The Mine by Antti Tuomainen

Review published on December 21, 2016.

Antti Tuomainen is leading the Finnish invasion of crime noir, and with The Mine it is easy to see why he is an award-winning writer. He has used his simple method of storytelling, which features a wonderful mixture of passion and at times sadness, to give us a compelling thriller that keeps the reader guessing until the end.

The story brings together a journalist, a hitman, a broken family and a toxic mine spewing out secrets that others would prefer to be kept hidden. It is a traumatic story of family, corruption and secrets that come back and bite those involved.

Janne Vuori is a well-known journalist on a Helsinki newspaper noted for its quality reporting, something Janne prides himself on. When he receives a tip off about a nickel mine and the toxins it is dumping into the environment, his natural curiosity causes him to head north to find out more.

What he does not realise is that, in chasing the story at the cost of all other things, his relationship with Pauliina, mother of his daughter Ella, will collapse completely. At the same time, after thirty years, he meets his own father, who has a complicated history of his own and it seems strange that he is now back, searching Janne and his mother out.

While investigating the ownership of the Northern Finnish mine, Janne finds that members of the board are being murdered, while one has committed suicide. The owners of the company seem to be well hidden and the fact that there must be a story raises the possibility that he too could become a target.

The Mine is a gripping and traumatic environmental thriller about how far people will go in order to hide the truth. The book is well written and it has been translated by David Hackston, so that none of the beauty and elegance of Tuomainen’s prose is to the reader.

The Mine is a thriller that shows off the best of Finnish noir and raises the question of why has it been hidden from the English reader for so long. I’m extremely thankful to Orenda Books for bringing Antti Tuomainen to my attention and I can guarantee this is a book you cannot put down.

Paul Diggett 5/4

The Mine by Antti Tuomainen
Orenda 9781910633533 pbk Oct 2016

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