Blog Tour: The Beaver Theory, Antti Tuomainen

Book Review: The Beaver TheoryThe Rabbit Factor Series, Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston

The Beaver Theory, Antti Tuomainen

Mystery/Thriller: The Beaver TheoryThe Rabbit Factor Series, Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston

Blog Tour, October 11, 2023

 

Henri Koskinen finds himself in a very unfamiliar state of mind. He is happy. His relationship with Laura Helanto has progressed to him moving in with her and her daughter. His position as head of the YouMeFun Adventure Park Is going so well that he is considering rewarding his employees with pay raises. In short, Henri is enjoying his new life and his new family and his (still relatively) new job.

 

Then the bottom drops out of the business. Another adventure park opens in the Helsinki area, but this one is different. It has all the newest and latest rides. It has glitz and glamor with entertainers and celebrities making appearances and performing shows. Probably most importantly, it is free. You can spend the entire day there without spending a dime (or an euro). This results in YouMeFun losing all of its business. No customers, no money, no pay raises, no jobs. No longer a happy Henri.

 

Henri being Henri, he decides to snoop around the competition. Henri being Henri, while he is snooping around, the owner of the place is murdered. He manages to escape from the park without being identified, but he knows the police will come to his door. He doesn’t believe in fate. He may say, “everything happens for a reason,” but not in the anodyne “whatever happened is for the best” that most people mean. No, we may not have expected something, but usually that is either because we did not factor in all of the variables or because we did not bother to try factoring in all the variables.

 

What follows is the madcap mayhem that shows up in every Antti Tuomainen novel that I have read. The plot is a mystery thriller, but the characters are quirky and charming, led by the often befuddling Henri. One example is when he and his head of security are doing reconnaissance in the other park. Along with their secret mission, the security chief also creates secret names: Jaako Bourne and Eemeli Hunt. Henri’s response to this is typical, “as to where our undercover names have come from, I’m at a loss.” Another exploit elicits the reflection, “I can honestly say I didn’t have any of this in mind when I decided to become an actuary.” Few do, Henri. Few do.

 

The novel is also a beautiful depiction of how this insecure, often insufferable loner finds himself unexpectedly with not one, not two, but three families. (Stop it, that’s not what he means!) Again, Henri expresses it best: “Becoming a member of a family and operating within that family is above all a leap of faith: in moving away from the safety of pure reason, you get warmth in return. And if I can create hope and vision, it seems I will get them in return too.”

 

David Hackston is a marvelous translator. The descriptions I have read of Tuomainen’s work definitely fit the English versions. Translation is a difficult task, but Hackston makes reading the books effortless.

 

I don’t often give characters the last word in my reviews, but the joy and delight of the book can be summed up with one final quote from the ever romantic Henri.

 

Happiness resides where love and mathematics combine.

 

Our thanks to Ann Cater of Random Things for our copy of The Beaver Theory, provided so we could give an honest review. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives, check out the other bloggers on this tour.

 

The Beaver Theory, Antti Tuomainen

Book Review: The Beaver TheoryThe Rabbit Factor Series, Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston

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