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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 For example I loved how Chico's out of date beer became sour tasting as his outlook on his situation worsened.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.   




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