I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen
Published by Orenda Books on August 17, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Crime, Thrillers
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
A man 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 treasure is temporarily placed in a neighborhood 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 what to do when bolts from the blue—both literal and figurative—turn your life upside down.
Thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for my spot on the blog tour. All thoughts are my own.
You know when you receive an email about an ORENDA Books blog tour you just know you have to get on by any means necessary because it’s always going to be all kind of awesome. Yes, Little Siberia is another kick Ass Thriller from Orenda and you aren’t going to want to miss this one! Orenda Books just know what’s going to blow your socks off, they love a twisty, dark tale and this is no exception. Buckle up because the whiplash coming your way is off the charts.
Tuomainen is a brand spanking new author for me. He has an almost evil genius about him that can uncannily spin a multi-faceted web horror, mystery and absolute comedy genius. He has brought his A game and it is a disturbing cocktail of melancholy and darkness. I’d bet my last pound that Tuomainen is one of the very few authors that can highlight the importance of certain themes whilst pushing its limits with a mix of close to the bone humour and at times hilarious characterisations. He spins a web of surreal visualisations and doesn’t back down on the reality of the human condition.
Little Siberia, and the main character is a little bit like all of us. He’s relatable. He’s a pastor, Joel is the name. Life’s been a bit unkind to him. He’s struggling with a fact that even his wife doesn’t know. She brings him good news that now definitely means his wife is unfaithful. Life couldn’t have fucked him any harder if it tried. There are criminal goings on, well what would you expect when a super rare type of meteorite falls from the sky? It’s worth around €1 million. His wife ends up somehow becoming embroiled in it. It’s certainly a sense of humour test to put it mildly.
The authors voice comes through so vividly in his writing. The comedy that is injected into the seriousness has a nervous kind of laughter being pulled from the reader. He has bended and moulded the Thriller genre and reshaped it into a bigger beast – Disaster Comedy if you like. The reader was kept engaged with a hope of what was to come next, he did what and the shock of the dark and twisty nature of the read. If the author ever held a masterclass for writing Thrillers I’d so be there.
So back to this meteorite. It’s fallen from the sky and the biggest minds in science in London want their hands on it for analysis. Prior to its transportation Joel is on night-time guard duty in the museum. Shits about to get fucked up. Two assailants break into the museum to steal this big rock. Due to either brains or shit for brains Joel decides to high-tail it and follow them. They lead him to a remote cottage. One of the assailants blows himself to the fucking moon. Think feet still in boots but the rest of him missing type of blown up! One vital mistake – they stole a grenade instead of the meteorite. Okay granted it was the same size, but this is exactly what I’m talking about in regard to the risqué type of comedy the author injects.
The world building is quite frankly claustrophobic. From page one it sucks you in, it leaves you gasping. The fallout from a meteorite falling from the sky and hitting a small village leaves long lasting implications. If given the opportunity wouldn’t you want to try and sneak a bit of that pie? €1 million and technically it doesn’t really belong to anyone, what makes the government think they have any rights to it? Just take it, no-one will care in a week or two and you will gain more riches than your life has ever known. It’s the eternal moral compass- money can turn anyone. This book has it all – infidelity, risqué humour, flaws of morality and habitual action.
I need to read more and more and more. Essentially the brilliance that is this author in his skill about masking the true story in this novel and that is about Joel losing his faith during traumatic events. He knows he will lose everything if he confesses to his wife he was diagnosed sterile after his tour in Afghanistan. He focuses on his guard duties of the meteorite. He has no faith in god anymore the only faith he has is in his wife. She is the bedrock. What happens when his wife destroys that faith. What then does Joel have left to believe in?
I cannot recommend this book enough. A clever, witty tale with black shadows at every turn. Can the human condition ever be anything different are all we all destined to suffer from greed and loathing?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. 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 (2017) became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. Palm Beach Finland (2018) was an immense success, with The Times calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’.