I’m buzzing to be a part of this latest #Orenda Blog Tour. I’m new to Antti’s work, although I have heard him talk at a number of book festivals and he has always intrigued me, so a huge massive thank you to Orenda Books and Anne over at randomthingsthroughmyletterbox for inviting me to be a part of this tour, for what looks to be an extremely intriguing read from “The King of Helsinki Noir” I’m also sharing today’s spot on the tour with the lovely Kate over at thequietknitterer so be sure to check out her review!
What the blurb says:
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 roller coaster 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.
The stark opening of The Man Who Died just slaps you right in the face as Jaakko Kaunismma’s doctor delivers his death sentence and as a reader, I felt that blow as hard as the character himself. It kind of left me shaken and a little unnerved as it becomes clear that this is no natural death sentence but rather someone has been slowly poisoning Jaakko, he is currently being murdered!
Feeling somewhat dazed Jaakko returns home to try to start putting together the pieces of the jigsaw to work out who wants him dead. He doesn’t get quite the welcome from his wife at home that he was expecting and he quickly leaves the house feeling quite perturbed.
What follows next is a quirky, dark but humorous journey as Jaakko strives to find out just who has set out to end his life. The list of suspects grows as he identifies possible motivations for getting rid of him. Everyone is a suspect and Jaakko becomes the chief investigator into his own impending murder and we follow his trail as he seeks to question and uncover the actions and motivations of those around him.
There is a clarity about Jaakko as he faces a ticking time bomb almost as though something deeply buried within him has woken from a deep sleep following his diagnosis. The narrative paints a much clearer picture of the world around him and as a result, I got a real feeling of reading the book “in colour”. “The Man Who Died” made me ponder life and death and provided me with the gallows humour that makes me smile.
Antti writes as he delivers in events, with a pan faced yet darkly comic air about him. There is something almost melodic in the narrative and I read it with Antti’s voice in my head. “The Man Who Died” is different from any other book I have read, it is a crime thriller but very much with an underlying hint of black comedy with the exploration of murder, betrayal and lust being treated in a satirical manner which makes it all the more disturbing to read.
Mushrooms, mayhem and murder combine to provide a classic “who-dunnit” read. It will make you laugh, ponder and possibly cry at times. Don’t miss it!
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.
“The Man Who Died” is available to purchase from 10th Oct 2017
Check out the reviews on the other stops on the blog tour too!