is steadfastly behind the curve in journalistic instinct failing to gain any real traction for the majority of the novel. Added to that are pages of repetitive descriptions of travelling back and forth on the same stretch of road which is enclosed by the forest, a perpetrator who is heavily signposted from the get-go and excessive plot twists into the close to make for an often frustrating read. Twists only serve a purpose if they are believable and have a plausible motive to support them and in the case of Dark Pines some unlikely red herrings simply seems to extenuate the story and point the murders a handful of suspects who are fair game from the opening pages.Tuva Moodyson has reluctantly returned to live in her native Sweden where her ailing mother is spending her final days resident in a nursing home and is the grip of a terminal illness. Forced to pursue her career within a drivable commute to her mother, Tuva works at the Gavrik Posten, a community focused weekly publication with a circulation of six-thousand and very little opportunity for the incisive commentary of a creative and dynamic journalist. With the elk hunt season in full swing the eyes of the isolated Swedish town seem firmly focused on the plentiful spoils of the dense Utgard forest until the tight-knit community is shaken by a killer striking in their midst and an incident which gives rises to an increasing fragile silence. With the victim having been mutilated and bearing the hallmarks of a series of three “Medusa Murders” which occurred in the early 1990’s the implications loom large with all of the locals reluctant to vocalise the fear that they could have have been sheltering a serial killer in plain sight for decades, and in a town held together by a web of secrets the atmosphere quickly turns rather sinister. When a second murder occurs that again takes the life of a middle-aged male hunter employed by the pulping mill and having been shot in the torso and had his eyes removed the small town of Gavrik becomes a national media focus. With the two-man police force of Constable Thord Petterson and his superior, Chief Björn Andersson overwhelmed and the town reluctant to part with their secrets Tuva spots an opportunity for a story. With part-time and veteran reporter, Lars, taking over the routine copy, the half-Nigerian editor of the Posten, Lena (“Diana Ross in jeans and a fleece”) gives protagonist Tuva Moodyson free reign to focus on the local implications of the story and how it is affecting their readership.There are a comedy cast of utter oddballs living in the village of Mossen which is located closest to the forest, from a retired army man turned animal rights campaigner and hoarder who lives in a caravan right through to two Norwegian troll carving sisters, a ghostwriter and a very watchful taxi driver. As Tuva introduces herself to an eclectic cast of villagers residents and travels back and forth to investigate she is steadily unnerved by a feeling of being under observation. With an inherent aversion to the sprawling forest and a continual feeling of neglecting her mother Tuva is caught in a fractious cycle of being pulled back by the scent of a decent story and a feeling of guilt for her lack of care for her mother, making her another of a recent raft of whiny female protagonists in crime fiction and somewhat dull. In a town where a machismo attitude and a man’s hunting prowess seems to determine ones place in the pecking order the threat of hunting rights being rescinded brings hostility from the hunting team and in turn leaves Tuva something of an unknown quantity threatening to decimate a town by exposing their rotten core. With Gavrik reliant on its hunting season for its tourist income and the continuing support of its major employers, Tuva is a subject to a groundswell of antipathy and a wall of silence as she is gradually shut out of the investigation and story.Whilst I can’t say that Tuva earned his investigative journalist spurs in Dark Pines I think much of Will Dean’s motive is simply portraying an outsider, who is able to break rank and upset the applecart of the small community where everyone is either closely related or bonded by shared allegiances. This outsider status aligns Tuva with best-friend twenty-two-year-old Tammy who is of Thai parentage but was born in Sweden and has remained in Gavrik running a takeout trailer. Tuva uses Tammy as a sounding board as she investigates the residents of a location they comically dub “Toytown” and uncovers a legacy of sordid goings on and an array of divided loyalties.Although into the denouement Tuva’s deafness has a purpose in the story for much of the novel I was irritated by the constant mentions of turning the hearing aids on, battery failure and so forth which only served to draw attention to her disability. Surely this should all come as second nature to someone who has been deaf from birth and I felt like readers attention was consciously made aware of it, whether in an attempt to elicit sympathy for Tuva, simply prove how brave she is or just to tick the box of making for a unique protagonist. Presumably this is the reason for her unconfirmed lesbianism or bi-sexuality. Not only does Will Dean provide the de rigueur “no signal” in Utgard forest but also the audible warnings for Tuva’s hearing aid batteries failing (yawn) and I do feel that Tuva has the potential to be a one-trick pony and issue fixated character! Although done fairly heavy-handedly, Dean does attempt to illustrate Tuva’s commitment to telling the local story both sensitively but also honestly, driven by the misrepresentation of her father’s death at age fourteen and her mothers swift descent into depression on the back of it. I have no idea why everyone thought that Tuva had a career defining article within her grasp and what she had previously done to warrant her reputation, but on the extent of this name dropping of The Guardian and The New York Times clearly she is hiding this gifted journalist light under a bushel!All in all, Dark Pines felt like a clumsy and amateur attempt at Nordic Noir, laden with the recurring literary devices and motifs which epitomise the genre. The result is pseudo Nordic Noir with an oddly jarring narrative that proves distracting and the very opposite of the crisp and clinical delights of the genre. Dark Pines makes for a repetitive introduction to a lacklustre character who stands out purely on the basis of her disability and a protagonist who I would feel decidedly lukewarm about meeting again in the future. Sadly I didn’t find the novel thrilling and although Dean’s narrative improved I found this story a pale imitation of the chilling Scandi atmosphere and subtle social commentary of the genre. In future I will be sticking to the real thing!
    more
  • Abby (Crime by the Book)
    January 1, 1970
    Read my full review here: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2017/1...This is a strong debut thriller with a fantastic atmosphere and a compelling main character! Set in rural Sweden, DARK PINES has a strong sense of place that will appeal to fans of Nordic Noir. I loved Dean's vivid descriptions of the landscape. This book really took off for me around page 100 or so - the beginning was a bit slow/choppy for me, but I wound up really enjoying it!
    more
  • Lucy Banks
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.Scandi-thriller with some good characters.I'm not adverse to the occasional bleak Scandinavian murder novel, though in all honesty, I do feel they are becoming a little formulaic. However, this one had enough 'new' elements to keep me reading on.Tuva is a deaf young woman, who has returned to a remote part of Sweden to be nearer to her dying mother. Working for the local paper, she's suddenly pulled into a full-blown I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.Scandi-thriller with some good characters.I'm not adverse to the occasional bleak Scandinavian murder novel, though in all honesty, I do feel they are becoming a little formulaic. However, this one had enough 'new' elements to keep me reading on.Tuva is a deaf young woman, who has returned to a remote part of Sweden to be nearer to her dying mother. Working for the local paper, she's suddenly pulled into a full-blown murder case as 'Medusa' (a killer with a penchant for removing people's eyes) re-emerges.There are some genuinely gripping moments and the characters are wonderfully realised (loved the Troll-making ladies)! I also loved that the main character was deaf - nice to see, and added an interesting twist to many of the scenarios, where you'd traditionally rely on sound. And the environment - brilliantly depicted, I could really imagine it.I struggled a little with the first-person present narrative; there was a lot of repetition of sentences starting with 'I', which felt a bit like a long list at times. Likewise, it was slightly formulaic - I'd have loved it to bust out of the expected conventions of this saturated genre a little more.But overall, a good read; definitely for you if you're into bleak murder stories!
    more
  • Joanne Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    I have only recently become a fan of “nordic noir” as I was never too sure whether it was going to be quite my cup of tea! But after I had read my first one, and LOVED IT, then I got braver about the variety of books I tried and my love affair with the genre has now gone from strength to strength. Still, I know some readers worry they won’t gel with a translation to English or lots of difficult to pronounce names or places. So I think that if you want to try Nordic noir then Dark Pines would be I have only recently become a fan of “nordic noir” as I was never too sure whether it was going to be quite my cup of tea! But after I had read my first one, and LOVED IT, then I got braver about the variety of books I tried and my love affair with the genre has now gone from strength to strength. Still, I know some readers worry they won’t gel with a translation to English or lots of difficult to pronounce names or places. So I think that if you want to try Nordic noir then Dark Pines would be the PERFECT place to begin your journey into the dark unknown!! Will Dean has a huge affinity with Sweden, as you will realise when you read his bio, which comes across in his beautifully written and knowledgeable narrative. Darkly atmospheric with a richly textured landscape this is a thriller that will grab you with both hands and then refuse to give you back until it has rung every emotion you possess out of you!!This book has one of the most intriguing and intense protagonists I have ever encountered in a debut novel so I was hugely relieved to discover that Tuva Moodyson will return in another mystery!! I absolutely loved her sprirt, her determination and her courage. In fact everything about her personality fitted perfectly into the jigsaw of the small town mentality of Gavrik especially the way she refused to let herself be defined by her disability. Her purposeful approach to her investigation into the murders, reporting for the local newspaper, was breathtaking. But more importantly, I believed in her and found myself transported to her life, developing an understanding of what made her tick as the storyline developed. I was literally on the edge of my seat shouting at her to beware of what was in those woods!Yes, those dark pines of the title are an integral part of this plotline and they are everywhere, affecting the whole community in every part of their day to day existence. It sometimes felt as though there was one of those “scratch and sniff” cards hidden within the pages as I’m convinced I could smell pine needles as I rapidly read this intensely gripping thriller! I was utterly convinced by the setting plus the weird and completely wonderful characters who inhabited it, enjoying the methodical way Tuva approached them all as she sought to discover the truth about the recent murders and whether they were related to the historic Medusa killings.Touches of dark humour gave a sharper edge to some of the character interactions and I especially loved the relationship between Tuva and her friend Tammy. But to be honest I found everything about Dark Pines to be compulsive reading from start to finish. I just loved every word on every page and I am so excited about this author that I want every crime fan to read this book! This is such a self assured debut that it met all the challenges of it’s genre and then some! Highly recommended by me!
    more
  • Tracy Fenton
    January 1, 1970
    I met the author Will Dean in July at Harrogate and was told by everyone to read his book so I immediately downloaded it in July and promptly forgot about it until mid December when I was politely reminded by Liz Barnsley to “read his bloody book now woman, you’ve had it for 6 months”.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 report I met the author Will Dean in July at Harrogate and was told by everyone to read his book so I immediately downloaded it in July and promptly forgot about it until mid December when I was politely reminded by Liz Barnsley to “read his bloody book now woman, you’ve had it for 6 months”.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.
    more
  • Lavender
    January 1, 1970
    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 mis 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.I reveived an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
    more
  • Noelle
    January 1, 1970
    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 th 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!
    more
  • Janel
    January 1, 1970
    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 terrify 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.*My thanks to the publisher for allowing me access to a digital copy of this title via Netgalley*
    more
  • Laura Rash
    January 1, 1970
    Fans of Enger, Jonasson & Aldridge will love Dark Pines! A very descriptive, chilling murder mystery set in the forest will give you a slight case of the heebie jeebies but you’ll enjoy it! Tuva, the main character, is deaf and the insight of using hearing aids & every day life for her was an education. I have to thank the author for sending me this signed copy from Sweden! 🌲🌲🌲
    more
  • Rowena Hoseason
    January 1, 1970
    Dark Pines 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 Dark Pines 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.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. 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 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. 9/10There are more crime / thriller reviews at murdermayhemandmore.net
    more
  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    Wow - what a great read! I really loved this book and it had everything I want in a good thriller - an enigmatic interesting heroine, a terrifying murder, a rich cast of strange and creepy characters and a remote setting in a dark broody forest. Even just the promise of such a story makes me want to snuggle up somewhere warm and cosy and settle in for a few hours of reading. Dark Pines was one of those hidden gems you stumble upon accidentally, that end up making their way onto your favourite li Wow - what a great read! I really loved this book and it had everything I want in a good thriller - an enigmatic interesting heroine, a terrifying murder, a rich cast of strange and creepy characters and a remote setting in a dark broody forest. Even just the promise of such a story makes me want to snuggle up somewhere warm and cosy and settle in for a few hours of reading. Dark Pines was one of those hidden gems you stumble upon accidentally, that end up making their way onto your favourite list. I loved every creepy minute of it!Tuva is an interesting, multi-dimensional character who I like straight from the start. Being deaf from childhood, life has not always been easy for her, but she is never bitter of bemoaning her fate, determined not to let her disability stop her from achieving her goals. Wanting to be near her dying mother sees Tuva give up her career as a journalist in London and move to the small town of Gavrik in a remote region in the Swedish countryside, where she finds work writing small features for the local paper. Her job suddenly becomes a lot more interesting when a man is found murdered in a gruesome fashion in the forest, mutilated in ways that link him to other killings twenty years ago. The more Tuva starts investigating the town's dark secrets, the creepier the book becomes. There were some truly terrifying characters there - those woodcarver sisters will give me nightmares for some time to come I think! Everyone seems to have a motive for murder, and most of the characters are - for lack of a better word –odd, yet strangely compelling. There were so many interesting side stories here that would make for whole books just on their own, and I could have kept reading on long after the mystery had been solved just to find out more about this unusual cast of characters. Dean portrays small town mentality perfectly, with all its prejudice, allgiances and narrow-mindedness, Tuva always remaining the outsider. Her friendship with Tammy was portrayed beautifully, and I was glad that at least she had someone fighting in her corner!I am always a sucker for a creepy remote setting, and the author certainly knows how to set the atmosphere: the dark, sinister woods Tuva is so afraid of take on a life of their own, closing in tighter and tighter around the small town the more people fear for their lives with a serial killer on the loose. Dean does a brilliant job in ratcheting up the tension by including small, seemingly insignificant details that add to the general undercurrent of danger, like the plague of insects that attack Tuva every time she goes into the woods, or the pile of rotting mouse carcasses she finds piled up against a stonewall near one of her suspect's homes. With its air of menace, the forest becomes almost like another character Tuva is up against in her quest to find out the truth.Dark Pines is one of those dark, atmospheric and haunting thrillers that contains everything I look for in a good mystery, and I was instantly hooked. If you are looking for a sympathetic gutsy heroine, a rich cast of unusual characters, a creepy claustrophobic setting and a chilling murder mystery, you can’t go wrong with this one! It definitely earned itself a spot on my favourites list for the year and I look forward to reading more from the author in future. Very highly recommended.Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*
    more
  • Elaine Tomasso
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Oneworld Publications for an advance copy of Dark Pines, a novel set in rural Sweden featuring local reporter Tuva Moodyson.Tuva, deaf since childhood, has moved to the small town of Gavrik to be near her dying mother. She works on the local weekly where it's all about the people and things that affect their lives as circulation is always an issue. All this changes when a man is found murdered in the woods and Tuva is put on the case. It changes even more when I would like to thank Netgalley and Oneworld Publications for an advance copy of Dark Pines, a novel set in rural Sweden featuring local reporter Tuva Moodyson.Tuva, deaf since childhood, has moved to the small town of Gavrik to be near her dying mother. She works on the local weekly where it's all about the people and things that affect their lives as circulation is always an issue. All this changes when a man is found murdered in the woods and Tuva is put on the case. It changes even more when the murder is found to resemble three unsolved murders in the area from the 90s.I enjoyed Dark Pines after a slow start. It is probably more literary than I am used to or prefer but it's always good to ring the changes and try something different. As a crime novel it is acceptable but not brilliant as I guessed the perpetrator almost immediately and had a good idea of the motive from about half way through as Tuva stumbled around in the dark, both literally and metaphorically.I think, however, that the crime is not the be all and end all of the novel as it has a couple of obvious themes running through it and probably more that I didn't pick up on. Firstly there is the outsider theme. Tuva is much more cosmopolitan than most of the residents, having lived and worked in London, and her deafness sets her apart, not in her mind but in others' perception of her. I don't think it is any coincidence that her two closest friends whilst Swedish are not ethnically white. To be blunt none of them really fit in and are viewed with some suspicion as outsiders. Mr Dean has the small town mentality to a T. The dark undercurrents, rumours and prejudices are all very well done. The other theme is Tuva coming to terms with the past and trying to fit it into her life. She obviously has problems as she avoids alcohol and consumes junk food like it's going out of fashion. She also has a difficult relationship with her mother and a morbid fear of the forest. It's all eventually explained but it takes a while.What I really liked about the novel is its brooding sense of place. The murder victim is found in the forest and Tuva's attention is focused on a small hamlet in it so she spends a lot of time there. Mr Dean does an excellent job of portraying Tuva's fear and panic and the menace of the great outdoors. I really felt it but I'm like Tuva - a townie through and through.Dark Pines is different to my normal fare but it's very readable so I have no hesitation in recommending it.
    more
  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    4.5* --> 5*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 invest 4.5* --> 5*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!
    more
  • Helen (TBC)
    January 1, 1970
    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 - 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
    more
  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Reading Dark Pines over the Christmas holiday, with no interruptions was perfect. As the rain battered the window and the fairy lights warmed the room, I was able to fully immerse myself into this slick and stylish story.Will Dean has created a lead character in Tuva Moodyson who is complex, intricate and utterly compelling. Her own story is slowly revealed alongside a plot line that is eerily creepy and full of tension. The reader is transported to this small Swedish town, amongst vibrant chara Reading Dark Pines over the Christmas holiday, with no interruptions was perfect. As the rain battered the window and the fairy lights warmed the room, I was able to fully immerse myself into this slick and stylish story.Will Dean has created a lead character in Tuva Moodyson who is complex, intricate and utterly compelling. Her own story is slowly revealed alongside a plot line that is eerily creepy and full of tension. The reader is transported to this small Swedish town, amongst vibrant characters, nestled within the dark and forbidding forest and becomes a part of the community. Discovering and uncovering mysteries and secrets that are revealed with a flair and grace that is really quite brilliant.Tuva has returned to Sweden, from London, to be with her seriously ill mother. She's determined to succeed as a reporter on a small newspaper, and when recent murder cases seem to be linked to historical crimes, Tuva becomes intrigued, as does the reader.Dark Pines is not a fast-paced action thriller, it is an evenly paced story that is meticulously and carefully crafted. Will Dean draws characters beautifully and his setting is sublime. This story is haunting and suspenseful, it's a book to savour. Beautifully written and highly recommended from me.https://randomthingsthroughmyletterbo...
    more
  • Robert Parker
    January 1, 1970
    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.
    more
  • Claire Douglas
    January 1, 1970
    A brilliant, gripping read! Beautifully written, atmospheric and really scary in parts. Highly recommended.
  • Carmen
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.After moving to a rural Swedish town to be closer to her terminally ill mother, Tuva Moodyson finds herself working on a once in a lifetime story for the local newspaper. Tuva starts investigating the murder in connection with a series of similar cold case murders that took place in the same forest. Unfortunately for Tuva, she is forced to keep facing her fear of nature by constantly having to return to the forest during her inves I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.After moving to a rural Swedish town to be closer to her terminally ill mother, Tuva Moodyson finds herself working on a once in a lifetime story for the local newspaper. Tuva starts investigating the murder in connection with a series of similar cold case murders that took place in the same forest. Unfortunately for Tuva, she is forced to keep facing her fear of nature by constantly having to return to the forest during her investigation, which puts her on edge during this already dangerous story.Tuva is such a well-written protagonist who is relatable from the very beginning. She's continuing the struggle with the death of her father, which leads her to strive to report the facts delicately so that she doesn't cause any additional suffering to the victim's families. Tuva also has a rocky relationship with her mother, which makes her feel guilty even though her feelings are justified. Plus, she's smart, strong, and driven, which makes her an extremely interesting character to follow. She's also deaf and bisexual, and neither of these characteristics are the sole reasons for her presence in the book. It's nice to see some positive representation!In addition to Tuva, there's a cast of characters that range from fascinating to bizarre and suspicious. There's an eccentric ghost-writer, a man who is believed to have hoarding disorder, sisters who create trolls with a variety of items including some of their own hair, and a seemingly perfect couple hiding failing marriage. There's also Tuva's close friend Tammy, who is being submitted to racism at the hands of the people living in their rural town, and a cast of supportive to silently grumpy co-workers and acquaintances. Each of these characters and their circumstances are brought to life in a way that is easy to see them living their lives somewhere in reality.The murder mystery is well planned and had me glued to the pages. I found a handful of characters highly suspicious and zeroed in on a character that was not the murderer on the loose in the forest. The way that Dean develops the murder plot is gripping and had me wanting to continue reading even when I couldn't. The case is eerie and jarring but, unfortunately, the killer's motives lack depth. The big reveal is also a bit rushed and the story has an open ending that I wish had been tied up. I think the story could benefit from an additional chapter or two to wrap things up. Regardless, I enjoyed following Tuva through the twists and turns the story takes her through and find myself looking forward to reading more from Dean.
    more
  • Bandit
    January 1, 1970
    And now for some international reading...with a twist. Twist being that this prototypical Scandinavian mystery is in fact written by British transplant author, who moved to middle of nowhere Sweden not even that long ago according to his bio. Looks like he certainly got to know the lay of the land pretty well. This is nothing like the progressive liberal Scandinavian country with some challenging climate that generously gave the world Abba...this is near impenetrable hugely expansive sylvan nigh And now for some international reading...with a twist. Twist being that this prototypical Scandinavian mystery is in fact written by British transplant author, who moved to middle of nowhere Sweden not even that long ago according to his bio. Looks like he certainly got to know the lay of the land pretty well. This is nothing like the progressive liberal Scandinavian country with some challenging climate that generously gave the world Abba...this is near impenetrable hugely expansive sylvan nightmare, early dark, brutal weather and brutish locals that prize their guns and insular thinking enough to make any American proud. Is that just a small town mentality across the globe? Get far enough from civilization and prejudice strikes? Either way, this setting worked nicely for a murder mystery, several murders actually, that an intrepid young reporter sets off to solve. For a fiction debut this was very auspicious and Dean gets a lot of things right, there are enough suspicious characters around to make it challenging, the protagonist's deafness is used to maximum effect to highlight the isolation of her surroundings...on the flip side, I sort of had my suspicious about the killer's identity earlier than I would have liked and the novel might have done with some trimming, after all how many times can Tuva prowl the terrifying woods spying on the same few neighbors. What this is in the way is essentially a locked forest mystery, you have a narrow pool of suspects to pick from, although the author did a good job of muddying the waters just enough. Also, I thought the main character might have done with some more development, outside of her bisexuality and appalling diet, there isn't all that much. She's very driven, she gets her stories, but now I see this is billed as a book #1 (because of course no author can resists the serious series money), so maybe in the next installments, the future moody (pun intended) thrillers. Seems like the ever popular Scandinavian fiction really gets elevated by its Nordic exoticism, because an American equivalent of this one wouldn't have been as compelling somehow. Interesting. So anyway...nothing extraordinary, but well done for what it is, good for a winter day. Thanks Netgalley.
    more
  • Andy Weston
    January 1, 1970
    Having rejected adding this book at my tbr list for a while I changed my mind after a Guardian review from Alison Flood a week or so ago. I had originally thought that a British author writing Scandinavian crime was a bit too much like cashing in on recent trends, even though I believe Dean moved to live in Sweden in 2012. I should have trusted my instincts. I guess it’s aimed at the 25 - 35 age group who will probably appreciate it a lot more than me. 26 year old Tuva Moodyson writes for the lo Having rejected adding this book at my tbr list for a while I changed my mind after a Guardian review from Alison Flood a week or so ago. I had originally thought that a British author writing Scandinavian crime was a bit too much like cashing in on recent trends, even though I believe Dean moved to live in Sweden in 2012. I should have trusted my instincts. I guess it’s aimed at the 25 - 35 age group who will probably appreciate it a lot more than me. 26 year old Tuva Moodyson writes for the local newspaper in a rural Swedish town, having recently spent sometime working in London. She is covering a cold case of 3 unsolved murders as another occurs, with a similar style. She is deaf, which provides a different angle for a ‘detective’. However Dean doesn’t use her disability in the ways I thought he might. From an early stage when it is clear the batteries of Tuva’s hearing aids fail, I hoped this would not happen at the key moment with 10 pages to go... Other aspects of the story were predictable also, but it was the style of writing I really couldn’t get on with. I dislike unnecessary product placement in a novel also. When hungry, or For morning coffee with suspects, she went to Macdonalds. And I’m sure most potential readers would guess at which newspaper Tuva worked at during her year in London, indeed, it was the Guardian.
    more
  • Sandra
    January 1, 1970
    This is an engrossing read which had me reading for an hour or two at a time without stopping, something that is not a common occurrence for me at the moment.  I’ve not read a book where the main character is deaf so this was a new experience for me but it seemed to me to be handled rather well. The fact that the character is deaf was clearly an ongoing point in the book as the story is told from her point of view but equally it was not laboured or mentioned too often. The story revolves around This is an engrossing read which had me reading for an hour or two at a time without stopping, something that is not a common occurrence for me at the moment.  I’ve not read a book where the main character is deaf so this was a new experience for me but it seemed to me to be handled rather well. The fact that the character is deaf was clearly an ongoing point in the book as the story is told from her point of view but equally it was not laboured or mentioned too often. The story revolves around the death of one, and then a second, hunter in the woods during the Elk hunt. The murders are very similar to previous killings twenty years earlier which has the town on edge and accusations being aimed at one resident in particular.  The story being told from the perspective of a journalist rather than the police puts a different spin on it and allows us to see the investigation and the effects of the murders on the town from the perspective of a resident rather than an authority figure. The woods in which the murders take place are described in such a way that they sound like somewhere you really wouldn’t want to linger, never mind live in.  I was happily reading this book on my sofa, nice and cost and warm and the descriptions of the woods had me feeling uncomfortable and like I wanted to leave quickly and I wasn’t even there! For a first novel this is incredibly well written and plotted. The pace of the story is perfect, steady but not slow.  I really liked Tuva as well, especially the bits that made her normal like missing her laundry day or visiting McDonald’s because she really wanted their food. Things like this made her very realistic and easy to warm to.  I believe this is the first in a series featuring Tuva and I am very much looking forward to seeing what she does next. 
    more
  • David Stringer
    January 1, 1970
    This is a bit of a genre jump for me, a crime thriller, not one I read a lot of. And I'm glad I gave this a go, it was a really absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining read. And no, I didn't guess the killer. What initially got my attention, along with the interesting and atmospheric front cover, was the setting of this thriller set in a deep, dark and menacing forest from Sweden. Nordic thrillers are a bit of a trend at the moment I believe, with a few TV shows being set there recently, and the o This is a bit of a genre jump for me, a crime thriller, not one I read a lot of. And I'm glad I gave this a go, it was a really absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining read. And no, I didn't guess the killer. What initially got my attention, along with the interesting and atmospheric front cover, was the setting of this thriller set in a deep, dark and menacing forest from Sweden. Nordic thrillers are a bit of a trend at the moment I believe, with a few TV shows being set there recently, and the one's I've seen have been vaguely interesting. So what does this book offer? Does it match these shows.Yes. Yes it did. The main character, Tuva, isn't your standard reporter running around trying to solve the crime. No, and this is one of the aspects I enjoyed and enjoy in other books, is that the main character here is a little different. Tuva is deaf, with hearing aids that often play up. She's from the small town in Sweden, but has been and prefers to live in the big cities, definitely not a fan of nature and the big outdoors. She's a little fed up with her small town life eating rubbish food, writing about town fairs and looking after her ill mother. And then suddenly the story explodes, with Tuva trying to solve/report on an apparent return of a serial killer that once terrorised the town some twenty years ago, with once again bodies of hunters appearing with the same modus operandi. This is her big break. And what I'd like to add here, is that the huge selling point for this book, the main driver for me is the writing. The style. The author has done a great job. The scene setting, detail and the pace is perfect and you always know what the characters are thinking and feeling, the descriptions of the various environments makes you feel you are really there with some good suspenseful moments sprinkled throughout which had me rushing my reading or holding my breath. Ha ha, reading this review back to myself makes me realise how much I did get into this book.So yes, highly recommend crime thriller readers read this. If not for the story but the writing.
    more
  • Laura Purcell
    January 1, 1970
    Set in a small, claustrophobic town on the edge of the woods, Dark Pines skillfully builds tension throughout the narrative as a journalist hunts the Medusa murderer. In a refreshing twist, the killer's victims are all middle aged men. But that doesn't mean our heroine, Tuva Moodyson, is safe. As she delves deeper into her story, she encounters hostility from the town and strange, unsettling trolls keep appearing on her doorstep... This was an enjoyable book with a great heroine. Although Tuva r Set in a small, claustrophobic town on the edge of the woods, Dark Pines skillfully builds tension throughout the narrative as a journalist hunts the Medusa murderer. In a refreshing twist, the killer's victims are all middle aged men. But that doesn't mean our heroine, Tuva Moodyson, is safe. As she delves deeper into her story, she encounters hostility from the town and strange, unsettling trolls keep appearing on her doorstep... This was an enjoyable book with a great heroine. Although Tuva refuses to be held back by her fear of nature and her hearing disability, these touches made her feel more vulnerable and escalated the tension. The twists were spoiled for me somewhat because I guessed the murderer very early on, but it was still fun to watch it all unfold.
    more
  • Sam77
    January 1, 1970
    A well-done Scandinvian crime noir that could make a good script for a TV series, but ultimately lacking any unique point about it to distinguish it from many others in the genre.
  • Tripfiction
    January 1, 1970
    Dark thriller set deep in a forest - CENTRAL SWEDENDark Pines, already hotly tipped to be one of the books of 2018, is a very exciting, and very dark, thriller. Scandi Noir at its very best… and, perhaps surprisingly, written by a British author now living in Sweden. Will Dean is a great new talent.Gavrik is an isolated town on the edge of the 600 square kilometre Utgard Forest. Its local newspaper, Gavrik Posten, has a deaf reporter – Tuva Moodyson. She is sent out to cover the story of a body Dark thriller set deep in a forest - CENTRAL SWEDENDark Pines, already hotly tipped to be one of the books of 2018, is a very exciting, and very dark, thriller. Scandi Noir at its very best… and, perhaps surprisingly, written by a British author now living in Sweden. Will Dean is a great new talent.Gavrik is an isolated town on the edge of the 600 square kilometre Utgard Forest. Its local newspaper, Gavrik Posten, has a deaf reporter – Tuva Moodyson. She is sent out to cover the story of a body found with gunshot wounds in the Forest. Nothing especially odd about that – Gavrik is a hunting community and accidents happen. But this body had its eyes gouged out… and not by an elk. The crime is reminiscent of the Medusa murders in the same area twenty years earlier – when three hunters had been killed in the same way… shot though the torso and their eyes removed. Has the killer returned, or is a copy cat at work? Further murders take place amidst an increasingly febrile atmosphere in the town.Tuva is determined to capture the story that could make her career. But to do so she has to overcome both the hostility of some of Gavrik’s inhabitants – who fear the publicity could adversely impact their livelihoods – and her own fears and inhibitions. She ventures deep into the forest along a track with a scattering of houses. She interviews the inhabitants. And they are a pretty strange collection. She can imagine anyone of them committing both the current murders, and the Medusa crimes. From the ghost writer (who had, in fact, been interviewed by the police in connection with the original murders – and then changed his name), to the strange and somewhat scary taxi driver and his son, to the two sisters who spent their lives carving trolls, to the head of the local hunting association, and his wife, who live at the end of the track. A motley bunch, indeed. The book moves to an exciting, and somewhat frightening, conclusion – deep in the forest. Tuva confronts her fears and survives (just).Dark Pines is extraordinarily well written. Utgard Forest itself is a powerful and brooding character – full of dark corners and surprises (and super sized mosquitos!). Tuva’s deafness is very sensitively handled. Her daily battles with hearing aid batteries, and those who doubt her ability to do her job, are objectively reported. There are several sub plots that give texture to the overall story – from Tuva’s relationship with her ailing mother in a home in nearby Karlstad, to her friendship (latently sexual, or not) with Tammy – a Thai lady making a living selling fast food from a caravan in Gavrik, to the goings on at strip club / brothel on the outskirts of town close to a mill that used to be a major local employer.Dark Pines is the first in a series by Will Dean featuring Tuva Moodyson. I look forward very much to the second offering.
    more
  • Thebooktrail
    January 1, 1970
    Visit the locations in the bookInterview with the author - Interview with Will DeanI am a HUGE fan of Dark Pines. This book is everything 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 excite Visit the locations in the bookInterview with the author - Interview with Will DeanI am a HUGE fan of Dark Pines. This book is everything 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 chocolate…I hugged the book when I’d finished it.Highly recommended. Will Dean I need book two NOW!
    more
  • Leilah Skelton
    January 1, 1970
    The discovery of a body with all the hallmarks of the serial killer who struck the same area 20 years ago makes suspects of all kinds of people, and Tuva Moodyson, a local reporter itching at the constraints of the small, rural Swedish town to which she has found herself reluctantly bound, determines to get to the truth. Even, it seems, as the community quietly close ranks against her…I think I held my breath for the entire time that I was reading this. Will Dean steers this novel with great com The discovery of a body with all the hallmarks of the serial killer who struck the same area 20 years ago makes suspects of all kinds of people, and Tuva Moodyson, a local reporter itching at the constraints of the small, rural Swedish town to which she has found herself reluctantly bound, determines to get to the truth. Even, it seems, as the community quietly close ranks against her…I think I held my breath for the entire time that I was reading this. Will Dean steers this novel with great command, and the plot feels steady and measured. Make no mistake though – the chapters are moreish. I felt that I was walking faster into the threat at the heart of the story than my mind was managing to caution me against, and that is a deliciously unnerving reading experience. A heavy oppression comes from a rich cast of potential murderous psychopaths, and from the landscape itself. Those ‘Dark Pines’ are a threatening character in their own right, and like all of Garvik’s inhabitants - watchful, protective, concealing and often very, very eerie indeed. As the daughter of a deaf parent, I saw so many truths in this central character. Thank you, Will Dean, for portraying a disability as merely a difference that has its own benefits, too. (My mum also likes to ‘switch off the world’ at will.) Dark Pines is a first-rate read, and an astonishingly accomplished debut. Highly recommended reading.
    more
Write a review