I am very excited to welcome you to my stop on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour by Orenda Books and share my review of Antti Tuomainen’s The Mine.
4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Orenda Books as part of blog tour
A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. A mine spewing toxic secrets that threated to poison them all…
In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.
A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir.
My Thoughts & Review:
This is a book that I might not have discovered had it not been for the wonderful Karen at Orenda Books, I am a big fan of Scandi Noir and she knows I have a soft spot for a good conspiracy story!
The Mine has a wonderfully crafted plot that begins with an investigation into illegal mining in Finland by journalist Janne Vuori, and intriguingly it all comes about via an anonymous tip off. Uncovering corruption is a huge incentive for Janne, it would be a boost for his career, but he has to decide if it is worth the strain on his personal life and those he loves.
Working in tandem with this fantastic plot is some of the most wonderful writing I have been lucky enough to read. Tuomainen writes with such immensely vivid detail that the reader can almost feel the cold biting winds that hit Janne as he opens the car door, can visualise the the scenery in all it’s snowy wonders and really feel like they are there seeing/experiencing it all.
The characters in this are so engaging and well created. They draw the reader in with their turmoil and struggles, Janne is a man who is proud of his job and is dedicated to it, but he is also dedicated to his wife and their child. The struggles he faces at being a good journalist or being a better father and provider are captivating reading. His wife is frustrated at the time he invests in his career and reminds him that his own father put work before his family – which gives an insight into the troubled relationship between Janne and his father.
At the heart of the plot is the corruption angle and the environmental impacts of the mine, but the idea of covering up the truth and corruption also flows into the characters, the relationship between Janne and his wife suffers from consequences of the toxicity of mistakes. The almost secret life of Janne’s father recounted throughout the story also plays on the idea of the truth being hidden.
The translation to English by David Hackston has been done so incredibly well, none of Tuomainen’s subtleties have been lost and this reads very comfortably as if it had originally been written in English.
An excellent thriller with all the earmarks of Scandi Noir, gripping, elegant and looks to the bigger issues that play an important role in society – in this case the environmental disasters surrounding the mine and the corruption in covering it up.
You can buy a copy of The Mine here.
About the Author:
Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labeled The Healer – the story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a post-apocalyptic Helsinki – ‘unputdownable’. Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen “The king of Helsinki Noir” when Dark as my Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula.
Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour for reviews and guest posts by both Kati Hiekkapelto and Annti Tuomainen.