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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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I am so excited to welcome you to my stop on the #FinnishInvasion Blog Tour by Orenda Books and share my review of Kati Hiekkapelto’s The Exiled.

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Published: 19 August 2016
Reviewed: 13 November 2016

4 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by Orenda Books as part of blog tour

 

Description:

Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets. A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal?

Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes?

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit this is the first book that I have read by Kati Hiekkapelto, something I will definitely be remedying in the coming weeks as I fully intend to buy copies of the other books featuring Detective Anna Fekete.

The Exiled is actually the third book in the Detective Anna Fekete series, and thankfully this can be read without reading The Hummingbird or The Defenceless.  There are references to prior cases and colleagues but these are minimal so does not impact upon your enjoyment of the story.
The reader meets Anna upon her return to Serbia for a holiday.  She intends to spend time with family and friends but ends up involved in a robbery and a murder investigation.

Clever plotting and well constructed characters make this a great read, add in the use of native language and you have a wonderfully authentic offering from the Scani Noir genre.  The translation to English has been done so well that this reads as though it were originally written in English.
The vivid descriptions of both scenery and characters really bring them alive.  The easy flowing style of writing lends itself well to this story, the well woven threads of the plot ensure that the pace is good and slowly increases with the secrets that are waiting to be unearthed, drawing the reader in and making this a compulsive read.

As you would expect with Scani Noir, this is chilling, it’s clever and it looks behind the curtain at some very topical issues such as migrancy and refugees including detailing the social impacts and implications.  The writing of these subjects is done with transparency and a frankness that adds a chilling edge to the narrative but at the same time the author shows sensitivity to these subjects by using characters as voices of reason and conscience.

An fantastic read that I cannot thank Karen at Orenda Books for introducing me to, and I am eagerly looking forward to the next Anna Fekete book.

You can buy a copy of The Exiled here


About the Author:

kh3674

Kati Hiekkapelto was born in 1970 in Oulu, Finland.  She wrote her first stories at the age of two and recorded them on cassette tapes.  Kati has studied Fine Arts in Liminka Art School and Special Education at the University of Jyväskylä.  The subject of her final thesis/dissertation was racist bullying in Finnish schools.  She went to work on as a special-needs teacher for immigrant children.  Today Kti is an international crime writer, punk singer and performance artist.  Her books, The Hummingbird and The Defenceless have been translated into 16 languages and were both shortlisted for the Petrona Award in the UK.  The Defenceless won Best Finnish Crime Novel of the Year, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Glass Key.  She lives and writes in her 200-year-ols farmhouse in Hailuoto, an island in the Gulf of Bothnia, North Finland.  In her free time she rehearses with her band, runs, hunts, picks berries and mushrooms and gardens.  During long, dark winter months she chops wood to head her house, shovels snow and skis.

For more information on Kati’s books, go to her website http://www.katihiekkapelto.com/ or follow her on Twitter @HiekkapeltoKati


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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