It’s the final day of out Antti Tuomainen week (boooo) and time for Mandie to let us all know what she thinks about Little Siberia. Yes another fine example of Antti Tuomainen’s killer wit, but with a very emotional core to this one too, it’s no wonder it was another big hit with readers. If you want to know what I think makes this book so special, you can find my review here. Read on to find out more about the book.
About the Book
A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car. That something turns about to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel.
But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his. As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is.
Transporting the reader to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland Little Siberia is both a crime novel and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue – both literal and figurative – turn your life upside down.
The book opens with quite a dramatic car ride with a former racing driver that comes to an abrupt end when a meteorite crashes through the roof. What follows certainly tests the best and worst of human nature and questions what someone would do to get their hands on a potential fortune.
Pastor Joel Huhta is helping to guard the meteorite in the local museum until it is collected to be transported to the UK to be studied. You would think that this would be a simple task, however as the rumours swirl about how much it could be worth there is a sudden interest from various people within the community as they think what they could do with that kind of money and how it would help them escape from the town where nothing really happens. As he is dragged further into the investigation into events at the museum, he is also dealing with a personal dilemma and both his beliefs and his marriage come into question.
The book is told primarily from the perspective of Joel and you can’t help but feel for him as he is put in one precarious position after another and you experience his inner battles as well as the physical ones he seems to continually find himself in. Having served in the Army not all his scars are of the physical kind and some events have stuck with him and may have a bearing on his judgment regarding some of the events that take place. Although it is not a fast-paced book, I still found myself racing through the book as the characters were quirky and hiding secrets.
Although it was not as full of humour as some of his other books, there is still something about this book that really does show off Antti’s dark humour at its best and as a reader you are always feel like you have been transported to Finland with his brilliant descriptive writing. I am rapidly coming to believe that you should always expect the unexpected when you open a book written by Antti Tuomainen and Little Siberia is no exception and I for one am truly happy about that.
About the Author
Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) 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. The Man Who Died brought him to his literary best.
Books by Antti Tuomainen: