Absurd and darkly humorous crime fiction novel

The Rabbit Factor by Finnish author Antti Tuomainen is a crazy and charming mix of suspenseful crime thriller,  love story and personal drama.

Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen is used to calculate everything down to the last decimal and has ordered his own life very carefully. When he unexpectedly loses his job and inherits an adventure park from his brother, he, for the first time, is faced with the incalculable. The adventure park not only is the home of a terrifying giant rabbit and some eccentric employees, it seems to have serious gaps in both the paperwork and the finances. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters – and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back. Besides, in the adventure park Henri meets Laura, an artist with a chequered past and a joie de vivre, that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…

The Protagonist

Henri Koskinen is a compelling and endearing main character, who is both a hero and an anti-hero. An actuary turned into reluctant adventure park owner, turned into devious businessman, turned into criminal –  that´s quite a transformation. The random nature of life and some unexpected challenges forces Henri to think and act far outside his orderly life. He tries to use his mathematical skills to face all the new and chocking events, and surprisingly, his methods are met with some success. But when he meets Laura and her artwork, Henri realizes for the first time that there is beauty beyond mathematics. In the course of time Henri finds himself growing and changing in ways he never imagined, but he must also deal with the underlying threats, death and dangerous criminal activities. Some of the people he’s dealing with are willing to kill, and he knows it.

The Author

Not very many Finnish crime fiction authors are translated into English, but now at least two highly innovative Finnish writers challenge the top of Nordic crime fiction. Max Seeck with his original police procedurals spiced with witchcraft and the occult, and the original Antti Tuomainen with action-filled, crazy and darkly humorous crime thrillers, at the same time characterized by emotional depths and a warm human touch. The Rabbit Factor is in a way a story about personal development, and that is something the author himself has undergone in his writing. Antti Tuomainen’s first novels were poetic, dark and often rather tragic. In his latest novels he has added humour and craziness, and thus carved out a unique niche that stands apart from the usual Nordic Noir. He is a master when it comes to creating interesting and endearing characters with human qualities and weaknesses. By putting them into absurd and unexpected situations, he moves the narrative forward in many unexpected twists and turns.

The Rabbit Factor is said to be the first installment in a trilogy, introducing one of the most memorable characters. Henri Koskinen is on a journey of discovery, finding out new things about himself and the human conditions – and I really look forward to his next stop.

Review:
Crime Fiction Lover