#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2018
This post marks the start of my final day of #bookvent posts where you will get not one, not even two, but four books over the next few hours. These are the books which I absolutely adored, so much so I could barely pick between them. I am going to go out on a limb though this year and publicly declare a book of the year … but not quite yet. My first day twenty-four #bookvent choice is one which manages to blend almost slapstick humour with a dark storyline and great characters, in the most unlikely of settings. It is the book which has led to me getting a reputation as a flamingo whisperer, and the reason why Orenda Towers looks like a flamingo took up breading over there. I adored this author’s last book, and this book has the same kind of vibe. It had me chuckling for hours. Yep. You guessed it. My first #bookvent choice of the day is …
Palm Beach Finland
by Antti Tuomainen
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.
There is just something about this book which appeals to me. Perhaps it’s the kind of slapstick, Three Stooges kind of vibe which comes from two of the characters within it, Chico and Robin. They are two of life’s losers, unlucky in love and pretty much everything else to be honest, but as funny as they come and I couldn’t help but like them. Then you have Olivia and Jan Nyman, who make a really good pairing, even if they are at cross purposes with Jan trying to prove that Olivia is a killer, and Olivia trying to prove that she’s not. Add in resort owner Leivo, whose mad idea it is to try and open a beach resort to rival Miami on the coast of Finland (because Finlanders don’t like the heat, obviously), some inflatable flamingoes and windsurfing lessons in freezing cold temperatures and you’ve a recipe for madcap disaster. If has echoes of Fargo but with fractionally less snow. That is … it’s kind of what you’d be left with if Fargo and Baywatch had a love child …Maybe. My favourite character though was Holma, a contract killer who is also trying to track a murderer. I shouldn’t love him, not really, but there is something about the darkness within him that is appealing. I love the tongue in cheek way that Antti Tuomainen brings Finland and its residents to life, while still absolutely making me want to visit. To be fair, I don’t like the heat either so I’m more likely to holiday in North-East England than on South Beach … Perhaps there’s something in Leivo’s idea after all. It’s so hard to talk about this book without giving away key spoilers, but with a delicious blend of dry and dark humour, criminality and brilliant storytelling, this book is another hit for me and one heck of a beach holiday that I won’t forget in a hurry.
If you’d like to read my full review of Palm Beach Finland you can find it right here. The book is available to buy from the following retailers:
Happy #bookvent reading all