Well neither of us could resist this beauty so it’s over to Mandie for her take on The Rabbit Factor, the first book in a brand new series by Antti Tuomainen. It’s being made into a film – we couldn’t be happier. Read the book and you’ll see why the casting is perfect. Read how much I enjoyed the book here. Read on to find out more about the book.
About the Book
An insurance mathematician’s carefully ordered life is turned on its head when he unexpectedly loses his job and inherits an adventure park … with a whole host of problems. A quirky, tense and warmly funny thriller from award-winning Finnish author Antti Tuomainen.
What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.
And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.
But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…
Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.
Antti Tuomainen is an absolute genius. With his own brand of dark humour, he takes the seemingly boring and mundane and turns it into the perfect thriller. Henri Koskinen is quite happy in his very ordered life as an insurance actuary until one day he inherits is brothers adventure park following his death. Henri is not exactly thrilled with this prospect as he sees the park as a chaotic venture that he has no interest or experience in. What is worse is he finds out that he has also inherited some rather substantial debts that are owned by some particularly nasty criminals. If the title of the book and its cover seem a little bit confusing, trust me once you have read the opening chapter it will all make a little more sense, and it also sets the tone for what is to come.
Henri is not vert comfortable around people, that’s why he likes numbers. Numbers make sense. He has no idea what to do with an adventure park and feels very uncertain on how to deal with the staff there or the “investors” who would happily see him dead if he does not make good on the outstanding money. Added to all his other worries he finds himself attracted to the park manager Laura. His interactions with her bring out some of the more entertaining moments in the book and you can’t help but hope that somehow things will work out for him on that front as you can’t help but grow to like the man.
If he didn’t have enough to deal with, he also has a persistent police officer who is convinced that Henri knows something more than he is letting on regarding the activities of the loan sharks he has inadvertently found himself in business with. Trying to outsmart both him and them is certainly testing him to the max but is also in some way bringing out the best in him. With the mix of interesting characters, Antti Tuomainen has created a story that just works. There are scenes that may just have you thinking twice about the catering at adventure parks in the future, but I would expect nothing less from this author. The fact that this is the first in the series is the best news and I can’t wait to see what is in store for Henri the statistician next. The fact that this book is being made into a film with Steve Carell is just the icing on the cake.
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.
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