Total Scandi vibes, a cracking plot and a hugely likeable heroine: the dream.
Gavrik, in which residents ski to the supermarket, is a brilliantly weird creation - it seems at times to owe a debt to Twin Peaks, and yet Dean writes with such authority and sympathy for his wacky characters that one starts to believe that he is simply setting down a faithful record based on close observation of his Swedish neighbours.... Dean couldn't have a finer talent for ingenious metaphorical description of snowy landscapes if he were an Inuit. His feeling for place is matched by the quality of his characterisations, and his book is blessed with one of those wonderful multi-layered plots in which a dozen mysteries large and small are finally connected at the end with a craftsman's skill. This is just what crime fiction readers want: the old magic formula, made to seem fresh
While these resilient women are front and centre for Tuva, who feels strangely drawn to them, what she finds out doesn’t feel all that joined up. Lots of little suspicions, but little overall intrigue as far as the murder and suicide are concerned. In contrast to the first novel, you rarely feel she’s in much personal danger until the very end. Will Dean’s prose is great, he knows rural Sweden inside out and evokes a superb sense of place and a creepy atmosphere in Red Snow. Tuva Moodyson remains a gem. This book is definitely worth reading if you enjoy Scandinavian crime fiction, and with its deep and complex family drama it may well interest fans of Donna Tartt. However, the story only congeals like blood on snow in the very last stages of the book. It’s a top-notch ending, but the build-up is too long and winding.