So excited to be able to share with you my review for The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen. I really enjoyed this book and thoroughly recommend it. The Man who died is out now in ebook and paperback and available here.
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.
When reading a book about a man who is dying from poisoning, the last thing you expect is for the story to be funny. However that is the thing that stood out the most in this book. The story is laced with dark humor the whole way through and had me laughing out loud at numerous occasions. The main Character’s actions, thoughts and observations are so bizarre, over the top and astute that it’s hard not to find them hilarious. This helps lighten some otherwise intense situations throughout the book.
I really like the main character Jaakko. I found him to be a very relatable guy who you can’t help feeling sorry for, whilst simultaneously routing for him to get the answers that he wants and hope that he has a happier outcome then expected. His reaction to his diagnosis is quite a brave one as is his determination to solve his own murder and get some answers. It’s fair to say he is not a natural detective and his attempts to find out the truth and to manipulate situations to his advantage are very funny. You can’t help feeling slightly affectionate towards him when things don’t go according to plan for him. He also decides to try and sabotage the competition which leads to some funny situations as he finds himself in some dodgy situations.
The book includes some beautiful descriptions of Finland’s natural beauty. I felt i could really picture the scenery in my mind’s eye and would love to visit there at some point. There is also some information about the mushroom industry which was interesting to read about as i hadn’t thought much about what was involved.
Despite the humor there is a lot of action and tension in the book as Jaakko attempts to find out the truth about his poisoning and the tricky situations he finds himself in whilst trying to sabotage the competition. There are a lot of twists and turn that keep the reader guessing and wanting to keep reading to find out what is happening.
This isn’t Antti tuomainen’s first book but it is the first one I’ve read, though it definitely won’t be my last. If you like unusual thrillers with some dark humor you will enjoy this book.
Huge thanks to Karen at Orenda Books and Anne Cater for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About The Author:
Finnish author Antti Tuomainen 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 labelled 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.
Follow The Blog Tour:
If you liked the sound of the book from my review, do follow the blog tour and see what these other fabulous reviewers are saying.