Tried to combine the Hallowe’en, forest and pumpkin themes running through the book with a literal evil apple… so yes, that’s permanent marker badly applied to a fruit, with a mini Christmas tree.
I’ve not read any Will Dean before, so this Tuva novel is my introduction to his work. I can only say wow, and start looking for the first Tuva in the series! It seems the Swedish winter (Dean himself lives in the forest so the descriptions of sights and smells are amazing) is hugely conducive to a dark and chilly crime thriller.
Having the focus of the story on a journalist rather than the usual hard-boiled detective is a refreshing angle. Tuva Moodyson is a little brittle, often acerbic and funny, usually grumpy, and very tenacious. She has great instincts. She’s also deaf, and her life with hearing aids is a wonderfully personal element to the character.
The people in the two towns the book focuses on are drawn beautifully; many are deeply creepy or haughty and awful. Or indeed both! This is definitely a book to read on a dark frosty evening, well wrapped up, with a big mug of comforting hot chocolate, preferably with a pet on your lap, and the lights on. And the doors and windows locked.
You certainly won’t look at self storage in the same way again.