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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Man Who Died @antti_tuomainen @OrendaBooks

About The Man Who Died

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.

My review of The Man Who Died

I absolutely adored this book! It's dark, quirky and very funny, which is surprising given the fact that this is a book about a man who has just found out that he is dying. I love black humour and Scandinavia noir, so this really was the perfect book for me

The Man who Died focuses upon Jaakko Kaunismaa,  a 37 year old man who runs a mushroom company with his wife. I now know a lot about mushrooms thanks to this book. At the very beginning he is told quite bluntly by his doctor that he is dying, as he has been slowly subjected to toxins, which in turn have managed to cause damage to every organ in his body. What a brilliant way to begin a story. I was hooked. 

What you would assume to be a rather pessimistic and sad story about a man coming to terms with his own mortality, is instead turned into a  story of revenge and self discovery as Jaakko launches into a personal investigation to find out for himself who wants him dead. Along the way he also learns a lot about the people who work for him, including his wife.

This is a story about trust, loyalty and friendship, all told with delicious twists and lashings of black humour. It is refreshingly different. It's also worth noting that the translation is flowing, with no awkward phrasing. It was only the pronunciation of the characters names that I struggled with. I really did get a sense of what it was like to live in this sleepy Finnish village near the sea and the mushroom woods.

I really liked Jaakko, to me he was a sort of anti hero who I just couldn't help but love. A man who believes that he has lost everything, and so has nothing else to lose but to solve his final mystery. It's a fascinating concept, and one that makes an equally fascinating and brilliant story.   

The Man Who Died is an absolute treat of a book. From the stunning cover through to the final sentence. If you love a good old 'who done it', black humour and a thoroughly absorbing plot with interesting characters who you'll remember long after you close the book,  then you'll love this story.

With thanks to the publisher and Anne Cater for the paperback copy and the invitation to be part of the Blog Tour.

The Man Who Died was published by Orenda Books on 10 Oct. 2017. It can be found on Amazon here.

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.

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