Deadpan humor is plentiful in crime fiction from countries in the Scandinavian cultural sphere, but the first third of this Finnish crime novel is all deadpan, and the effect is novel, as if a joke is liable to break out at any moment.
One nice touch: Further evidence that Nordic writers' are willing to poke fun at their countries' reputations for vigorous good health. Here's Helsinki Police Lt. Jansson moping his way through a stay at a health center:
"The decision to stay in bed had nothing to do with a hangover. Having only drunk moderately, he felt reasonably alert. He simply had no desire to submit to the hazing of another physical therapist. `Doesn't Jansson's back bend?' `Jansson, tuck in your belly.' `Jansson, breathe deeply.'"That's a nice companion piece to the stone-massage ordeal Iceland's Yrsa Sigurðardóttir puts her protagonist through in My Soul to Take.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011