Black River by Will Dean #bookreview blog tour @willrdean @annecater @PointBlankCrime

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the latest novel in the Tuva Moodyson series by Will Dean, Black River as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Black River by [Dean, Will]



Tuva’s been living clean in southern Sweden for four months when she receives horrifying news. Her best friend Tammy Yamnim has gone missing.


Racing back to Gavrik at the height of Midsommar, Tuva fears for Tammy’s life. Who has taken her, and why? And who is sabotaging the small-town search efforts?


Surrounded by dark pine forest, the sinister residents of Snake River are suspicious of outsiders. Unfortunately, they also hold all the answers. On the shortest night of the year, Tuva must fight to save her friend. The only question is who will be there to save Tuva?


I think at the end of the last book in this series Tuva Moodyson had thought she’d seen the last of her hometown of Gavrik. I remember feeling pleased that she was seeing the back of the town after some of the reception she’d received there. It certainly seemed as though she wasn’t everyone’s favourite person, particularly after the stories she’d covered. However, in Black River, Tuva is pulled back, when her best friend, Tammy, goes missing, and she galvanises the search for her. But to Tuva it seems she is the only person taking an interest in Tammy’s disappearance; only when another young woman goes missing, a local Swedish girl does the town sit up and take notice. Once again, Tuva finds herself at the centre of something strange going on, and she is determined to find her friend, no matter the danger this might put herself in.

As with his previous books, Will Dean has again managed to create a gloomy atmosphere around the town of Gavrik, set on the edge of the domineering Utgard forest, warning the reader that things are not at all well. The gloomy atmosphere is still the case even though Tuva’s friend has gone missing in the height of summer as the traditional midsummer celebrations begin to take place. But Tuva’s main concern is finding her friend and certainly not on the celebrations.  Utgard forest is also a character in its own right, and Will Dean explores its dark and gloomy depths in each of his three books. You got the sense that it is Tuva against nature when she has to venture close by or inside the forest. Will Dean manages to make the forest come to life, especially with the elk and the insects with a ravenous hunger for human skin.

What Will Dean portrays really well is Tuva’s strong friendship with her friend Tammy. When it seems that no one else has noticed, or isn’t willing to look for her, Tuva is determined to make sure that they do. This increases the pace as Tuva begins to hunt for clues frantically on her own. It seems as though she feels that she is the best person to find her friend. The police don’t seem to be following any strong leads, and it seems that they having to rely on the local searches, hoping to find something.

One of Will’s strong points in his writing is creating an air of mystery and he does this very well in some of his characters. There are some quirky and mysterious residents of Gavrik that he explores again here, I still haven’t forgotten about the wood chopping sisters from the first book in the series. I could feel my suspicions growing as Will introduces these people, and it kept me reading as I wondered when I was going to find out more about them and if they had any connection the case. And talk about creepy as well, especially with the snakes. When Tuva found herself in a predicament, in one scene, in particular, it made me feel very claustrophobic as I was reading.

I would say that this book is more of a slow-burner, but this is what makes it work so well. It’s how Will Dean draws you into the town, and into the minds of the people that inhabit it that make it instantly compelling and readable. This is a series that keeps going from strength to strength, and I can’t wait to see where Will Dean takes us next.

Publisher: Point Blank

Publication date: 12th February 2020 (kindle) 12th March 2020 (hardcover)

Print length: 384 pages

Black River is available to buy:

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

Previous reviews

Dark Pines

Red Snow


Black River BT Poster

February First Monday Crime @1stMondayCrime

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see the back of January, once Christmas is done and dusted I start thinking of long, warm summer nights. And after a short break it also means that for crime fiction fans, a regular night of murder and mayhem is back.

First Monday Crime is all set to return to City University, London on Monday, 4th February 2019. As ever there promises to be an exciting panel of some very talented writers. The panel is being moderated by Barry Forshaw. So let’s take a look at who will be appearing next month, I’ll also have all the details where you can reserve your FREE seat below.

Will Dean, author of Dark Pines and Red Snow 

Red Snow (A Tuva Moodyson Mystery Book 2) by [Dean, Will]

Dark Pines and Red Snow follow reporter, Tuva Moodyson, during the depths of the Swedish winter as she attempts to solve some startling cases. Tuva is an absolutely fantastic character, Will Dean is a seriously talented writer, especially when it comes to description and atmosphere. You can read my reviews of Dark Pines by clicking HERE and Red Snow by clicking HERE.

Christopher Fowler, author of The Lonely Hour

Bryant & May - The Lonely Hour: (Bryant & May Book 17) by [Fowler, Christopher]

I’m afraid Christopher Fowler is the only author appearing on next month’s panel who I haven’t read before so I’m really interested to hear him talk about his books. The Lonely Hour is the seventeenth book in the Bryant & May series which is being released in March this year.

Gytha Lodge, author of She Lies In Wait

She Lies in Wait by [Lodge, Gytha]

Gytha Lodge’s debut crime novel is sure to be a hit when it is released this year. Thirty years after the disappearance of a teenager, her body is uncovered and the investigation into her disappearance and murder is reopened. Someone among the group of friends she was with at the time she went missing, knows what happened to her. You can read my review of She Lies In Wait by clicking HERE.

Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party

The Hunting Party: Get ready for the most gripping, hotly-anticipated crime thriller of 2019 by [Foley, Lucy]

The Hunting Party is Lucy Foley’s first crime novel. A group of Londoner’s travel to the Scottish Highlands to see in 2019. This is an atmospheric and a very well written psychological thriller in which dark secrets are unearthed as the group of friends tear each other apart, when one of them is murdered. You can read my review of The Hunting Party by clicking HERE.


So that is the panel for February. The closet tube stations to City University are Farringdon and Angel, the doors open at 6.30 p.m. and afterwards we’ll all be heading to the Blacksmith and Toffeemaker for a drink.

If you would like to come along to First Monday Crime, you can reserve your space by clicking HERE.


Red Snow by Will Dean blog tour #bookreview @willrdean @PtBlankBks



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?


Will Dean is a seriously talented writer, especially when it comes to atmosphere and description. Once I started reading Red Snow, I became completely wrapped up in the story and in the setting that is so brilliantly described. If you enjoyed Dark Pines, you are going to love this.

I only read the first book in this series towards the end of last year, and I was so excited that I could dive into the next one straight away.

After the events in the first book in the series, Tuva is facing strong animosity from the locals of Gavrik; some haven’t forgiven her for writing on the Medusa murders and putting Gavrik in the spotlight, and they are quite happy to see that she is leaving to go south. But with two weeks before her departure, she asks to help ghost writer, David Holmqvist research his next book on the liquorice factory, one of the town’s main sources of income. But trouble seems to have a habit of finding Tuva in this book, and she finds herself investigating a families murky past, with danger always just around the corner.

Will Dean is quite inventive when it comes to the nature of some of the deaths in both of these books, particularly the way in which the bodies are found. I think the next time we have snow, I’m going to be picturing snow skulls inside my head, they were so, so creepy. We also see the return of the wood carving sisters, who I am getting more and more curious about and I would really like to learn more about their history.

The family at the centre of this book, who Tuva is researching, are very mysterious and fascinating, and again there is a level of creepiness about them when Will Dean takes us into their home and explores their hobbies and especially some of the things that they collect. I wanted to know more about them and why strange things were suddenly starting to happen in their factory, especially since Tuva has arrived on the scene.

There is a dark undertone that runs right the way through this story which always keeps you thinking, about the places that Tuva visits and the people she encounters. Once again Will Dean has created an absolutely chilling read took me right into the depth of a Swedish winter as I was reading. During the time I was reading this, I sometimes expected to look up and see snow lying on the ground outside. I’m certainly interested to see how Will Dean will develop this series further.

Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to the publisher for sending me an advance review copy.

Publisher: Point Blank

Publication date: 10th January 2019

Print length: 400 pages

If you would like to purchase Red Snow you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones


FINAL Red Snow Blog Tour Poster

Dark Pines by Will Dean #bookreview @willrdean @PtBlankBks

Dark Pines: 'Stylish, compelling and as chilling as a Swedish winter.’ - Fiona Cummins by [Dean, Will]



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


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


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.


Deep within a Swedish forest, the body of a huntsman is discovered with his eyes gouged out, and deaf reporter Tuva Moodyson sets out to track down a killer. But is the death linked to a very disturbing series of murders that took place in the 1990s and how can Tuva uncover the truth when the people of the town don’t want her to report it?

Tuva is such an excellent character. After the discovery of the body in the woods, she sets out to investigate the locals, and she speaks to some unsettling people who are very different, but who all live near to each other. Tuva is hoping to get her big break in her career as she is desperate to join one of the nationals in London and she thinks that this case may just be her lucky break.

I loved the sense of menace which gets darker and darker as the novel progresses, making you think that Tuva is getting closer and closer to danger as she starts to unravel the truth. I became quickly immersed in Will’s brilliant writing which is so atmospheric and brilliantly written. I really liked the way he describes the forest and the weather. This is the perfect book to read on a cold winter’s evening, while wrapped up warm of course.

The characters who Tuva speaks to are so intriguing, and they all made me feel just that little bit uncomfortable; particularly the wood carving sisters, who make their living by carving creepy trolls, and the ghostwriter. I was thinking this especially when he was trying to interview Tuva. My own thoughts as to who the killer was were thwarted in the final chapters.

The forest does create an impending sense of doom, very much so when we think about the murders that are taking place there and the ones that took place decades earlier. Every time that Tuva was alone in these woods I was fearful for her, thinking that something was going to happen, or that someone was going to leap out of the trees brandishing a rifle. The forest is a character in its own right, and Will Dean draws on the gloominess and darkness so, so well.

Dark Pines is a chilling first novel from Will Dean. I’m very excited to see where he will take Tuva next. You really don’t want to miss this book.

Publisher: One World Publications

Publication date: 7th December 2017

Print length: 336 pages

If you would like to purchase Dark Pines, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK Waterstones Kobo