So it’s my turn to host a stop on The Finnish Invasion blog tour! The Mine by Antti Tuomainen and translated by David Hackston is full of tension, secrets and a very dark atmosphere. It caught my attention from the very beginning and didn’t let it go until the very last page. Here’s what it’s about…
A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. Can he uncover the truth before it’s too late? In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.
A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results.
What I thought:
I had initially tried to guess what was going to unravel in this book – something I keep telling myself to stop doing but fail to put into action – but Tuomainen’s such a clever and dark writer that I couldn’t possibly have sussed out where the story was going.
Janne Vuori is a well-drawn character and truly exemplifies an investigative journalist; he’s dedicated, driven and thick-skinned. At the same time though, there’s an evident void in his life that has led to iciness in his family life. His home life is far from ideal, as is his attitude towards his partner, but all of these things lend themselves to part of the reason Vuori’s a greatly flawed and determined character.
I found myself empathising an awful lot with Vuori, despite his selfishness and attitude towards his partner, Pauliina. As a character, he really came alive when talking about his daughter, Ella, whom he feels a great deal of affection and sadness for because he struggles with being fully present.
Tension arises as Vuori edges closer to discovering what really happened and the body count increases at a fast rate. I forced myself to read quicker so that I too could get to the place where I knew exactly who was behind what and why. The end result; extremely satisfying.
The thing that really drew me in with this story was the bleakness of almost everything. It’s the isolated surroundings, gritty nature of the characters and their bluntness that, while different to characters in UK novels, made the story all the more compelling and explosive.
I absolutely must commend Tuomainen for his exquisite storytelling, the simple narrative laced with a peculiar misery. The Mine is the perfect book to read and one whose story will grab you by the throat until it ends.
Thanks to Karen from Orenda Books for my copy of The Mine.
Other stops on the blog tour:
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You can follow Antti on Twitter @anti_tuomainen and let him know what you thought of #TheMine!