Review of Palm Beach Finland by Antii Tuomainen

Published by Orenda Books in 2018    ISBN: 978-1-912374-31-1 (PB)

 How can one shy away from what’s described as Sex, lies and ill-fitting swimwear…Sun Protection Factor 100?  In some ten years in the genre of crime fiction,  this Finnish author has amply demonstrated his talent and  versatility. Three acclaimed books precede this one, namely   “The Healer”, “The Mine” and “The Man Who Died” all quite different and page-turning and earning him the accolade from the Finnish media as The King of Helsinki Noir.  Assuredly translated by David Hackston, the story whisks the reader to a sleepy seaside town that has been subjected to a rebranding, as the title suggests, as a must go to holiday resort, by businessman Jorma Leivo, a small-time fraudster.   Desperate to get his hands on the last piece of real estate to add value to his garish chalet village dotted with plastic palm trees, he hires, on the cheap, a couple of hapless, bungling amateurs to scare and wear down its owner, glamorous windsurfer Olivia recently back in her home town to claim her dilapidated inheritance.  Their tactics goes awry and Jan Nyman, a canny detective in the covert operations unit of the National Central Police is rushed in undercover ( posing as a Maths teacher on holiday) to investigate a professional hit that has taken place.  Written from multiple view points which render the story truly engaging, the cast of characters is diverse and wildly eccentric, and simply leap from the page; the situations are satirical, slapstick and farcical and the dialogue is crisp and darkly comic. The author’s skill in weaving a riveting tale that never falters or bores is not only highly original, deeply tongue in cheek, and imaginatively spunky but also masterful.  What’s not to like?  It’s a fantastic, joyful  read that doesn’t disappoint.

 Reviewer: Serena Fairfax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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