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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

‘Red Snow’ by Will Dean

 Published by Point Blank,
3 October 2019. 

ISBN 978-1-78607-617-5 (PB)

It’s February, the icy depths of the winter in the small, strange, Swedish town of Gavrik and journalist Tuva Moodyson, is looking forward to heading south.  People will be pleased to see her go – they haven’t forgiven her for drawing attention to the town by her earlier reporting of some local murders.  However, before she leaves she still has some work to do – she has been hired to research the Grimberg liquorice factory (which, with the mill, provides most of the employment in the town) and the ‘discreet’ family who own it and live on the premises. 

Tuva finds the Senior Janitor of the factory huddled in his broken-down vehicle and gives him a lift into town and, as she drops him by the factory, she notices people looking up at one of the large factory chimneys and then, shockingly, sees a man jump from it.  She researches and investigates – she is fascinated by the family, but the more she finds out about them the more she is in danger.

Will Dean captures the freezing darkness of the place – both in terms of the weather and in terms of the atmosphere.  Small details fill in the outlines of the town – the haberdashery shop, the gun shop, the cop shop, everywhere covered in snow likened to correction fluid.  It, together with its surroundings and the ever-present cold, are characters in their own right and add to the overall unsettling atmosphere.  Tuva herself is a strong character, vulnerable, persistent, brave, and she leads the reader through the dark paths of the story.  The other human characters provide great support, with their individual quirks and twitches.  This is a well-written book with a gripping plot and a selection of interesting characters, which make it easy for the reader to feel they are experiencing the chill, both actual and psychological.
Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood

Also, by this author:  Dark Pines 

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying Law at LSE, and working many varied jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.  Dark Pines was his first novel.

Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.

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