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Bad Apples: 'The stand out in a truly outstanding series.’ Chris Whitaker: 4 Hardcover – 1 February 2022
A resident of small-town Visberg is found decapitated
A cultish hilltop community 'celebrates' Pan Night 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.
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‘Just finished Will Dean's Bad Apples. A delicious return to Tuva.’-- Ann Cleeves
‘Fiendish, funny, scary as hell. Bad Apples is the stand out in a truly outstanding series.’-- Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End
‘Bad Apples is a chilling outing for Tuva Moodyson – unsettling from beginning to the very end, but leavened with dark humour. A compelling thriller that devoted fans and new readers will adore.’-- Jane Casey, author of the Maeve Kerrigan series
‘Finished Bad Apples by Will Dean and all I can say is…there aren’t words. Talk about DARK.’-- Blue Book Balloon blog
‘Swedish reporter Tuva Moodyson, who wears hearing aids, takes to the hills where the isolated and inbred town of Visberg can be found at the end of a long and winding road.’-- The Times
- Publisher : Oneworld (1 February 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 178607981X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1786079817
- Dimensions : 14.6 x 3 x 22.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 452,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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I’ve been a fan of the Tuva Moodyson series since the start and snapped up the book as soon as I could press “request” on Netgalley (thank you so much for granting me my wish!). Tuva, a journalist in a small remote Swedish town, stumbles once again into disaster when she comes across a decapitated corpse in the creepy forest surrounding the town. Even though it’s hard to believe, things go even further downhill from here. I love the way Dean’s mind works, and how he manages to create sinister scenes out of seemingly harmless everyday situations. For example, the image of the child biting into a rotten apple (mind the book’s title) was so creepy I am still thinking about it, and this was nothing compared to Dean’s other creations: the sinister trolls carved by the two creepy sisters, the balloons made out of animal intestines, the stuffed animals with dental work, a forest teeming with slugs and poisonous mushrooms etc etc. Dean writes in a way that brings all these nightmarish images to life like a dark creepy movie, and I loved every minute of it!
Dean has run with the Halloween topic and made it firmly his own. Though Halloween is celebrated by the children in Gavrik, the small neighbouring hilltown of Visberg has their own dark tradition: Pan Night. It makes Halloween a candyland paradise in comparison, because the happenings on Pan Night, to which only locals are invited, are very sinister indeed. And of course Tuva, who can never resist putting herself in danger, manages a sneak peak that will almost be her undoing.
Tuva is one of my favourite characters in crime fiction. Even though she is one tough cookie, Dean also manages to paint her vulnerable side: the grief for her deceased parents, her addictions, her deafness, her struggles with her sexuality. I was happy to see that she has not only made some great friends in Gavrik, but has also found love with Noora, grounding her somewhat. Being a journalist rather than a detective, Tuva leads us into the murder investigation from a completely different angle, which makes this series extra special to me.
All in all, BAD APPLES is another deliciously dark instalment in Will Dean’s Tuva Moodyson series, and maybe his creepiest yet? And even though he ending was wayyyyy out there, I loved the reel of dark and spooky images the book created in my mind. Coming out just in time for Halloween it’s the perfect spooky read to get into the spirit of the season – if you haven’t discovered this series yet, what are you waiting for?
Top reviews from other countries
Characterisation is as strong as ever. I was delighted to see the troll making sisters Cornelia and Alice feature so prominently. Plenty of faces from the series to date are here and, of course, some newbies.
Tuva herself is growing in confidence as a reporter and has become more hard nosed and cynical. Crucially though, she remains effortlessly likeable and a very welcome protagonist to spend time with.
With plenty of red herrings and green apples, this is the best of the bunch.
At the end of Black River, Lena manages to persuade Tuva to stay in Gavrik by offering her a deputy editor role and giving her a new town to report on - Visberg. It's fair to say that the residents of Gavrik look totally sane compared to those in Visberg. Dean introduces some wonderful new characters but my favourites, the troll sisters, are still there.
I don't want to tell you too much about the plot as I think it's best to experience this book by reading it yourself. It went places that I was not expecting. And the ending? I'm giving nothing away there except there had better be a book five.
I love that Will Dean brings the strange and the wonderous to life in his stories. Whilst I imagine that the odd characters and strange traditions that he brings to life would probably send the Swedish tourist board into a whirl, 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. Be it over exuberant characters such as the 'Sheriff' who made me smile, the more reticent who just me a little nervous, or those of money who automatically made me suspicious, I was completely hooked on the community and completely drawn into their world.
And 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. Honestly, if I was Tuva, I'd have been considering a complete change of career, not accepting an even wider and weirder territory, but where would the fun be for readers in that scenario? 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. And that ending? Well - it's certainly left me completely hungry for the next instalment. It needs to come reeeaaally soon.
Creepy, intense. A top, top read.
‘by numbers’… perhaps a bit formulaic. The ending is beyond barmy. There are many literals in the text and a botched reference to Medicine Man (rather than the thriller Marathon Man, which is heavily referenced in the text). There’s a slightly flat feel to the closing sections and some loose ends. The last scene is predictable … Tuva fans will broadly enjoy Bad Apples - it’s as readable as ever - but Dark Pines remains the strongest in the series. Dean’s recent stand-alone novel The Last Thing To Burn is excellent, and he has another stand-alone called First Born in the pipeline. I think that’s where his future should lie - though there are definitely more adventures ahead for Tuva.