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Dark Pines

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,066 ratings  ·  257 reviews
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
Paperback, Trade, 328 pages
Published January 4th 2018 by OneWorld Publications Point Blank
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Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Liz Barnsley
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn into the story from the first page on. It started with speed and tension which were kept up for most of the time. Although I guessed who the culprit was early on (unlike me), I still wanted to read on and find out how the story developed. Quite a debut!
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical-arcs
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 ...more
Rachel Hall
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
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
Gumble's Yard
Part of the 2018 Guardian Not The Booker shortlist for which I am delighted to have been picked as a judge.

This book, together with another Guardian Not The Booker choice - Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin - was one of Val McDermid’s 2018 New Blood picks at the annual Harrogate Crime Writing Festival: a previous pick being Belinda Bauer whose Snap was picked by the Booker judges (including McDermid – a tireless champion of crime fiction and of new crime writer
Lucy Banks
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Abby (Crime by the Book)
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here:

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!
Victor *we were on a break!*
This is a difficult review to leave because I was looking forward to reading this for a long time and when I started, I found things that bothered me from, what seemed like, the get-go. By the 22nd page I think I had read at least three times that electronics that were almost dead and had to be recharged.

Yes this bothered me.

If you're a regular bloke with a regular job, I get it. If you're a reporter, your phone, Ipad and camera are so crucial to doing your job that they should always be charg
Joanne Robertson
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All reviews can be found on

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
Lucy Langford
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it

Dark, Gritty and Atmospheric!

The heroine of this book, Tuva Moodyson, a young deaf woman, is the local reporter in a very small Swedish town called Gavrik. She usually reports on local news, run-of-the-mill stories derived from rumour and council minutes. However, when a dead body appears, with the eyes missing, in Utgard forest, not far from Gavrik, Tuva has the chance to write a story that will change and further her career. The frightening thing about this murder is that it resembles t
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
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 b
Tracy Fenton
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
EXCRUCIATINGLY boring - Could Not Finish. I refuse to give it any stars. If anyone wants my reasons - I can elaborate.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Debut mystery novel by a non-writer. The story was okay. I didn't find it particularly dark. It did have some interesting characters.

I had a huge issue with the author's writing style and his choice of words. His writing seemed inconsistent throughout. At times, I had the feeling he was rushing through scenes instead of taking the time to flesh them out better. He also clearly does a poor job writing female characters, even if LGBTQ. The female protagonist's narrative just reads as though it is
Laura Rash
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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! 🌲🌲🌲
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Doesn’t that description just scream intrigue?! I love Nordic Noir, something about the cold and brooding setting just makes these books utterly divine and I was thrilled to get the chance to read an early copy of Dark Pines by Will Dean to experience Sweden in such a suffocatingly frightening way.

From the very outset let me just say that I LOVED this book! I started reading it whilst the little one went swimming with my husband and was almost shocked when they reappeared to announce it was time
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Andy Weston
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Helen (TBC)
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbc, netgalley
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 -
Louise Beech
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Set in an isolated Swedish town, Dark Pines is a haunting, atmospheric, and beautiful book that I could taste and smell as well as phyiscally see. And what a protagonist Tuva Moodyson is; a deaf woman, out of her depth, away from her home, grieving one parent and struggling with guilt over another, and having to report on the most gruesome murders you can imagine. This was everything I look for in a crime novel, and I can't wait for the next Tuva report.
Claire Douglas
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, gripping read! Beautifully written, atmospheric and really scary in parts. Highly recommended.
Rowena Hoseason
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
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
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Dark Pines

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Interview with the author - Interview with Will Dean

I 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
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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