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.
.. ‘Right up there with the best’ TLS
‘Deftly plotted, poignant and perceptive in its wry reflections on mortality and very funny’ Irish Times
‘Like the death cap mushroom, Tuomainen’s dark story manages to be as delicious as it is toxic’ Sunday Express
‘A roller-coaster read and extraordinarily poignant’ Guardian
‘A winner right from the first sentence … an offbeat jewel’ Publishers Weekly
‘A tightly paced Scandinavian thriller with a wicked sense of humour’ Foreword Reviews
‘Is it wrong that I really want to visit this Palm Beach even though its fictional and sit on an inflatable flamingo? Antti has one wicked sense of humour and this is no more apparent than in this book. It’s dark, humourous and darkly humourous. Palm Beach Finland is a destination you’ll want to have on your literary boarding pass this summer!’ The Book Trail
‘Finnish criminal chucklemeister Tuomainen is channelling Carl Hiaasen in this hilarious novel set in a bizarre Florida-style beach resort on Finland’s chilly shore. There are comically inept dim-crims, inventive psychos, a hot babe and even a blow-up pink flamingo — which is a lot for ace detective Jan Nyman to deal with when he arrives, undercover, to investigate a mysterious death.’ Palm Beach, Finland was recommended in the Times Crime Club.
Firstly I would like to thank the author, Publisher Orenda Books and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Having read and LOVED Antii Tuomainen novel The Man Who Died, I have been looking forward to his next offering with great excitement. I can promise you fellow readers that the wait was worth it. This darkly funny and original tale is an utter triumph!
There is a murder, a police officer sent to investigate, a victim, an assorted group of criminals and a failed beach resort. Now that sounds pretty much standard fair, but it is anything but formulaic. Antii Tuomainen takes the traditional elements expected in a thriller and adds in darkly delicious humour, to create a black comedy and an addictive page turner, I didn’t want to end.
It’s compelling, clever, packed full of atmosphere and will make you beam with enjoyment, it will even make you laugh. Now I realise that most people don’t read thrillers to be amused, but that is what makes this book such a rich and rewarding read. It captures with perfect clarity the often farcical behaviour of those caught up in events in Palm Beach Finland. The humour gives it an edge and enhances the portrayal of human relationships at their worst, giving what would otherwise be overwhelmingly dark tale, an element of humanity. Humour can often be found in the darkest corners and Antii Tuomainen celebrates this aplomb.
The novel is full of amazing characters, quirky individuals who each play a part in this very different thriller. Now I know you’re not meant to like the ‘bad’ guys, but bear with me, because I must confess, I adored them. Coco and Robert are a pair of life’s drifters, not great with the whole adult living thing and they are even worse criminals. I found myself wanting to hug them, because they are seriously incompetent. Then you have Jan Nyman the police officer working undercover to solve a murder, who is as lost and rudderless as the two unlucky criminals and immerses himself in his work to cover over the cracks in his life. Add in Olivia Koskia who is equally hapless at life, a psychopath bent on revenge and a inept business man and you have a stellar cast of characters who together are used by the author to write a character driven first class thriller.
As for the story, it’s original, extraordinarily funny, sad, but also uplifting. It is also incredibly clever, in the way it weaves each character into the story and catching them up in a web of lies and deceit. The writer has taken a group of people all looking to change, chasing dreams that are fading from view and who in their desperation not to let go, leads them to actions they would otherwise deplore. When you’re reading, your caught up in the story and time just flaws past unnoticed. The characters become like old friends, you wish you could go back and visit again and again.
I would recommend this book to all readers, not just thriller readers, because it is a real treat. From page one I was gripped in the human drama as it unfolded. I laughed, sometimes inappropriately and was also sad because I didn’t want it to end.
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 labeled 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.
“Antti Tuomainen is a wonderful writer. His characters, plots and atmosphere are masterfully drawn” Yrsa Sigurdardottir
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