#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2021
My day twenty #bookvent selection is part of a series which, I think any avid reader would agree, has some of the most memorable characters and murders in modern crime fiction. Our hero is a journalist, her ‘patch’ … Well it certainly borders on the bizarre and with possibly more trees than residents, it makes for one hell of a creepy setting. This particular story is as chilling and unusual as they come, the sense of threat high, the tempo pitch perfect. We’re used to the idea of bobbing for apples at Halloween, but this year the fruit is rotten to the core. Keep out of the shadows. My day twenty pick is …
Bad Apples by Will Dean
It only takes one…
A resident of small-town Visberg is found decapitated
A grim celebration in a cultish hilltop community after the apple harvest
A race against time
As Visberg closes ranks to keep its deadly secrets, there could not be a worse time for Tuva Moodyson to arrive as deputy editor of the local newspaper. Powerful forces are at play and no one dares speak out. But Tuva senses the story of her career, unaware that perhaps she is the story…
Throughout this series of books, Will Dean has catered to all the phobias, bugs, snakes, enclosed spaces … He doesn’t disappoint this time either. And I’m not talking about a fear of apples. This time Tuva is back in the town of Gavrik with a new job title at the paper and a new, extended, territory to cover. If you thought some of the communities that she has already locked (elk) horns with have been strange, prepare to be stunned yet again by the town of Visberg. A very closeted, very close community, where the traditions are strange and the residents … well, stranger still. As always the story opens in memorable style, the discovery of a body in a dark and atmospheric wood (yes – Tuva has form for this) and the beginning of an investigation which will be as troubling and unusual as any that Tuva has ever known. There are an abundance of suspects, an array of possible motives, but a darkness at the heart of the town that everyone seems reluctant to discuss. Loved it. I loved that Will Dean brings the strange and the wondrous to life in his stories. They create no end of intrigue, tension and intensity to the story. I always come to these books ready to expect the unexpected and I am never disappointed. This time, whilst we are treated the old familiars of the troll carving sisters, as well as Tuva’s colleagues at the Posten, best friend Tammy and lover, Noora, we also have wide range of unusual characters, larger than life but completely believable, that kept me invested and yet completely apprehensive. There really was no telling which of these highly suspicious locals could be the guilty party. It is almost as though quirkiness is the secret to survival in the more remote parts of Tuva’s world.
Then there is the setting. Visberg is a very strange town and we join the residents at a very strange time. Right on the cusp of Halloween, you’d think that this would be spooky enough. That’s until you factor in ‘Pan Night’ a pre Halloween tradition that puts trick or treaters to shame. Will Dean is the King of creating unusual situations, of developing scenarios that seem to border on the occult without ever quite stepping over the line, and this is no exception. Definitely not what I was expecting and a bit of an eye opener for Tuva too. This book is full of mystery, suspense, atmosphere and tension – everything we’ve come to know and love about the series. Creepy, intense – the books keep going from strength to strength and as much as I like snakes, I do think this is one of my favourites to date. Newly developed phobias aside, this is a must read series.
You can read my full review of Bad Apples right here.
Happy #bookvent reading all