The Moose Paradox: A Book Review

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If you read one book about an actuary this year make it The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen. If you read two books about actuaries, then read the follow-up The Moose Paradox. If you’ve read the first book, you already know you want to read the second. If you haven’t read The Rabbit Factor yet, check out my review, or trust me and pick up a copy, right now. You won’t regret it. If you’re still unsure, what follows is as non-spoilery review as possible, opining why you should definitely read Antti Tuomainen’s novels about the loveable but all too literal Henri Koskinen. 

Who is Henri Koskinen?

He’s a Finnish actuary who loses his job at the start of The Rabbit Factor before inheriting his brother’s theme park. Not only does he inherit the theme, sorry, “adventure,”  park, he also retains responsibility for some extremely dodgy unsecured loans. The types of loans that are paid back in broken kneecaps. Henri takes everything literally, he always works the odds. He never lies. He is blunt and to the point. He’s a less exaggerated version of Sheldon Cooper and he’s quite wonderful. 

Despite having escaped the clutches of gangsters and rescued the adventure park in book 1, the opening of The Moose Paradox sees Henri struggling to work out how to save the park from a more conventional bankruptcy. The key to survival is obtaining “The Moose Chute,” the ride with the best dollar per pound-of-enjoyment ratio on the market. (This book is set in Finland so really it’s the best Euro per Kg ratio.) Much to Henri’s chagrin, it’s no longer available for him to buy. Worse, the once affable Toy of Finland company seems to have undergone a change in management; one that is far less accommodating. Henri sees financial ruin ahead. 

There is of course far more to this than meets the eye. Eventually, Henri will work out what is going on, but first, he has to deal with a visitor from his past. 

Why Read The Moose Paradox?

This is another great installment of the quirky thriller series that started with The Rabbit Factor. I love the fact that Henri behaves so logically in the most illogical of circumstances. He stays true to his principles and manages to see out the day. 

More than that, in addition to the clever hijinks and financial machinations, Antti Tuomaianan manages to infuse his novels with real-life dilemmas and emotions. In this book, we see Henri trying to adjust to a new life; one where he isn’t entirely alone. We also see him wrestling with the realization that his family members will inevitably let him down. 

There is quite a sad core to the book, where Henri has to concede things are not how he would like them to be, and that nothing will ever change. There is no action that he can take that will help hin arrive at a different outcome. Having gone through something similar myself with a family member, I found this part of the book particularly affecting. 

British readers will also notice the similarity between one new character and our former Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Both are men, who promised much and delivered very little. Both are expert gaslighters. It’s impossible not to feel very sorry for the straight-playing Henri as the exaggerations, promises, and lies build up, and he has to deal with the fallout of none of them coming to fruition. 

All in all, The Moose Paradox is a great follow-up to The Rabbit Factor and cements Henri Koskinen as one of crime fiction’s most likable, yet most unlikely, heroes. 

If you’d like to pick up a copy of The Moose Paradox, you can do so here, in the US, and here, in the UK. If you want to jump straight to The Rabbit Factor, try, here.

If you enjoyed this post, check out my other book reviews, here.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to write this review. 

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