In the first of the Burrowhead Mysteries, an atmospheric murder investigation unearths the brutal history of a village where no one is innocent. When psychotherapist Alexis Cosse is found murdered in the playground of the sleepy northern village of Burrowhead, the local police force of Georgie, Trish and Simon investigate. Leads take them from Alexiss recent clients to local bullies, exposing a maelstrom of racism, misogyny, abuse and homophobia that has been simmering beneath the surface of the village. Shaken by the revelations and beginning to doubt her relationship with her husband Fred, Georgie starts to realise something bad is lurking under the soil in Burrowhead, while someone (or something) equally threatening is hiding in the strange and haunted cave beneath the cliffs.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I hadn’t read the authors previous books so had no idea what to expect. Almost straight away I was impressed by the description of the local area. The old superstitions, the poverty, unemployment. A town that still had a police station because it had been forgotten about. This town almost had a character of its own, it is that well described. I spent a lot of time when reading it trying to work out where it could be. I failed at placing it, but I imagine there are many communities like Burrowhead in the UK.
The police team are the main characters. I feel that I will get to appreciate them more as I get to know them. I did discover quite a lot about Georgie, the senior officer, but the one I liked most was Trish. I liked her devotion to Uncle Walt and her willingness to help Andy. A tough childhood but she didn’t let it beat her.
For me, the investigation wasn’t the main focus in the novel. Instead it was the different characters, their lives and how they dealt with living in a community that wasn’t always welcoming and the legends and superstitions that became increasingly fascinating.
An intriguing read by an author who I will read again.
The time has come again to face an impossible task of narrowing the 117 books I have read into a top ten list. As always it was difficult to do but I have managed and I will list them in no particular order. Apart from my favourite book of the year which I will reveal at the end. You can see my review for each book by clicking on the title.
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?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. My plan to read Dark Pines before reading this sequel didn’t work out but I had no problems reading this as a standalone. There are references to a previous case but no spoilers and I had no problem with not knowing any characters. I also avoided reading the synopsis. All I knew about the series was what I had seen on social media and what I learned from attending an event that featured the author last year.
I have to mention the climate. Temperatures as low as -22 are not something I can imagine. The impact that the weather conditions and the short days had on people’s lives. That people and animals can freeze to death. It gave me plenty to think about when I was outside shivering at zero degrees.
The characters, especially Tuva, all stand out as being original. Tuva is one who has made her way on to my favourite heroine list. She is funny, warm, rum loving and full of guilt over what she never said to her mother when she had the chance. I enjoyed reading about her deafness, the downside to her hearing aids, her frustration at other peoples obsession with them and her ability to lip read was a technique she used to her advantage. She isn’t the only character I liked. There was also the Grimberg family, especially Cici, and the wood cutting sisters.
Unusually for me, I didn’t try and solve the murder as I read. I just concentrated on the characters, the weather and the humour. I have never seen characters so visually described before. Pissy Knickers, Cheekbones and Facelift are just a handful of them.
I will be reading Dark Pines soon but I really hope that there will be book three.