Nordic Noir set in Finland Featuring Russian gangsters Obviously I had to read Little Siberia And I m glad I did.The blurb compares Antti Tuomainen to Carl Hiaasen That s a legitimate and deserved comparison for Palm Beach Finland, which I m currently reading, but Little Siberia is a bit straight up Nordic Featuring a small town pastor who is infertile after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan it s an important plot point , the book takes us on a somewhat dark, somewhat darkly humorous search to find out who wants to steal a million Euro meteorite that has crashed into a local rally driver s car.This is a fast read that balances rapid action with some fairly compelling character development, so it has a good chance of pleasing both action oriented and character oriented readers The author is Finnish, so it has an authentic Finnish ring rather than being a Western knock off of Nordic Noir Recommended for thriller NN fans, or anyone interested in contemporary Finnish popular culture. No spoilers The little village of Hurmevaara in Finland is about to see some big actionit starts with a meteor falling out of the sky and landing in a car driven by local professional race car driver Tarvainen who was trying to commit suicide at the timeThe meteor, worth a million euros, is promptly taken away from Tarvainen, given to the village museum and put on display Volunteers, including Pastor Joel Huhta, are standing night watch over itthat isuntil there is an attempt to steal the meteor during Pastor Joel s watch one night causing Joel to volunteer for all the remaining watchesbecause it s personal nowmeanwhile, back at home, Joel s wife Krista announces that she is pregnant The childless couple should be happy butunknown to Krista, Joel is sterile after an injury he suffered while he was deployed in AfghanistanJoel soon learns learns that someone is again planning to steal the meteor and will stop at nothing this time to get it but who can it be behind this scheme is it Tarvainen, whose car the meteor fell into as if he were picking up a passenger, jokinen the local storekeeper and butcher, or Raystainen who is a fitness traineror it could be Himanka, a retired pensioner or Pirkko the church secretary who seems to have an eye for Joelor how about Turunmaa the potato farmer it could also be Karoliina, the local bartender, and her two tough guy Russian cohorts Grigori and Leonid Joel must find out who is trying to steal the meteor and stop themoh and while he s at it, find the man responsible for Krista s pregnancy because it sure ain t himIKEA anyone 4 stars for this complex and at times comical whodunit I was happy to find another book by this author after reading his excellent THE MAN WHO DIED I removed a star because at times the story dragged, moving very slowly Overall quite enjoyable The first thing that people seem to mention when it comes to Antti Tuomainen s recent books is the way he is able to introduce dark comedy than successfully into an already solid crime thriller Nordic noir with a healthy dose of blacker than black humor You can definitely count me in for that I ve been looking forward to finally discover his work for some time now, and while I thought it was going to be my pink and fabulous copy of Palm Beach Finland, I m than happy my first introduction has been Little Siberia in the end I definitely understand all that buzz around this Finnish dark comedy magician now So, dark comedy Humor is basically a tricky element to introduce in any story, as it is extremely hard to get the tone and type of humor just right Not everyone likes the same kind of humor, and black humor can go wrong real fast and even become offensive to some readers in a blink of an eye I m personally all for dark comedy and sarcasm when done right, and there is one thing for sure Antti Tuomainen knows how to handle his humor Sharp, hilarious and blacker than those seemingly endless Finnish nights Oh yes, Antti Tuomainen s humor is definitely right up my alley He is not only able to make me chuckle with his wittily wicked comments, but somehow he is also able to combine it flawlessly with one of my favorite genres Humor and crime are not exactly natural partners, no matter how dark that humor might be, but Little Siberia makes you realize just how well both work together when someone who knows what he s doing takes the reins.That s not the only thing that stands out in Little Siberia though The remote and small town Hurmevaara up in Northern Finland is without doubt the perfect setting for this story The descriptions of the setting are thorough, plentiful and really make the story come alive for me The remoteness, the cold, the closeness to the Russian border It all plays a carefully crafted role in the plot and Hurmevaara isn t just an ordinary setting that could be swapped with a different town Instead, Hurmevaara almost feels like yet another character of this story and its existence is basically essential to the plot That same plot is both highly original, addictive and basically an emotional rollercoaster ride The basics of this story are actually quite simple, but you soon realize that the finale of Little Siberia is constantly being dangled in front of you like a carrot, while at the same time little plot twist bones are being thrown your way to keep you hungry for Less in in this case, although it is true that we still have quite a cast of characters to juggle.What I love of this story is that the main character Joel is actually a priest Quite unexpected and without doubt the driving force behind the successful introduction of humor into the plot Joel has a fascinating history and his development is undeniably key to the story Through his character, we are introduced both to the crime element and the poignant story of his home life After recent events, Joel is forced to fight for what he thinks is right, and decides to play both security guard and amateur detective to do so This leads to all kinds of witty, awkward and even dangerous situations, and Little Siberia consequently has a healthy dose of action, suspense and violence in store for you Things WILL escalate and you will find yourself biting your nails long before the end is in sight Always having that wicked humor thrown in to ease the tension just when you think you are about to explode Little Siberia has a very eclectic and well developed mix of characters to enjoy as well, each adding a little something to the plot and the story is all the interesting because of them On top of that, Little Siberia most definitely ends with a bang Before I stop today s rambles, a big thank you is in place to David Hackston for enabling us to enjoy this fantastic story through his flawless translation We are so lucky to have fantastic translators out there who make it possible for us to enjoy our dose of Nordic Noir to the fullest And there is no doubt that Little Siberia is a little gem If you like your humor dark and your Nordic Noir lighting fast, bloodchilling and touching at the same time, Little Siberia is simply a must read It s like a big black bowl of delicious and hilarious crime magic As the standout scene in which Joel manipulates a corpse with the aid of a scarf while hiding in the back seat of an SUV suggests, none of this is meant to be taken too seriously Antti Tuomainen is, after all, Scandinavia s answer to Carl Hiaasen Nevertheless, Joel, suffering a crisis of faith, succeeds in facing this hilarious series of unfathomable events with admirable stoicism What should I think of this man In the space of one night he has both saved my life and tried to kill me Twice Highly recommended Times Book of the MonthWith moral dilemmas, plenty of action, and the author s trademark mixture of humour and melancholy, this is Tuomainen s best yet Guardian This enjoyable mystery explores how a bolt from above can, literally, turn your life upside down with both comedic and tragic consequences Tuomainen continues to carve out his own niche in the chilly tundras of northern Finland in this poignant, gripping and hilarious tale Observer While the plots of many Nordic noir writers are turning evergrim, Finland s Antti Tuomainen opts these days for a wittier, lighter tough So it is with Little Siberia, the tale of a meteorite that comes crashing into eastern Finland and eventually into the guardianship of local priest Joel The rock is valuable and Joel is soon fending off the attempts of bungling criminals to steal it Add Russians, a worrying pregnancy, a down on his luck rally driver and a neat subtext about faith, and Little Siberia adroitly translated by David Hackston is quite the ride Observer Known as the king of Helsinki noir, Antti Tuomainen is among Finland s most acclaimed crime fiction writers This forthcoming blacker than black comedy deals with the ramifications of a meteorite arriving in a small Finnish town BooksellerRelentlessly funny Full of black ironies, this welter of suspicions, revenge, and hilarious physical and verbal combat makes some pungent reflections on life and death Tuomainen probes the chilliest depths of noir comedy Publishers Weekly starred review of The Man Who Died This one is a winner right from the first sentence An offbeat jewel Booklist starred review of The Man Who Died U.S audiences should prepare to be every bit as enthralled as the Finns Readers attracted either to dystopian fiction or to Scandinavian crime will find gold here Booklist starred review on The HealerThe 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 The Times BOOK OF THE YEAR With moral dilemmas, plenty of action, and the authors trademark mixture of humour and melancholy, this is Tuomainens best yet GuardianScandinavias answer to Carl Hiaasen delivers another hectically silly crime caper involving a military chaplain, a suicidal rally driver and a very expensive meteorite The TimesFinnish criminal chucklemeister Tuomainen is channelling Carl Hiaasen in this hilarious novel Sunday TimesCrime Club_________________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 loton 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 isnt 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 s of northern Finland Little Siberiais 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._________________ Tuomainen is the funniest writer in Europe The TimesBy no means Nordic noir of the familiar variety, this is eccentric, humorous fare, reminiscent of nothing so much as a Coen Brothers movie Financial TimesTuomainen continues to carve out his own niche in the chilly tundras of northern Finland in this poignant, gripping and hilarious tale Daily ExpressWhile the plots of many Nordic noir writers are turning evergrim, Finlands Antti Tuomainen opts these days for a wittier, lighter touch quite the ride ObserverThe biting cold of Northern Finland is only matched by the cutting dark wit and compelling plot on this must read crime novelDenzil MeyrickA brilliantly inventive and gloriously funny novel from Finland s greatest exportMJ ArlidgeWhat seems like a cockamamie crime novel full of dark humour is also a wonderfully poignant piece of writing by Antti TuomainenCrime Fiction LoverTold in a darkly funny, deadpan style The result is a rollercoaster read GuardianRight up there with the best The TLS