Skip to main content

Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen #BlogTour

I have a good idea!

Why don't we open a beach resort Miami stylie but in Finland! Well, yes, it's cold but this particular beach is the hottest beach in the whole country! Well, yes, it may STILL be colder than my knackered central heating but we will stick some Palm Trees up (plastic of course) slap some neon paint on and a fake flamingo or two later bob's your uncle we have ourselves a holiday resort!

This is the idea of permanently sweaty Jorma Leivo (pink shirt, white blazer, shoulder pads) and to be honest I could have loved Palm Beach Finland for the resort alone. The description of the giant flamingo with the diving board and slides - it all sounded so wonderfully kitsch. 

The opening sentence (fabulous by the way) sets the tone. Throw in a murder, an undercover policeman and a mishap or ten from odd and plod (Robin and Chico) and you have an EVEN better book making it a glorious mishmash of Scandi noir and dark comedy. 

Tuomainen describes in his acknowledgements how his most recent books mark a change in his writing style. His newer works are now served up with a 'healthy dose of black humour, flavouring the noir proceedings' as opposed to his previous darker works. This is my first exposure to Tuomainen so I can't comment on his previous works but if he was aiming for witty crime writing, he really hit the nail on the head with this one. 

It had a great supporting cast, I particularly liked Muurla with his accounts of his ex-wife and Chico with his growing doubt in Eric Clapton (you know things are going wrong when you question the man behind Layla!)

Yet despite it being loud and proud Tuomainen surprised me with his subtlety. For example I loved how Chico's out of date beer became sour tasting as his outlook on his situation worsened. Subtle in a resort otherwise so brash.

It could perhaps have been a bit slicker, those who have watched Jackie Brown will appreciate how satisfying a plot can be when it only becomes clear at the end how every link completes the circle. Every link did fit, but I would have liked it to have been just a touch sharper.

Overall I loved it though and thought Jan Nyman, the undercover cop sent to investigate the murder, easily has another book or two. Antti - if Nyman does reappear, please allow Muurla a line or two! It's original, it's funny and it stands out in all its neon glory in the ever popular Scandi noir genre. I will be watching to see what comes next. 

My thanks go to Orenda Books who provided me with a copy of the book via Anne Cater's Random Things Through My Letter Box in exchange for an honest review.   


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Continuity Girl by Patrick Kincaid #BlogTour

When this little beauty arrived through my letterbox my 9 year old picked it up and said "Mummy it looks like an old strip of film but made to look like the Loch Ness Monster". That was the cover certainly nailed and being a previous media studies student that sort of thing appeals to me.

The book was primarily set in the Highlands and being a frequent holiday-er to those parts I also appreciated the location. Set around the discovery of an uncut version of a real film (The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes) it flits between the 1969 film shoot and present day London. The concept reminded me of Beautiful Ruins (one of my favourite reads of the year) and I of course had to immediately Google the film and now have developed an urge to read Conan Doyle's back catalogue.

I really liked Jim the marine biologist looking for proof the Loch Ness Monster did(n't?) exist. The book is billed as a romantic comedy and it was different reading this type of book from a male's per…

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay, Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor #BookOfTheMonth

This was one of a large selection put forward as contenders for July's #BookOfTheMonth and knowing it was for sale in Sainsburys not one, not two, not three but FOUR members of the group legged it there after the meeting to purchase a copy.

This Is Going To Hurt is a no-holds barred account of one junior doctor’s time on the front line of the NHS. Kay, being the said doctor, excellently explained the medical jargon not least by adding some of the best footnotes ever (Dick Fan Dyke). I understand on for e-readers these may have been removed to the back of the book which I imagine would greatly affect the reading experience.

I was surprised by the amount I learnt but make no mistake, a medical text book this is not. The anecdotes had strong humour and Kay didn't hold back, although I did question a particular sentence on page 63 (well in my copy anyway).

I cringed (the lamppost) almost as much as I laughed yet overall it was a heartbreaking account of how close to breaking point…

Alice by Christina Henry #BookOfTheMonth

I have wanted to read Alice for ages stumbling across it on Twitter and purchasing Lost Boy, the Peter Pan reworking, at the same time.

I mention reworking but sequeal to Alice in Wonderland is probably a more accurate description of Henry's tale. I thought it a very clever idea - a tea party gone wrong leaving Alice mentally disturbed/traumatised by what has happened to her. The White Rabbit is present as is the Cheshire Cat , although as evil gang lords there is little to liken them to Disney's interpretation of the Carroll classic.

Whereas I loved the concept, I thought the book floundered in the actual telling of the story. There seemed to be a lot of walking around interspersed with very brutal, descriptive passages. Some very powerful scenes (particularly the Alice/Hatcher scene at his grandmother's house upon their escape) followed by some very weak sections. The villains were portrayed as pure evil yet their confrontations with Alice and Hatcher were tame in compar…