Dark Pines, Will Dean
en
Will Dean

Dark Pines

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Selected for ITV's Zoe Ball Book Club and shortlisted for the Guardian's Not the Booker prize
A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year
‘Will Dean’s atmospheric crime thriller marks him out as a talent to watch. Dark Pines is stylish, compelling and as chilling as a Swedish winter.’ Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle

‘Atmospheric, creepy and tense. Loved the Twin Peaks vibe. Loved Tuva. More please!’ C.J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man For fans of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects and Peter Høeg’s Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, a brand new debut crime writer introduces a Scandi-noir Tuva Moodyson Mystery

SEE NO EVIL

Eyes missing, two bodies lie deep in the forest near a remote Swedish town.

HEAR NO EVIL

Tuva Moodyson, a deaf reporter on a small-time local paper, is looking for the story that could make her career.

SPEAK NO EVIL

A web of secrets. And an unsolved murder from twenty years ago.

Can Tuva outwit the killer before she becomes the final victim? She'd like to think so. But first she must face her demons and venture far into the deep, dark woods if she wants to stand any chance of getting the hell out of small-time Gavrik.
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It's as if a 15 year old D student of English decided to write a book.
It's amazing to think that so many authors struggle to get published when this book is out there on shelves. I was going to just not write a review for this, because I know we're all just trying to get through life and I don't want to be mean to anyone just for the sake of it... But sometimes I think everyone is a bit too kind, because frankly this author would be better off doing something else with his life.
This book sucks. I read it aloud with my wife and we only continued because at first we thought it would get better and then later because we'd already sunk so much time into it. I blame myself for not quietly reading a few chapters first.
I'll try to go through the problems systematically.
1. The prose is terrible. The same sentence structure is used over and over again, e.g. "I do this. I do that. I do this and it works. I do this and it feels good." There's never any "With my hands in my pockets, now feeling better, I do this." it's always, "I do this, and my hands in my pockets and I'm feeling better." That's another thing. The author uses "and". A LOT. "The house is clad in weathboard and there's a chimney and steam is rising from the chimney and just looking at it makes me feel warm and I want to go inside and eat some of the food." - If this sounds like an exaggeration, it's really not.
2. Everything except anything important is described in minute, mindnumbing detail. Do you want to become an expert in changing hearing-aid batteries? Because this book describes that exact action about 12 times and it takes about four sentences every time. Also, turning them on and off. Or as it would be written in this book, "Turning my hearing aids off and then turning them back on again by flicking the little switch and then hearing the manufacturer's chime and I know I'm safe."
3. Nothing important is described in any detail at all. At times we go for whole chapters without being reminded of what's actually at stake. There is no sense of impending danger at all, because there is no craft in the description of the crimes.
4. Our main character is the only one causing any danger, by continually going into the forest herself (which is described tree by tree, every single time). She goes there about 12 times but every time she does, she freaks out and leaves again, normally without having discovered anything. Needless trips to the forest, needless description of everything, and an incessant use of the word "and" when a comma would do. I mean, if I didn't know any better, I'd say the author was trying to meet a word count.
5. No pattern of clues or slow revealing of mystery. This is how most crime authors would meet a word count. There'd be clues that uncovered more mystery but also more clues. There'd be things we're all trying to work out. There'd be questions which seemed like they were answered but then turned out not to be. But oh no, there's no time for that here because we have descriptions of Thai food filling our protgraginist's belly as well as descriptions of some of the racist customers who frequent the Thai food place, because you know... everyone in Sweden is racist.
6. Our protaginist is a dislikeable know-it-all. With no evidence or even decent suspicions, she is frequently busting into people's private dwellings in order to take photos... so that she can solve the murders? No, of course not. She tells us herself, because she needs this story. She needs this story so that she can escape this God-forsaken little town and her dying mother. What a stand-up gal. Oh and she frequently disobeys direct instructions from the police. I mean of course she turns out to be 'right', but she would have looked like a right twat if she hadn't have been, and all she really does is puts herself in harm's way.
7. This is sort of more of problem 6, but our character is dislikeable in still another way. She's a preacher. Apparently it's not nice to compliment a deaf person on their speaking skills. Even if it's meant to be a compliment, "it's just f***ing not" she says (actual quote) and shame on you, reader, for thinking anything else. You are the bad guy here. You because you're not deaf, you're not bisexual, your best friend isn't Thai, you're not half Sami and you may not be female.
She belongs to too many minorities to be a bad person, even if does have no journalistic integrity whatsoever and wants to abandon her dying mother. Does the Sami thing come into the story at all? No. It's just mentioned once and then forgotten like every other would-be interesting point of this story.

Save yourself the time and read basically any other real Swedish book (by an actual Swede). Literally any other one would do.

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