The Man Who Died

by Antti Tuomainen

Nordic Noir? Is it? The Finnish weather is sunny in this story, but don’t let that deceive you. I really felt for Jaako Kaunisma, a chubby thirty-something. Everything is going to the dogs until he takes his short remaining life in hand, while encountering a few bodies along the way. Mainly understated humour - but the dealings with his staff and his competitors made me laugh out loud. And his wife gets her comeuppance. Very satisfying.


Asko is about to turn away when Tomi pipes up. 'If you find a snapped bolete in your bed, you'll know what it means.'
Asko stops in his tracks. I stare at Tomi. He is so big that just looking at him is something of an athletic feat.
'A snapped bolete?' I enquire.
Tomi nods his enormous head.
'I don't know what that means, but if I do find a porcini sliced in two on my pillow, I'll think of you.'
Tomi shakes his head. 'Not sliced. Snapped.'
Asko raises a hand.
Sami and Tomi stare at me for a moment longer, then the three of them climb back into the cab. The van sways from side to side.
'We'll be on our way now,' says Asko from the window. 'But consider yourself-'
Translated by David Hackston


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