A Review of Helsinki Noir edited by James Thompson

Helsinki Noir

edited by James Thompson

This is a collection of new stories from Finnish writers that take place in and around Helsinki. The stories range from very dark and horrific to brighter and nearly upbeat. Most of them were quite good. Some of the stranger stories are at the beginning of the book, so don’t let that stop you. If you aren’t too sure what is going on, just keep working through it. I think that you will like it.

I enjoyed this collection, but since I haven’t read any of the other books in this series, I can’t tell how well it stacks up with the rest. I used this book to get a small feel for Finnish mystery writers. Most of the stories were originally written in Finnish or Swedish, and the translations are very good. They flow nicely and read naturally. I will be looking to add some of the books from these authors in the future. It was an interesting glimpse into life in Helsinki.

I give Helsinki Noir 4 Stars out of 5, and recommend it to anyone looking to expand their mystery story experience. It would be an eclectic addition to anyone’s library. Use it to expand the group of authors that you read.

I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from edelweiss.com.

Book Description

HelsinkiNoir1-509x800“Readers should be prepared to keep the lights on at night after finishing this unnerving collection.”
Publishers Weekly

Launched with the summer ’04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Leena Lehtolainen, Johanna Holmström, James Thompson, Antti Tuomainen, Jesse Itkonen, Joe L. Murr, Jukka Petäjä, Tapani Bagge, Pekka Hiltunen, Teemu Käskinen, Tuomas Lius, Riikka Ala-Harja, Karo Hämäläinen, and Jarkko Sipila.

From the introduction by James Thompson:

“Finland, the myths and truths. Internationally, it has a reputation as perhaps the best place in the world to live. A great economy. A low crime rate. Good and nearly cost-free health care. The needy are provided for by the state and live in reasonable comfort. Finns: peaceful and quiet people, living in the perfect example of a social democracy functioning as it should. A tourist, or even a person who has lived here for a length of time, might well view Finland as such. There is some truth to this, but like every country, Finland has many truths…

Finland is, like the theme so often explored in Star Trek, a parallel universe in which, on the surface, all seems normal, but under that shell lie vast differences…As this book demonstrates, Finland is a noir nation [and] this anthology is, I believe, the best representation of Finnish noir ever offered to the international community. Every word rings true. It holds Finland up in a way that not only exposes this wonderful and fascinating country to the world, but acts as a mirror that reflects its people and culture in a way every Finn will recognize, vocalizing those truths that are so seldom spoken here amongst ourselves.”

Book Details

Series: Akashic Noir
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Akashic Books (November 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161775241X
ISBN-13: 978-1617752414
Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 7 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

About the Editor

JAMES THOMPSON has lived in Finland for over fifteen years and is one of the most popular representatives of Nordic noir, with his work being published in a dozen countries. His novel Snow Angels, the first book in his acclaimed Kari Vaara series, was one of Booklist’s Best Crime Novel Debuts of the Year and was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Strand Critics awards. Kirkus selected Lucifer’s Tears, the second book in the series, as one of the best books of 2011. G.P. Putnam’s Sons will release Helsinki Dead, the fifth installment in the series, in 2014. He is a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books and holds a master’s degree from the University of Helsinki. He is the editor of Helsinki Noir.

Jim has suddenly passed away on August 2, 2014.

Book Description and Details are from Amazon. Helsinki Noir

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