Apologies for the late post, but day two of the blog tour is here and I am delighted to be sharing my review of Antti Tuomainen’s new novel, ‘Palm Beach, Finland’. Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and the ARC. Here is my review:
Sex, lies and ill-fitting swimwear … Sun Protection Factor 100
Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary.
With a nod to Fargo, and dark noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives – chasing their fantasies regardless of reason.
What does TWG think?
Seeing as Antti Tuomainen’s previous novel, ‘The Man Who Died’, found itself in my ‘Top Books of 2017’ list, I had high hopes for his latest novel, ‘Palm Beach, Finland’.
So, the burning question is; did it live up to my expectations?
Short answer: yessssssss, I think.
Long answer: I have no idea what to make of this book! I can’t put my finger on what made it for me, but it did live up to my expectations in its own unique and brilliant way. Just like the authors previous book, I found myself wondering ‘whaaaaa?’ many times throughout the story, yet I ended up becoming even more intrigued the more of the book I read. Now, I am still unsure as to whether that is intrigue as in the ‘dun dun dunnnn’ sense, or whether it was because of how utterly bonkers (in a good way) it was.
The setting was described beautifully, which was a massive thumbs up for me as I have never been to Finland, and the storyline contained multiple criminals and a lot of criminal activity. That said, it wasn’t done in a taxing manner, nor did it scare the flamingos out of me either – it was just a perfect balance of people getting above their station, along with multiple characters who didn’t know their backsides from their elbows, making me giggle along the way.
Even though this book is written with the truth at the start, I was excited about connecting the dots to said event, wondering which character fell into the path along the way and why. The to-ing and fro-ing between the characters was very cleverly written, as was entire vibe of the novel.
Like I said before, I really don’t know what to make of this book, but rest assured, it isn’t anything negative. I adore Tuomainen’s unique writing style which combines criminal activity with comedic activity, a combination I never knew was possible until I read this author. I may always find myself thinking ‘what the heck?!’ every time I read his novels, but I promise you it is definitely thought with a smile on my face as I sped through the pages not wanting this book to end.
About the author.
Finnish 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. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of
Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards.