Monday 28 October 2019

Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen @antti_tuomainen BLOG TOUR @OrendaBooks #LittleSiberia

A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car. That something turns about to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel.

But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his. As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is.

Transporting the reader to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland Little Siberia is both a crime novel and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue – both literal and figurative – turn your life upside down.

Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 17 October 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour

Nobody quite owns the literary land of Finland quite like Antti Tuomainen. Readers who have read his previous novels will come to expect that unexpected and deathly funny humour, alongside writing that is confident, energetic and totally on point.

Little Siberia does not disappoint. A meteorite crashing down to earth; an ex-military officer-turned-priest tasked with guarding what could be a very precious commodity for this small community. Questions of parentage; washed out and angry ex-rally drivers, all placed in an exquisitely described setting that makes the reader want to jump onto a plane and visit straight away.

Whilst the opening of Little Siberia, with the description of the meteorite hit may seem improbable, it's absolutely intriguing. The opening hits you with a blast, making you wobble a bit and wonder where the story is going. And then, you realise; this is Antti Tuomainen; it's going to be a crazy ride, so you may as well just buckle down and enjoy it! 

This is not just a humour laced thriller though, it's also a poignant and intense look at self belief and faith. 
Faith in ourselves, in others and in more spiritual terms. The author poses questions about ethics and morality, creating a depth to the novel that only increases the enjoyment. 

Once more, this astute, clever and incredibly funny author has produced a story that is unique and difficult to put down. You will laugh, squirm and becoming emotionally involved with these characters.
Nordic noir at its very best, and expertly translated from Finnish by David Hackston.

Finnish Antti Tuomainen 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. Two years later, 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. The recently published Palm Beach, Finland has been a massive critical success, with Marcel Berlins of The Times calling him ‘the funniest writer in Europe’, and making it one of his books of the year.

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