Delighted to be involved in another jam-packed blog tour courtesy of the lovely Orenda Books! Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the tour, and a huge thank you to Orenda for the ARC. I am so excited to share my review with you all today. Enjoy!
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, markinng a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.
What does TWG think?
I’ll be honest, I had absolutely no idea about this novel to begin with, yet there was part of me which couldn’t help thinking that I wouldn’t like it. I don’t know whether that was because the cover is so different to what usually catches my eye, or whether I was just apprehensive about starting a novel quite a distance out of my comfort zone.
However, after reading a mere couple of pages, I could not put the book down. There was just something so addictive about a man and his mushrooms, that I felt as though the author had put a spell on me with his severe level of intrigue. Daft maybe? Quite possibly!
I genuinely have never read a book like this before. Straight away I was confronted by a situation which seemed severely outlandish yet in the same vein – highly addictive. Jaakko is dying due to a high level of toxins in his body. Toxins which have appeared in his bloodstream rather steadily over a certain amount of time. The thing is, Jaakko has absolutely no idea how those toxins got there, nor does he know whether it was deliberate or a cruel twist of fate. Whilst that makes perfect sense overall, I couldn’t help but think ‘what on Earth?’ as I speedily changed the pages in the book.
Look, picking up a book about a man and his mushrooms isn’t usually high on my list. BUT, I think Antti Tuomainen may have just changed my mind on that. The entire storyline was exceptionally written. So many clever and thought out situations in amongst rather funny and bonkers moments, meant that my intrigue level was at its maximum and that I wouldn’t be stopping reading it for anyone.
Many parts of this book were rather gorey, yet in a weird way it added even more character to an already brilliant novel. Usually I would turn my head away or read those vivid details through my fingers, but this time I got stuck in as I didn’t want to miss a single thing about this storyline.
Going from thinking I wouldn’t like the book to absolutely loving it, is an extreme change of mind I’m not going to lie. However, the author deserves to be applauded for being able to change my mind in a matter of pages.
‘The Man Who Died’ is a witty, thrilling, intense, and highly addictive read which left me feeling extremely excited about whatever the author may bring out next. I absolutely loved this book. It made me laugh, it kept me guessing and not only that, it kept me on the edge of my seat in anticipation – waiting for the next highly suspenseful event to take place.
A brand new author for me and a brand new style of book, but I can honestly say that Antti Tuomainen now has a fan for life in TWG. Remarkable.
(The Man Who Died was written by Antti Tuomainen and translated by David Hackston)