January 4

Dark Pines – Will Dean

An isolated Swedish town.

A deaf reporter terrified of nature.

A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest.

A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.

It’s week one of the Swedish elk hunt and the sound of gunfire is everywhere. When Tuva Moodyson investigates the story that could make her career she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take the eyes? Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.

 

My thanks to Margot at One World Publications for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.

 

I have been looking forward to sharing my review of Dark Pines, when I read I book which I absolutely adored I want to share my review immediately!

Dark Pines is an atmospheric murder tale which takes the readers to a remote Swedish town and sees much of the action taking place in the dark, claustrophobic woods. The lead character, Tuva Moodyson, is a reporter working at the small local paper but the murder deep in the woods (during hunting season) may give her the opportunity to report on one of the biggest stories the region has ever seen.

Tuva is a terrific character and I loved reading her story. Her deafness is depicted really well by Will Dean, it is an issue she deals with and ensures other characters adapt to her requirements. She has a strong personality and tenacious attitude and this serves her well as her reporting of the deaths in the woods will become problematic for the residents of her home town.

The murder story is chilling too.  Twenty years prior to events in Dark Pines a killer stalked the woods, removing the eyes of their victims. The killer became known as “Medusa” but was never caught and, without explanation, the murders ceased. Spinning forward to present day the latest murder is causing the townsfolk significant concern – when it become apparent that the victim has had his eyes removed their concern intensifies.

Dark Pines is a storming read. One of those books which can wholly consume your attention and pull you entirely into the story.  A five star review for a book which I will be recommending to everyone.

 

Dark Pines is published by Point Blank and can be ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Pines-Tuva-Moodyson-Mystery/dp/1786073854/ref=la_B0759QS537_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515062614&sr=1-1

 

 

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August 17

Block 46 – Johana Gustawsson – Audio

Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French truecrime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

 

Another from my unexpected (but very enjoyable) Audiobook Season – today I get to rave about Block 46.

First the audiobook experience.  Very positive!  The narration duties are split for Block 46 – the majority of the book is delivered by Patricia Rodriguez with the “historical” elements (which I shall come to shortly) picked up by Mark Meadows. The two voices work wonderfully – both actors are to be commended for bringing the story to life around me.

Block 46 is a modern day murder mystery but it holds a link to 1944 and a concentration camp in Germany (the aforementioned Historical element of the tale). In London Alexis Castells attends the launch of a new jewellery collection designed by her friend Linnea Blix – despite the importance of the night Linnea does not appear. Alexis travels to Sweden where Linnea would often stay “on retreat” but as she arrives in snowy Falkenberg Linnea’s body is found.

While Alexis gets swept up in the investigation into Linnea’s murder – kept in the loop through a friendship with criminal profiler Emily Roy – the reader gets to slip back in time where we encounter Erich Hebner.  A German national in a German concentration camp.  Erich is doing what he can to survive but when Johana Gustawsson begins to outline some of the terrors which Erich, and the other prisoners, endure each day it becomes impossible to see how he will escape from this Hell.

Narrative swings to present day, the murder investigation reveals some unexpected connections to London. Then we are back in wartime Germany and Erich’s story moves on…he has been granted a rare opportunity to contribute to the German “war effort” but how will he feel about helping when he learns he is going to Block 46. Nobody every comes out of Block 46 alive.

I cannot praise this book enough – at times harrowing but always compelling. It threw up the classic reading dilemma – so good I want to reach the end to find out what happened. But I don’t want to reach the end as I was enjoying it so much.

 

Block 46 is published by Orenda Books and is available in paperback, digital and audiobook.  You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Block-Roy-Castells-Johana-Gustawsson/dp/1910633704/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502917618&sr=1-1

 

 

Category: 5* Reviews, Audiobook, From The Bookshelf | Comments Off on Block 46 – Johana Gustawsson – Audio