Red Snow – Will Dean

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected?
And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?
Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes.
The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.
Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Regular readers might recall that I loved Will Dean’s first book, Dark Pines, the first book I read in 2018. I said at the time that it was splendid Noir, beautifully written and unsettling. Will Dean had come up with a brilliant character in Tuva Moodyson, and I said that I’d love to see her again.

So here we are in 2019, and Red Snow was one of the first books I read this year. Welcome back Tuva Moodyson. It’s great to see you again.

Tuva is coming to the end of her time in the little town of Gavrik when she witnesses the suicide of one of the Grimberg family, owners of the liquorice factory which provides employment for most of the town. Except not everything is quite as it seems. Another body turns up in fairly short order, could it be the work of the mysterious Ferryman?

Dark Pines was firmly rooted in the creepy Utgard forest, with its host of slightly odd inhabitants. Red Snow takes place in and around the equally odd Grimberg Liquorice factory, which looms over the town and is as much a character in this tale as any of the human residents of Gavrik. The residents of the forest community might not like outsiders, but that’s nothing compared to the reclusive, highly superstitious Grimbergs.

Will Dean proved that he has a real knack for character in the first book, and he’s on fine form here. It’s great to see Tuva back again, torn between her move down south to (slightly) warmer climes and her investigations in the Ferryman murders. It feels bittersweet in a way – she’s looking forward to getting out the small town, but having to say goodbye to friends plays heavily on her and the pressures of that coupled with creeping sense of dread from the murders mean that the cracks start to show.

I loved this book. Tuva is a wonderfully complex, interesting and flawed young woman dealing with an awful lot of things in this book. I’m hoping that her move south will give her at least a little rest, but I’m sure Will has some devious plans for her in book 3, which can’t come soon enough.

Highly recommended.

Red Snow by Will Dean is published by Point Blank in January 2019. You can find Will on twitter @willrdean. Many thanks to Anne Cater and Point Blank for inviting me onto the blog tour.

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

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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