Author: Will Dean
Publisher: Point Blank
Dark Pines is the first Tuva Moodyson book and I’m very happy to know that it won’t be the last. In Dark Pines, Will Dean has crafted an excellent dark and compelling thriller. The books oozes with atmosphere; I swear that at times I could actually smell the woods and feel those pesky mosquito bites *scratches*. Tuva herself is an extremely likeable character; a big city journalist who is forced from her dream job to return to the small town of Gavrik in the arse-end of Sweden to be nearer to her sick mother. There is something that marks Tuva out from your average, run-of-the-mill journalistic characters though; she’s deaf. Tuva can read lips extremely well, but for her day-to-day living she wears hearing aids. This is a great vehicle for some pretty suspenseful moments as her batteries run out or she has to remove them due to interference from something or other. This isn’t just some gimmick though; Tuva’s hearing loss is an integral and important part of her overall character; the book sensitively highlighting the difficulties that such a condition can incur and how capably she can overcome them.
The town of Gavrik, where Tuva lives, is situated within some very dense and expansive forest. Within this live an assortment of people (some of which we get to know over the course of the novel and I’m sure we’ll meet again in future books); some strange, some not so strange, and some downright odd (the two sisters and their trolls spring to mind). Of course living in such close proximity to the forest means one also gets to meet the accompanying wildlife, often up close and pretty personal (see my above comment about the mosquitos!). Tuva is not only struggling to re-adapt to life in a small town, but she also hates pretty much all forms of wildlife; something that’s bloody hard to avoid in and around Gavrik. Tuva unfortunately lost her father to a collision with an elk/moose when she young and the trauma of this has left its mark on her feelings towards the forest wildlife.
I’m really looking forward to reading more of Tuva’s adventures, and to revisit the other residents of Gavrik, in the future. Will is currently slaving away on the next in the series, Red Snow (working title?), due in 2019 (sodding ages away ;D)
Highly recommended. 5/5