Today is my second stop on the ‘Finnish Invasion’ blog tour and for my stop I have reviewed Antti Tuomainen’s latest novel, The Mine translated by David Hackston. And with Tuomainen previously being referred to as the ‘King of Helsinki noir’ I was very intrigued to read it!
‘Something had changed. Even the night felt different. It no longer protected him. It was as though he was standing next to a great curtain and couldn’t find a chink with which to slip back into darkness.’
In the opening pages of The Mine we are introduced to Janne Vuori, an investigative reporter who receives an email which informs him of the occurrence of hazardous activities at a mine in northern Finland. And as a result of his interest in the subject and the potential to land a major story, Janne sets out to uncover the truth about the mine and the illegal activities taking place within which have dangerous consequences for the surrounding areas. But Janne’s quest for answers is only the start of a chilling and mysterious sequence of events that includes the deaths of company executives connected to the mine, and the layers of truth and lie that surround them. To add to the tension, the narrative alternates between Janne’s perspective and the story of a hitman, with the two stories becoming interwoven as the true extent of corruption at the mine begins to be unearthed.
‘Everything you’ve ever done, everything you’ve ever been is right there in front of you – like a dolls house where you can see into every room at once and there’s nowhere to hide.’
I really enjoyed the way the story was presented and by alternating between Janne’s story and the hitman’s it adds to the growing sense of unease surrounding Janne’s involvement in the case. And as Janne delves deeper into the tangled web of corruption and violence it is not only his own life that is put in danger – it is his families. Aside from the investigative side the story also deals with family relationships and Janne’s troubled relationship with his wife proves significant as the journalist is forced to question his own actions and whether putting himself in danger for his career could prove costly for his family. This added emotional elements to the story, and as Janne struggles to deal with his home life, past secrets threaten to emerge and further exacerbate his complex situation. This gradual reveal of information makes The Mine a gripping read.
‘Sometimes time leaps forward, sometimes it crawls. Sometimes time disappears and leaves us floating in space. After that, all that is left for us is a free-fall back to the earth, a return to a life that has changed irrevocably, become fragile and startlingly unfamiliar.’
I enjoyed reading The Mine and found it to be a well written, intriguing story with plenty of secrets to be revealed along the way. A chilling tale of secrets and lies, and the lengths we go to uncover the truth.
The Mine was published in paperback on 10th October 2016 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for providing a copy for review.
This review was written as part of the ‘Finnish Invasion’ blog tour. You can follow the rest of the stops on the tour on the dates and blogs below.