The Finnish Thriller Threesome: "Disneyland is dead"

The Finnish thriller threesome
“Disneyland is dead”

By Thomas Badke

Finland is much more than saunas, spruce trees, snow and rock music. Finland has blossomed into a thriller country. Numerous writers are now becoming best-selling authors in Germany too. Would you like three examples?

The typical Finn goes skiing and passionately goes to the sauna. He likes to drink and hunt – and for at least a few years the typical Finn has also been a thriller devourer. That connects him with the typical German. So it’s no wonder that the books by genre authors from the far north are also bestsellers in this country. Anyone who can’t get enough of the “fin thrill” should definitely treat themselves to the following three new works.

Arttu Tuominen “What we hide”

A queer nightclub was attacked in the Finnish city of Pori. Several people die, Commissioner Henrik Oksmann is charged with the investigation. Not an easy task for Oksmann, after all he was in the club that night himself – as a guest, in a red dress. His colleagues know nothing about Oksmann’s private life. For them he is just weird, taciturn, with a few quirks. But he’s great at his job. Together with his partner Jari Palovita, he sets out to find the perpetrator.

The investigations lead the two to the right camp, to religious fanatics and Oksmann also to his own past. Back to his childhood. A childhood with an abusive father, a Doberman kennel and humiliation. Oksmann must confront his past in order to solve the case, which has meanwhile claimed even more lives.

“What We Hide” is Tuominen’s second gripping thriller in a six-volume series. While Oksmann’s colleague Palovita had to face his fears from the past in the opening episode “What we’re concealing”, this time it’s Oksmann who absolutely wants to keep a secret – his secret. But he quickly realizes that that’s not possible, not as a police officer, where it’s also about being able to trust one of the partners blindly. Secrets have no place here. Strong characters and a plot that keeps the suspense to the end characterize Tuominen’s new thriller and already arouse anticipation for book three, in which another investigator from the Pori team will take on the leading role.

Antti Tuomainen “The Moose Paradox”

Antti Tuomainen’s books are also characterized by strong characters. After several individual successes (“Palm Beach, Finland”, “The Last Meters to the Cemetery”, “Little Siberia”), the Finnish bestselling author has started a series with “The Rabbit Factor”, which now continues with “The Elk Paradox”. is successfully continued. The focus is on the actuary Henri Koskinen, who now runs an adventure park: a large hall with all sorts of attractions for the little ones and their parents. The park is doing well after initial difficulties. Dubious types had presented Koskinen with an equation with numerous unknowns in the “rabbit factor”. And such a task also has to be solved in the “moose paradox”.

An old acquaintance is suddenly on the mat, confusing the heads of the park employees with big words and high-flying dreams (“Disneyland is dead!”). In addition, there is the Finnish Games Inc., where Koskinen ordered the new park attraction “Elch-Schanze” but did not get it delivered. Instead, there is always junk from the AG that no park wants anymore, at the door, with outrageous payment requests and even more outrageous payment terms. A thug pays Koskinen a visit. But he ends up where Koskinen already buried his corpses in the first book. And so the story takes its tragicomic, bizarre course. “The Elk Paradox” convinces with pointed dialogues, a plot that you have to get to first and of course also with all of the weird characters, above all Henri Koskinen.

Max Seeck “Enemy Sacrifice”

In his “Jessica Niemi” series, Max Seeck doesn’t have it that way with bizarre situations or weird characters. Seeck, currently Finland’s most internationally successful thriller author and, according to Tuominen, also the “pioneer” of other Finnish writers in this genre, prefers it hard and direct. The latest and best example of this is provided by the third Niemi volume, “Enemy Sacrifice”.

Niemi, who is still suffering from the consequences of a mental breakdown, initially has to leave the reins of action to her colleague Yussuf. Jussuf then has to deal directly with the murder of a big industrialist. A knife straight to the heart. In the middle of a secured condominium. Who is the culprit? How did he get into the victim’s apartment? Only the motive seems clear, because the group wanted to close a plant, thousands of employees should be laid off.

A photo that shows the victim with two other men, whose faces have been scratched out of the picture, also raises puzzles. Envy in the family? A conspiracy? The photo leads Jusuf into the past of the big industrialist, dark machinations and a dark secret that needs to be revealed. But for that, Niemi has to be back on board the investigation.

With “Enemy Victim” Seeck skilfully continues his series about the idiosyncratic investigator Jessica Niemi and partly builds on the previous books “Hexenzauber” and “Teufelstanz”. As a reader, you learn a bit more about Niemi’s personality, her past and her “apparitions”. But the mystery of her person will only be revealed in the upcoming books. Hopefully the way there is long and remains as exciting as before!

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