Of course it is would be my reply! In fact, this one’s going to be made into a major movie production starring Hollywood megastar Steve Carell – who, in my humble opinion, is perfect for the role!
So what’s the story here?
Basically – and bear with me here, as it does sound insane! – our lead character, Henri Koskinen is an insurance actuary, which means he can work out the mathematical probability of something happening – and does this throughout his whole life. He lives alone, happily, with his cat, Schopenhauer – and that’s not really surprising as he would definitely be an acquired taste as a partner or even flatmate. However, as a book’s main character, he’s, well, utterly fabulous – as well as extremely original! So life’s rumbling along quietly until Henri – who tells the story in the first person – loses his job after a company rejig that doesn’t suit his style of being left alone to get on with his calculations…
Disaster! What does he do next?
Well, luckily (it initially seems…) his brother has died and left him his amusement park, which is in the hands of manager Laura, who oversees a curious mixture of employees.
Well, that’s a relief, isn’t it? At least he’s got something to do with his life, as well as an income!
Yes, sounds ideal, doesn’t it, even if it is an utter change of direction. But then he discovers that the only way his brother’s kept the business afloat is by borrowing large sums of money from a variety of dodgy sources…who, not surprisingly, now want a return on their investment…from Henri, obviously! How does an actuary figure out the mathematical probability of getting himself out of this without ending up, well, dead…? Will he find a solution to keep himself – and the amusement arcade – afloat, while learning along the way to work with Laura, Kristian the maintenance man, and the rest of the staff.
Is it as screwball as it sounds?
Pretty much! I’m not usually one for much comedy in my crime fiction – in my opinion very few writers can pull it off – but Tuomainen can, rather like Carl Hiaasen, who’s the only author I’ve read to whom this is remotely comparable – and if I’m comparing it to him you’ll realise what high quality crime writing this is – but then if you’ve read Tuomainen before, you won’t be surprised at that comment. He’s a seriously versatile writer, and very reliable quality-wise too.
Kudos, too, to the translator, as comedy can be difficult to translate, as, I’m told, can Finnish, so to combine the two successfully is a massively impressive achievement.
And this is the first of Tuomainen’s books not to be a one-off novel, isn’t it?
Yes – this is going to be the first in a trilogy, and I think once you get stuck into The Rabbit Factor – bizarre as it may sound – you’ll be as delighted as I am with this news!
With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blog tour, and Orenda books for the eARC. This has in no way affected my review.
Look back at more of the blog tour posts!
BLURB: Just one spreadsheet away from chaos…
What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.
And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. 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.
But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle 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…
Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.