Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen

Pink flamingos in the Winter

A few chapters in to the latest Antti Tuomainen and you'll be forgiven for thinking you'd lost the plot. Palm Beach Finland concerns a visionary (read crazy) property developer attempting to recreate Palm Beach in chilly Finland. But that's not all, this dreamland then becomes central to a murder investigation. Jan Nymen is sent from the covert National Central Police to investigate amongst the plastic palm trees and rubber rings at the 'hottest beach in Finland'.

Palm Beach Finland is everything you'd expect from the writer of last year's The Man Who Died (2017), with Tuomaimen you get crime and caper all wrapped up in a decidedly Finnish packet. In this case a murder mystery novel with black humour as witty as pink flamingos in the winter.

Tuomainen has a distinctive style which David Hackston must work really hard to adapt into English, hats off to him. At times the surreal humour gets in the way of the narrative which is more driven by the unique setting that any any of the characters.That said Palm Beach Finland is a fun read for crime fiction fans looking for something to brighten their Autumn stacks.

For Tuomainen at his darkest try a different piece of Finnish Noir with The Mine (2015) but for now at least the bright cover art of Palm Beach Finland will cheer up your bedside table this October

Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen published by Orenda, 300 pages