Thursday, 5 October 2017

Blog-Tour: The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen

Today is my stop on the Blog-Tour for The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen. It is a well-written entertaining crime, which technically has both taken place and not happened yet. It's infused with dark humour and almost slapstick like murderous scenarios. Oh, and let me just give a shout-out to David Hackston for the excellent translation.

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. The Mine, published in 2016, was an international bestseller. All of his books have been optioned for TV/film. With his piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and The Man Who Died sees him at hisliterary best.
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Buy The Man Who Died
About the book
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, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.
I know this is a departure for Tuomainen from his previous noir crime, but it won't come as a surprise to anyone that this tongue-in-cheek backwards crime story lives up to the reputation that precedes him. This story is written like an Agatha Christie with a vicious streak.

Jaakko is confused by his terminal diagnosis at first. He doesn't really grasp the fact that he is living on borrowed time, and he certainly doesn't comprehend that this is something persons unknown have done to him. From one moment to the next he has become the living dead, although I have to say he makes zombies a lot more appealing.

I think anyone would do the same in his position. Find the murderer before the murder actually takes place. He discovers that his seemingly perfect life is actually a sham. Enemies galore are crawling out of the woodwork.  His career, his marriage and his friendships are all part of a great conspiracy or is it just the illness slowly destroying his grey cells?

On a side note I really enjoyed the way he kept going around thinking and saying 'I have been murdered, you murdered me.' Hilarity is hidden in the seriousness of the situation. Jaakko is the kind of character you can't help but love. He is just a normal man in the middle of unusual circumstances trying to regain his balance and take control of what is left of his life.

The plotting is meticulous, the humour is subtle and yet at the same time sharp, and the main character is quite simply sublime as the victim to be. Tuomainen is definitely an author I will be returning to.

Kudos to the author for creating the kind of read you recommend to others, and the excellent translation by David Hackston.

Buy The Man Who Died at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
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