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** My thanks to Karen Sullivan for my copy of this book and to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

Sex, lies and ill-fitting swimwear … Sun Protection Factor 100

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.
With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives – chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.

My Thoughts & Review:

Antti Tuomainen has a wonderful sense of humour that he deftly weaves throughout his writing, and so readers are in for a real treat with Palm Beach, Finland.  His unique brand of dark humour is perfectly matched to a superbly plotted narrative and some impressive characterisation, culminating in one of the most impressive reads that will leave you desperate for more!

Jan Nyman is an undercover police officer tasked with some of the most difficult and often taxing operations facing the National Central Police.  His current case, investigating a mysterious death at a peculiar holiday resort billed as Finland’s answer to the Floridan town.
The madcap cast of characters makes this a delight to read, and strangely enough it’s the less wholesome characters that appealed most to me.  Robin, Chico and Holma all have something in common, their actions are the result of circumstance.  Holma in particular is on a mission to get answers and has no qualms about using deception, force or sheer bloody violence to get what he wants.

As with Tuomainen’s other books, the descriptions of settings are magnificent and give the reader the feeling of being transported to the shores of Finland.  The frigid air of the holiday village setting leeches from the pages and leaves you feeling suitably chilled, the plot on the other hand will unnerve you and have you devouring the book to find out what happens.

The writing is clever, it’s electrifying and utterly brilliant.  This is an author you want to watch out for, each of his books is a joy to read and usually renders me speechless at the level of inventiveness woven throughout the plots.

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The Man Who Died new front (1)

** My thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for my copy of this wonderful book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists. With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.

My Thoughts & Review:

Having read The Mine by Antti Tuomainen last year and thoroughly loved it, I was ecstatic to discover that he’d been writing The Man Who Died, it sounded so incredibly intriguing and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy (and pre-ordered it from Amazon as soon as the link was available!).

The poisoning idea behind the plot of this book was tantalisingly clever and ensured my attention was grabbed from the outset.  Who would want to poison our protagonist Jakko, what toxins had he been exposed to and just how was this done?  Would he discover who was behind it all in time?  These were just some of the things running through my head when I started reading this book, and I soon started trying to guess the who, the what and the why.  As usual there are no spoilers here and I will avoid speaking about the plot too much because I hate spoilers.

Jakko Kaunismaa is a character I took a liking to quickly, his dark sense of humour appealed to me, his list making struck a chord with me and he really came alive through the wonderful writing in this book.  I felt that the more I read about him, the more invested I became.  His paranoia and the spectrum of emotions he went through seemed so real and believable, and I think this in turn made him quite a relatable character as well as very interesting.  His determination to get to the bottom of the mystery behind who had poisoned him leads him to discoveries about those around him that he would never have previously imagined.
Masterfully Tuomainen merrily leads the reader down some wonderfully mysterious paths, littered with red herrings and clever misdirection that whilst clears up some mysteries, it leaves others devilishly cryptic.  The dark humour that is interwoven throughout just makes this a delight to read and hard to forget.

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 which will have readers gripped, it is a book that stands out as being brilliantly different from the norm and is a fantastic example of why Tuomainen is the King of Helsinki Noir!

You can buy a copy of The Man Who Died via:

Orenda eBookstore
Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

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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.

The Mine AW.indd

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Orenda Books as part of blog tour

Description:

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:

antii-tuomainen

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.

For more information on Antti’s books go to his website http://anttituomainen.com/ or follow him on Twitter @antti_tuomainen


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.

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