Bad Apples by Will Dean
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|Bad Apples by Will Dean|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The fourth book in the Tuva Moodyson series is a stand-alone but has all the Will Dean hallmarks of tight plotting and a stunning ending. Highly recommended but - be warned - you're almost certainly going to go back and read the three earlier books in the serries.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352/10h13m||Date: October 2021|
|Publisher: Point Blank|
|External links: Author's website|
Tuva Moodyson was driving up a foggy hillside towards Visberg when she discovered an Audi 4x4 parked at the side of the road. Wondering if someone needed help she got out of the car - and heard the screams from deep inside the forest. Determining the direction of a sound isn't easy when you need hearing aids and dampness is causing interference but Tuva made her way to where a woman was holding her coat over the body of a man. He'd been decapitated. He was Arne Gustav Persson, a resident of Visberg.
The more you find out about small-town Visberg, the more you wonder if it's the town itself that's evil. It's the preserve of the Edlunds, who are flush with money and power. They - along with just about every other resident of the town - will go to any lengths to hide its deadly secrets. On Pan Night, which follows the apple harvest, the town is effectively closed off (this year it's an accident near the bus shelter but there's a similar ruse every year) and the rowdiness and debauchery, hidden behind masks, is allowed to continue unchecked. Tuva Moodyson, who's now deputy editor of the local newspaper, snook into the town and senses that the story of her career is around her.
I've heard great things about the Tuva Moodyson series but I'm always reluctant to join an established series, particularly as a reviewer. It doesn't seem entirely fair to either the author or potential readers but then Bad Apples arrived on my desk and it's described as a stand-alone treat and I succumbed to temptation. So, does it read well as a stand-alone?
Yes, it does. I knew no more about the series than I'd read in Bookbag's reviews. I knew that Moodyson is deaf and that's she's gay. I'd gathered that she was a talented investigative journalist. When you start to read the book, you'll wonder if you're going to have to cope with a cast of thousands rampaging around the story, but Will Dean brings them into order very quickly and you'll have them clear in your mind. Some will be known to readers of the earlier books in the series but most are new. Thankfully, there are no spoilers for earlier books other than that some people are obviously alive and kicking when they might not have been. Every character comes off the page and settles down into your mind.
The plot is excellent with great pace and a real feeling of menace on occasions. I didn't catch on to who was responsible for the crimes which have been committed but - even after that has been revealed - there's an ending that will take your breath away. It's a cliffhanger that is going to force me to read the next book in the series. Usually, I object to this tactic but this time, I was strangely unconcerned and just hoped that it wouldn't be too long in coming. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then we think that you'll also enjoy The Return by Hakan Nesser.
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