The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen – Blog Tour Review.

51C9HEF2VhL

About the Book

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 Review

The Man Who Died is a dark, extremely funny novel about the murder of Jaakko. He has not yet died but he knows that his death is imminent and that somebody else is responsible for it. You might think that this book would be depressing but it’s not. Not even Jaakko is depressed, he just wants to find out who wants him dead, eat ice cream and chocolate and drink cola. Without having to worry about weight gain. There was no self-pity, at times he found his situation comical. Even the parts that should have been hurtful, embarrassing or annoying were just accepted.
There were parts of this novel where I couldn’t talk for laughing. It reminded me of a Coen Brothers movie I watched years ago when I had the same reaction. Once I had that image, I started to see this book as a film. I even picked the cast, strangely the lead actor is mentioned later in the book.
As with many reviews, it is easy to reveal too much in a review. There are only a few characters and many bizarre situations that made me think I knew who the murderer was, only to find out that I had been duped. After a while, I gave up trying to work out who had murdered Jaakko and just enjoyed every bit of it.
It is at times slapstick, but original and I could visualize everything as I was reading, unfortunately it could be a while before I eat mushroom soup again.
It will probably be a long time before I read a novel as funny as this

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

IMG_0789

The Mine by Antti Tuomainen Blog Tour Review.

51wrt4qfkul

About the Book

A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. Can he uncover the truth before it’s too late? 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 Review

I have read a few Nordic novels this year and this one is slightly different to the rest. It’s not a detective novel but tells the story of a journalist who is trying to uncover the truth about a mine in the Northern Finland. His account is portrayed alongside that of an assassin who is on a killing spree. Both stories are connected but it is not clear at first how and why.
The me, the investigation into the mine wasn’t as captivating as Janne’s personal life. It was like he pressed the self -destruct button. How his own childhood, not having his father present was influencing his own role as a father. He knows that he was risking his own family life by following the story but he couldn’t stop himself, getting the story of his life and the fame that went with it, or doing a job that he will hate but having the family life he craved.
The assassin’s story was chilling, the level of violence was sharp when inserted into a story that was mainly quiet. It’s a novel where all the characters are believable even if some were not particularly likeable. The isolation and loneliness that the characters experienced were all very convincing. Remote villages, completely cut off from the cities. Some scenes were quite cold, not just because of the weather with its eye watering amounts of snow but also attitudes with the need to keep the truth about the mine quiet. The ending was a little unexpected, but after digesting it for a few days I think it worked very well.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

img_0556