Today I have the pleasure of joining the blog tour for Antti Tuomainen’s new novel, The Man Who Died, as organised by Anne Cater from ‘Random Things Through My Letterbox’ on behalf of Orenda Books.
Title: The Man Who Died
Author: Antti Tuomainen
Publication Date: 10 October 2017
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.
The Man Who Died is an unusual story – Jaakko Kaunismaa is dying and he is convinced that someone has murdered him. He could sit around and wait for death to arrive, or he could spend his last few hours/days finding out who has set out to kill him. An intriguing premise and a gripping story!
The world takes on a different slant through the eyes of a dying man and, during his investigations, Jaakko finds that he now sees his friends and colleagues in a new light.
The book is a unique mix of Scandi Noir and black comedy (somewhat atypical of the Nordic Noir style thrillers that I have read previously) and personally I loved that element of dark humour running through the tale.
I liked Jaakko as a character. He is not a typical ‘hero’, however I admired his stoic nature and his determination to keep going. It was interesting to see how his relationships with the other characters changed throughout his investigations.
I enjoyed Tuomainen’s style of writing (assisted by David Hackston’s translation) and felt that the story had good pace to it. The subject matter is not a happy one and the tale could easily have taken a downbeat turn, however Tuomainen tells a great story of self-discovery, mortality and loyalty.
The Man Who Died is dark, quirky, unique and hugely enjoyable – a real page-turner.
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 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. The Mine, published in 2016, was an international bestseller. All of his books have been optioned for TV/film. With his piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and The Man Who Died sees him at his literary best.
Why not check out the other stops on the blog tour, details as listed below….