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Non 1001 Book Review: Dark Pines by Will Dean

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Dark Pines by Will Dean
Published in: 2018
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★★]

This ARC was provided by One World Publications (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

BookWorm’s Thoughts: This is a fantastic first book in what I hope proves to be a long and fantastic series, book 2 is due to be published next year and I am super excited about this.

I would class this as a murder mystery story as opposed to a chiller/thriller and trust me that is no bad thing, however due to the nature of the story there is not much you can say in a review without giving away spoilers so you are just going to have to bear with me while I gush over all the things I loved about this book.

The first thing I love is Tuva Moodyson. Tuva is a young bisexual deaf woman working as a reporter, she has left the bright lights of London to return to Sweden to be close to her dying mother. Tuva is scared of nature but is facing her fears, she is at home with her deafness while also accepting that it sets her apart from other people, she is a single woman doing what she wants to do, she is a reporter who is actually interested in the truth and the people behind the headlines in short Tuva rocks. I love the way Tuva’s deafness is very much a part of her story from her vibrating pillow alarm clock (genius) to the way she must always be prepared for the battery running out in her hearing aid.

The second thing I love is the villagers. Each villager is distinct and unusual in their own way, ok most of them are eccentric and perhaps other readers might find this stretches credulity but me, I loved them.

Utgard forest. The forest is very much a character in this book not just a setting. It provides the murder scenes, it provides uncertainty and fear, it also provides nature in the form of mice, elks, mosquitos and ticks.

Please indulge me while I share this beautiful description on how wool makes Tuva feel:

“I reach back awkwardly and pull the red yarn out of my backpack. It feels like Mum before Dad died; like Mum before she gave up all her hobbies; her bridge and knitting and backing and birdwatching; before she quit her job as an optician, before she gave up on life, before she gave up on me. The soft wool, springy in my fingers, feels like the good years before everything changed. It feels safe.”

Who would enjoy this: Well you may guess from my review that I think everyone should read this but if I have to get specific I would say this is a book for those who like slower paced murder mysteries where character study is a big part of the story and where there is not too much blood and gore involved.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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