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Sunday 2 January 2022

‘Bad Apples’ by Will Dean.

Published by Point Blank,
7 October 2021.
ISBN 978-1-78607-981-7 (HB)

Tuva Moodyson has recently been promoted to assistant editor of the Gavrik local newspaper, the Posten.  This gives her responsibility for covering the news in Visberg, a town on the steep road up from Gavrik.  Indeed, the reader first encounters Tuva as, guided by a woman’s cries, she discovers a headless body in the forest beside the road.

Tuva follows the progress of the investigation into this shocking death and does her own research into the life in Visberg.  It proves to be a close but divided community with a slightly uncomfortable atmosphere and lots of interesting, unusual and, indeed, downright creepy inhabitants.  It is also about to celebrate its own particular version of Halloween, to which strangers are not welcome.  So, naturally, Tuva infiltrates the event, only for things to get even odder and darker. 

The story is full of tension and apprehension, with moments of horror, moments which might make the reader want to hide behind the sofa, and a suitably unexpected ending.  But it also has a few moments of ordinary life, of friendship and love, and of dark humour.  Tuva, with her journalist’s inquisitiveness, her determination and her energy, is an attractive central character.  For those who have read the earlier books, the familiar characters are present and relationships continue to develop.  But knowledge of the previous books is a not necessary prerequisite to reading this one.

Will Dean creates small and unusual worlds filled with a wonderfully inventive variety of people and incidents and, and then invites the reader to walk in…. 

Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
Other books by this author:  The Tuva Moodyson series:  Dark Pines, Red Snow, Black River;  stand-alone novel:  The Last Thing to Burn

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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