The Rabbit Factor – Antti Tuomainen

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…

I’m a huge fan of Antti Tuomainen’s books. The Man Who Died (#MushroomNoir), Palm Beach Finland (‘Sex, lies and ill-fiting swimwear’, aka #FlamingoNoir), and Little Siberia‘s #MeteoriteNoir.

And he’s back again, with The Rabbit Factor. Will it be #BunnyNoir?

What it turned out to be is another glorious (mis)adventure. Mild-mannered Henri Koskinen likes his life neat and orderly, with everything calculated down to the finest detail. Ideal, really as he works in insurance. Or did. Recently redundant, he inherits a theme park, sorry, adventure park from his brother.

Let the shenanigans begin.

It’s just glorious fun. Henri is a man out of his depth, lost in an unpredictable world of giant rabbits, over-ambitious staff, huge murals and some very unsavoury characters who would really quite like some of their money back. Please. Now.

Throw love into the mix and poor Henri doesn’t know which way is up. But gradually he finds his feet.

I loved The Rabbit Factor. It’s Tuomainen’s best yet, and that’s on the back of some of my favourite books. Black humour at its finest, deftly handled. Quirky characters, a fantastic setting and just a great, fun read.

Hugely recommended.

Huge props, as ever, to David Hackston for the excellent translation work.

The Rabbit Factor, by Antti Tuomainen is published by Orenda Books, and is out now. Huge thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for the advance copy to review.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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