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Five books set in the woods

  • Submitted: 30th April 2019

The scariest woods in fiction #BookTrailLiterarySettings

When you’re a crime writer, the woods are a place of extreme interest. There’s scope to get lost, get trapped, or kidnapped……plus there’s plenty of room to bury the bodies afterwards.  Scary places indeed. However there are a bunch of writers who have taken this frightening location perhaps further than most and made the woods even scarier.

If you go down to the Woods today … you’re sure of a VERY big surprise or two…that’s if you get out alive….

Five books set in the woods


Wentshire Forest  – Cheshire

The Changeling – Matt Wesolowski

Roadsides are scary in the woods. You drive along in the day time and they’re dark. Those shadows from the trees make shadows dance on the road, those spindly black shadows dancing along the road above you as you drive…… Then there’s the noise of the trees, that sound of scratching…branches tapping at your window…

Add Matt Wesolowski to the mix and you have a car breakdown on the roadside and the sound of strange tapping. Tap, tap, tap coming from somewhere…and where’s the little boy who was sitting on the back seat? Just as well the Wentshire Forest is fictional….

Five books set in the woods

Antti and Matt
Will and MJ

The New Forest, Southern England

Down to the Woods – M J  Arlidge

You won’t want to go to the woods with Mr Arlidge after reading this! Go with him via this book however and you’re in for a great time crime fiction wise. This wood is a very real and beautiful place in real life but in the hands of Mr Arlidge……it’s the darkest and scariest place on earth. A couple go camping but it ends in gory murder. If you think another forest might be nice, that a game of Hide and Seek would be fun, there’s another shock in store for you! There’s no teddy bears having picnics in these woods!


Five books set in the woods

The Swedish forest in Gavrik

Will Dean  – Dark Pines and Red Snow

Gavrik might be fictional, but the author knows Swedish woods well since he lives in one! He often tweets about life in a rural wooden home deep in the Swedish forest, where the moose wander by and eat your crops…..There’s something much more dangerous in his novels though – someone is out for murder! It’s a great place to build fear. The woods are dark, the communities rural, there’s been snow on the ground so far (muffles the sounds of a predator and indeed screams) and the gentle aroma of the local liquorice factory in his latest novel.

Add a main protagonist who’s deaf and so who is hyper alert to her surroundings, and you have an even darker, creepier forest to explore…

Five books set in the woods

Antti and Matt
Will and MJ

Finland’s Forests…

Antti Tuomainen’s The Man Who Died

You know when in the woods, you should be careful of eating the plants and berries. Take a care for the mushrooms after reading The Man Who Died, as the clue is in the title.

Antti normally sets his novels in around Helsinki but wanted to revisit the woods and rural town of his youth. Then add darkness and murder…

Antti wanted to explore the often darker and more rural kind of crime. Revisiting a place where you were happy as a child goes to the darkest edges of your imagination….

Five books set in the woods

Antti and Matt
Will and MJ


Take care in the woods and never mind the mushrooms, darkness, silence and remoteness of it all, turns out it’s the crime authors you have to be scared of 😉


For more forest walks Books set in forests, Books set in the woods here


And don’t forget the other tours around Literary settings: #BookTrailLiterarySettings

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