#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2017
My third and final #bookvent post for today, and my final #bookvent selection for this year, is a book I have wanted to read since I read a teaser chapter following Crime Fest back in May. I knew this was going to be good, but I hadn’t realised quite how good. If you had told me a year ago that a book about mushroom farming was going to have such an impact on me, that it would have me chuckling from start to finish and powering my way through in a single evening, I’d have thought you a little on the wrong side of odd. But that is esactly what happened. My third day 24 #bookvent pick is …
The Man Who Died
by Antti Tuomainen
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.
Oh man. First up – that cover. Isn’t it fantastic? Massive well done to Orenda for pulling that one out of the bag as it is just perfect. But that is not why I love this book. As striking as the cover is, it is what lies between it that really captured my imagination, and my heart, as I read about Jakko and his mushroom business. I can’t tell you too much about the book other than what the blurb says. Jakko has been poisoned and the book is the story of his quest to find out who has tried to kill him. Is it is wife, hife business rivals, or some unknown assailant? Or has he just got unlucky? It’s not unknown for a person to eat what they think are harmless mushrooms only to realise their very grave error far too late. As an expert you’d like to think not but hey … This book though … The humour in it is often subtle, definitely dry, and yet so absolutely perfect that it had me grinning from ear to ear and chuckling so often even the cat gave up lying on me and went and sat on the washing machine instead … I can’t tell you what was funny, that would spoil the read for the uninitiated. I can’t even tell you quite why it appealed to me as in basic terms I have read more outrageous scenes many times without the same impact. I think perhaps this was just a perfect storm – brilliant writing, perfectly pitched dark humour alongside the occasionally slapstick element, and a character who, while not necessarily perfect, became strangely endearing and a little loveable too. And a hedgehog. The book not only has mushrooms – love mushrooms – it has a hedgehog! And as anyone who has been to an Orenda Roadshow this year will attest, there is just something about hearing Antti Tuomainen read out the title of the book which will make you smile. Totally understated and yet so undeniably funny. And I can’t say why. It just is. Fact! I’m smiling now just remembering it.
Loved this book.
You can read my full review of The Man Who Died right here and purchase a copy of the book (which I suggest you get right onto) from the following links:
Happy #bookvent reading all