Wednesday 3 November 2021

The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen BOOK REVIEW #TheRabbitFactor @antti_tuomainen T. @countertenorist @OrendaBooks


Just one spreadsheet away from chaos…

What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.

And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.

But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri's relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.

The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen was published in hardback by Orenda Books on 28 October 2021. I treated myself to a signed copy from Waterstone's

I am thrilled that The Rabbit Factor is the first in a planned series from this wonderfully talented author. I loved every single word of this and can't wait to read more about Henri's antic in the next books. The book is also currently being filmed and will star Steve Carrell in the film made by Amazon Studios. 

Here's a book that has a bit of everything, it's most certainly a crime novel, and it is also full of humour, there's a little bit of self-discovery and a hint of romance too. There's something for everyone here, I lapped it up, with a huge smile on my face throughout. 

Henri Koskinen is an actuary. He's always lived a risk-free life, ensuring that all probabilities are carefully worked out before he does anything. Mathematics are the root of his personality, he is dictated by the structure of numbers that never let him down. Until the day that he loses his job and his clearly defined world comes crashing down around him. 

When Henri is informed that his brother has died, and he's now the owner of adventure park, he couldn't be thrust further from his comfort zone if he tried. However, Henri is determined that he will do as is expected of him and run the park as his brother wished. 

Henri's adventures have only just begun, and there's far more than the children's play equipment to deal with. His new employees are a mixed bunch of people, all with their own quirks. The adventure park financial situation is dire and Henri is being threatened by very large men who are owed money. 

I adore Henri! He's a character that nobody could fail to grow attached to, with his own peculiarities and a strong sense of what is right and wrong, he's so beautifully created. He is unintentionally funny, he is endearing and he is loyal and he's also discovering far more about himself than he could ever have imagined.

The Rabbit Factor is so stylishly written and the translation from David Hackston is wonderful, Tuomainen's voice is heard throughout, with that wryness and dark humour that has become his trademark always there, even in the most dangerous and darkest of situations. 

Criminal gangs, a grey plastic thirty metre high rabbit, blindfold car journeys and lots of mathematical workings out. Death, a touch of violence, fraud and a tender emerging romance all combine to create the most magical story. One of my favourite books of the year so far, and highly recommended. 

Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author 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. A TV adaptation is in the works, and Jussi Vatanen (Man In Room 301) has just been announced as a leading role. 

Palm Beach Finland was an immense success, with Marcel Berlins (The Times) calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’. 

His latest thriller, Little Siberia, was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, the Amazon Publishing/Capital Crime Awards and the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award, and won the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. In total, Antti Tuomainen has been short- and longlisted for 12 UK awards. 

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