One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?
Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.
Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?
If you enjoyed Dark Pines, the first novel in the Tuva Moodyson series, then you’ll enjoy Red Snow too. I would recommend reading the first novel before picking this one up though, not because Red Snow gives away information about the killer in the first novel so much but it’s more that you can see who is in the clear in this novel, so if you’d read in reverse that would be a shame to know already.
Red Snow was an enjoyable read and I was submersed in the icecold atmosphere of Gavrik quickly. Its claustrophobic feel was quite overwhelming again and even though I was attracted to all the peace and quite of the small town at first, I soon understood it wasn’t a fairytale to live here and I supported Tuva’s longing to move to a warmer region and a more bustling and energetic city. Not that there’s nothing happening in Toytown…
I loved reading about the lay-out of the town and I could see with my eyes closed Ronnie’s store, the police station, Tammy’s Thai foodtruck and the Posten where Tuva works. It was easy to feel as if I was there alongside Tuva, moving among these people, and I believe I even pulled my little blankie a little closer around me, as if the cold from the novel could almost touch me (-20 degrees sounds inhuman to me to live in day in day out). The author lives in the Swedish forest himself and there’s no way someone else could translate that experience as well as he does.
It was the setting and the descriptions instead of the mystery itself that stole the show for me really, because the mystery was wrapped up in a lot of family drama. The remaining Grimbergs were a weird and peculiar family and I didn’t feel much affinity with them as I quickly worked out that they were all about keeping up appearances. They held my interest but in the end this novel felt more as a family drama or a cosy mystery than the sort of chilling thriller I was expecting. There were different people (all connected to the liquorice factory) who raised some suspicion and the snow skulls added another level of creepiness but the investigation had little to build further on. I admit I like plotlines that feel more dangerous, with lots of tension throughout. It did deliver on that part in the end, which I liked therefore best, but it held out a bit long for my liking. If you have more patience than me and don’t mind a slow burner, or if you just love the winter and wouldn’t mind moving to a cold country, well then you most definitely must read this novel.
I received a free paperback of this novel from Oneworld Publishers. This is my honest opinion.