The arrival of a meteorite in a small Finnish town causes chaos and crime in this poignant, chilling and hilarious new thriller from the King of Helsinki Noir.
A man with dark thoughts on his mind 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 unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood 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 listener to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland, Little Siberia is both a crime novel and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue - both literal and figurative - turn your life upside down.
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- p h merrill
Quirky black humour
I had read the “man who died “ and enjoyed a mystery story in a different style, different landscape and cultural setting. Little Siberia did not disappoint.
A plot that thickens!
This was the 2nd book by Antii Tuimainen I have read. Both books start with an offbeat premise and follow how the quite ordinary / everyday protagonist responds to the situation. In this case a pastor in a quiet Finland village is tasked with guarding a recently discovered meteor until the authorities can arrive to take it away. Thus the stage is set for a cast of locals who see an opportunity to steal an object worth a million euros and escape their humdrum village lives, competing with a more conventional hardcore criminal from Russia who is hellbent on stealing the meteor for himself.
The pastor quickly finds himself at the centre of the action just as he is confronting an acute personal crisis. Soon this ordinary man is living more like an accidental character in a thriller as he reels from one scene to the next as his own personal stakes in the tale increase ever so quickly.
Many people have described this book as having a feel similar to Fargo and I would agree that this story has a similar vibe. The author has a very clever way of weaving the character’s stories together and throwing in quite a few red herrings along the way, often delivering these with dashes of dark humour and there is quite a few “cringe” moments when people’s worlds collide with each other and the author dives into these scenes with great delight.
Narration is perfect, the only thing to note is that the book has been translated from Finnish so some of the names of people or places can be hard at first to work out until you become familiar with them.