“Ongoing wars or armed conflicts in the European Union: thirteen, mostly in border areas. Estimated number of climate refugees planet-wide: 650-800 million people. Pandemic warnings: H3N3, malaria, tuberculosis, Ebola, plague. Light piece at the end: the recently chosen Miss Finland believed that everything would be much better in the spring.”
By Antti Tuomainen
Rain has been continuously falling in Finland for months and neighborhoods are damaged or deserted with people moving further up north in hope of some normalcy, or at least somewhat better conditions. There is looting, civil unrest but there is also life going on. Security businesses are on the rise, the media is still focused on bringing the news and people still have to make a living.
It’s in this world that Tapani Lehtinen, a struggling poet, lives. As if this wasn’t already hard to endure his wife is now missing. As a newspaper journalist she’s been on the trail of a politically motivated killer, known as The Healer. Did she perhaps get too close?
Tapani goes through the streets of Helsinki in search of his wife. He meets with friends and co-workers to get a picture of the last whereabouts of his wife, every time finding out a bit more not just about his wife’s work but of her life before him.
For a book about a serial killer it was interesting that I found the chaos of this dystopian future much more chilling than the Healer. Often times in dystopian novels, which I do enjoy quite a bit, are so out there in the future that it’s easy to think well that’s not going to happen now but this novel made everything feel more imminent and real that is frightening.
So as a mystery the novel didn’t live up to my expectations but the atmosphere was superb. I felt Tapani’s desperation in finding his wife and the city’s desperation of society as we know it coming to an end.
Source: Library copy