The Moose Paradox by Antti Tuomainen, trans by David Hackston

Today it is my pleasure to take part in the blog tour for The Moose Paradox, book two in the Rabbit Factor series by Antti Tuomainen. I love the authors very unique sense of humour and have been looking forward to this second instalment in the series. My thanks to publisher Orenda Books for the advance copy and to Anne Cater of Random Things tours for the invite to join the tour. Here’s what the book’s about:

Source: Advance Reader Copy
Release Date: 27 October 2022
Publisher: Orenda Books

About the Book

Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen has finally restored order both to his life and to YouMeFun, the adventure park he now owns, when a man from the past appears – and turns everything upside down again. More problems arise when the park’s equipment supplier is taken over by a shady trio, with confusing demands. Why won’t Toy of Finland Ltd sell the new Moose Chute to Henri when he needs it as the park’s main attraction?

Meanwhile, Henri’s relationship with artist Laura has reached breaking point, and, in order to survive this new chaotic world, he must push every calculation to its limits, before it’s too late…

Absurdly funny, heart-stoppingly poignant and full of nail-biting suspense, The Moose Paradox is the second instalment in the critically acclaimed, pitch-perfect Rabbit Factor Trilogy and things are messier than ever…

My Thoughts

Oh, Henri, how I have missed you, and how I have missed Antti Tuomainen’s inimitable, sense of humour and top notch writing.

Part comedy, part crime(ish) caper, part family drama and 100% entertainment, The Moose Paradox, is the long awaited and entirely fitting follow up to The Rabbit Factor, bringing us back into the world of Henri Koskinen, the former insurance actuary who inherited the ‘YouMeFun Adventure Park’ from his brother, Juhani. It’s an inheritance that looks set to continue turning Henri’s perfectly ordered world into one of absolute chaos. And this, for readers, is a very, very, good thing.

Just as Henri is getting to grips with the park and all it’s ups and downs, literal and otherwise, a face from his past returns bringing with them no end of problems. Add to that a trio of ‘Entrepreneurs’ who seem intent on making Henri’s life hell, perfectly legally of course, and forcing on him, and the park, the very worst in children’s fun rides, and the scene is set for a blend of outrageously fun, fast slapstick/comedic action that kept me riveted, and laughing, from start to finish.

If there is one thing you can expect from this series is that absolutely killer opening. I mean that literally. I knew there was a reason I don’t like strawberries … IYKYK. The author draws us right into the midst of Henri’s story, setting us up perfectly with a whole host of questions about the what, whys and wherefores of what comes to pass. It is tense, life endangering (not just for Henri), and so funny that it is impossible to read without a smile on your face.

I do have to wonder if Antti Tuomainen has had a run in with an insurance agent in the past, or maybe had a claim denied, as he does like to put poor Henri through absolute hell at varying points throughout these books and it seems to be done with absolute glee too. Not that I’d have it any other way of course … And not that Henri doesn’t come out on top in most cases, but it’s a close run thing.

The fight scenes, such as they are, whilst seemingly serious in tone – someone is apparently trying to kill Henri after all – are almost impossible to take seriously as they have that Keystone Cops styling to them that the author excels at, and Henri’s story is only to go downhill from there. With a heavy handed supplier, mutiny amongst the ranks of YouMeFun and his relationship with former employee Laura Helanto reaching a real turning point, it’s fair to say that this story is full of life changing decisions for Henri, and this time his logical mathematical mind cannot provide him with all of the answers.

The mix of all of these different kinds of conflict work really well, helping to illustrate all the ways in which Henri is changing from the very insular, regulated man we first met. He’s a character I have always found myself strangely drawn to, but he has become even more endearing as each story progresses, and the author manages to illicit a whole range of emotions from me as I read, but all of them ultimately driven by a desire to see Henri come good.

If you are looking for a straightforward crime drama, this is definitely not the place to look. If you want to indulge in an infinitely witty, warm story with an organised crime edge, a soupçon of insurance fraud (maybe) and a whole host of colourful, funny, engaging characters, then this series is an absolute blast and you’ll feel right at home. Antti Tuomainen enriches the story with his larger than life supporting cast, from chain-smoking, alcoholic Marketing Guru Minttu K, military obsessed, Head of Security, Esa, Chef and all round secret keeper, Johanna, play therapist, Samppa or ultra keen wannabe manager, Kristian. Each brings something unique to the story, creating a world where you know almost anything could, and often does, happen.

It’s hard to say what makes this such a wonderful and unique story without giving away a major plot spoiler. But let’s just say, if you thought Henri’s life was complicated before, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Undoubtedly another absolute corker of a read. I love it and cannot wait for book three (although having heard the title I am almost too scared to even ask …). Totally and very highly recommended.

And it deserves one of these too, I reckon

About the Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. Palm Beach Finland was an immense success, with Marcel Berlins (The Times) calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’. Little Siberia (2020), was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, the Amazon Publishing/Capital Crime Awards and the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award, and won the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The Rabbit Factor (2021), the first book in Antti’s first ever series,is in production by Amazon Studios with Steve Carell starring.The Moose Paradox, book two in the series is out in 2022.

About the Translator

David Hackston is a British Translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. Notable publications include The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, Maria Peura’s coming-of-age novel At the Edge of Light, Johanna Sinisalo’s eco-thriller Birdbrain, two crime novels by Matti Joensuu and Kati Hiekkapelto’s Anna Fekete series (which currently includes The HummingbirdThe Defenceless and The Exiled, all published by Orenda Books). He also translates Antti Tuomainen’s stories. In 2007 he was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Translation. David is also a professional countertenor and a founding member of the English Vocal Consort of Helsinki.

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