Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Healer - Antti Tuomainen

Set amidst a ruthless climate catastrophe that has driven all but a resilient few from the streets of Helsinki, Finnish poet Tapani Lehitenen's world is turned upside down when he wakes one morning to find his Journalist wife, Johanna, missing. His desperation is then magnified when he finds that her disappearance appears to be linked to a politically motivated serial killer known as The Healer. Sounds good, huh? Well, I thought so. 
I was wrong.
Its not a bad book, far from it. Its brilliantly written, with an atmosphere and mood that is second to none, and, at times, the descriptions of the rain soaked city, desolate and desperate are jaw dropping. But, a good book needs more than good writing, and, in crime fiction, it goes without saying, that the one thing it does need, is a good plot. Unfortunately, here lies the major setback.
Of course, there is a plot, but, it never really goes anywhere, with scene after scene meandering along with nothing, or very little, happening. The clues and any information seem to come in big chunks instead of being dripped in slowly over the course of the novel to excite and tease. The characters are, on the whole, very bland and one dimensional, and the ending, well, lets just say that its all a little predictable.
 
For the writing, its a definite 5/5. For the rest, well, a low 3/5

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