CTG EXCLUSIVE: Antti Tumainen talks Three Great Novels You Surely Haven’t Read But Might Enjoy If You Did



Today I’m thrilled to welcome the critically acclaimed Finnish crime writer Antti Tuomainen to the CTG Blog. Antti’s latest novel – THE MINE (translated by David Hackston) is out now in paperback, and as part of his blog tour he’s talking about three books that he recommends …

Recently, on occasion of my third novel in the UK (The Mine) having been published, I have had the pleasure of doing many guest posts about topics such as favorite authors, favorite crime films and so forth. I have enjoyed this and am grateful for the chance. There is something I’d like to add, however. Below you’ll find books that I’ve enjoyed immensely but maybe haven’t crossed your path. Sometimes they have been marginal in the first place, sometimes it’s been a few years since their publication. The list is only three books long which is not fair to all the other brilliant books in my shelves. But if this list gives any of these fantastic novels even one more chance with a reader anywhere, it has served its purpose.

Norman Green: Shooting Dr. Jack

True-to-life characters and a great New York atmosphere drive this cross between a literary novel and a crime novel. The story takes place in un-gentrified Brooklyn and is really the story of one man coming to terms with life and getting straight. This following quote is from near the beginning where the main character Stoney is contemplating his current situation: “He’d never intended it to be this way. Who would choose this? Oh, yeah, I’m gonna go into the city, get blind fucking drunk, blow six hundred bucks that used to be in my wallet and ain’t there now, drive home blasted, already on the revoked list. Pass out on the floor. Really impress the old lady. Jesus.” And it only accelerates from there. Highly recommended.

Kenneth Fearing: The Big Clock

They’ve made two movies from this book. The first is from 1948 with Ray Milland, the second is from 1987 with Kevin Costner titled No Way Out. The book is better than both those movies combined. The set-up is simple and quite fantastic: a man is the main suspect in a murder case in which he is the leading investigator. Kenneth Fearing was also a poet and you can see that in the text. This compact novel is written with skill, finesse and precision. This is also a masterclass in building suspense. Read it.

Tom Kakonis: Michigan Roll

I had never heard of Tom Kakonis until one day I started looking for crime novels that took place in Michigan, USA. The reason for this was that I had been, a long time ago, an exchange student in Michigan, near the city of Grand Rapids, and I thought it would be cool to read something from that area again. I was already familiar with Elmore Leonard and his marvelous Detroit novels and Steve Hamilton’s wonderful Alex McKnight series. To my surprise, I found something new. Well, relatively new. Michigan Roll had been published in 1988. It was only one of three crime novels Tom Kakonis published, at least under his own name. (He wrote two more under a pen name, I think.)

Michigan Roll is filled with great dialogue, rough and real and quirky characters, brutal violence and wonderful settings. Speaking of settings, one of them is Traverse City in Northern Michigan. Which is again another coincidence: my American family had a weekend place, an old farm, near Traverse City. I was there in 1989. The events depicted in the novel take place presumably one year earlier. I never noticed anything. Anyway, a great writer and a great book. Read it if you can find it.

A massive thank you to Antti Tuomainen for chatting on the CTG blog today (and giving me three more books to add to my TBR pile!).

Antti’s latest novel THE MINE is out now – here’s the blurb: “A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. A mine spewing toxic secrets that threaten to poison them all … In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life. A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir.”

You can buy THE MINE from Amazon here

And find out more about Antti Tuomainen and his books pop over to his website here and be sure to follow him on Twitter @antti_tuomainen




Hurrah it’s Friday! That’s as good an excuse for a give way as any I reckon!

Today I’m giving you the chance to win a bundle of four fabulous paperbacks – perfect for crime fiction lovers.

The Prize:

AFTER YOU DIE by Eva Dolan is the third book in the fantastic Peterborough Hate Crime Unit series. Here’s what the blurb says: “DS Ferreira is back on the force after being severely injured in the line of duty. The first case to land on her desk takes her and DI Zigic to a brutal crime scene where a woman has been stabbed to death and her disabled daughter left to starve to upstairs. The murdered woman is Dawn Prentice – a woman who had come to Ferreira for help when she and her daughter were being subjected to harassment. As Ferreira battles her demons and Zigic clashes with another officer, the detectives realise that the Prentice case rests on one crucial question – who was the real target of the killer: mother or daughter?”

TIME OF DEATH by Mark Billingham is the latest book in the fabulous Tom Thorne series. Here’s what the blurb says: “Two schoolgirls are abducted in the small, dying Warwickshire town of Polesford, driving a knife into the heart of the community where police officer Helen Weeks grew up. But this is a place where dangerous truths lie buried. When family man Stephen Bates is arrested, Helen and her partner Tom Thorne head to the flooded town to support Bates’ wife – an old school friend of Helen’s – who is living under siege and convinced of her husband’s innocence. As residents and media bay for Bates’ blood, a decomposing body is found. The police believe they have their murderer, but one man believes otherwise. With a girl still missing, Thorne sets himself on a collision course with local police townsfolk – and a merciless killer.”

SILENT SCREAM by Angela Marsons was an ebook phenomenon, now out in paperback. Here’s what the blurb says: “Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever. Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken the the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood. Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country. But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. DI Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?”

THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND by Stuart Neville is the first book in the brilliant DCI Serena Flanagan series. Here’s what the blurb says: “DCI Serena Flanagan is forced to confront a disturbing case form her past: the murder conviction of a 12-year-old boy who has just been released from prison. DCI Serena Flanagan hasn’t heard  the boy’s name in years. Not since the blood on the wall and the body in the bathroom. Not since she listened as he confessed to brutally murdering his foster father. But now Ciaran Devine is out of prison and back in her life. And so is his brother, Thomas – the brother that Flanagan always suspected of hiding something. When Ciaran’s probation officer comes to Flanagan with crest fears about the Devines, the years of lies begin to unravel, setting a deadly chain of events in motion.”

How to enter:

For a chance to win this book bundle all you need to do is tweet the link to this post (using the Twitter button below and including the #CTG hashtag) OR retweet one of the CTG tweets about the giveaway. [You’ll also need to follow CTG on Twitter, so that we can send you a direct message should you win].

(1) One entry per reader (2) UK residents only – due to postage costs – sorry! (3) We will draw the winners at random (4) No cash alternative (5) The competition closes for entries at 10pm GMT on Friday 9th December 2016 (6) The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Good luck!




Crime Fiction Fix is a digital subscription-only magazine for writers and readers of crime fiction. It’s been running since August 2015 when it was founded by editor Sarah Williams – author of How to Write Crime Fiction (Little, Brown 2015).

Each month’s issue features exclusive content including video interviews with bestselling authors, top tips from criminology experts, opportunities for new writers to showcase their work, and regular articles including:

  • Book reviews:  Free-to-view book reviews on the latest crime fiction reads.
  • Members Showcase: An opportunity for magazine subscribers to showcase their work to fellow Crime Fiction Fix
  • The Back Story: Well-known crime writers give an in-depth commentary on specific passages of their writing.
  • Conference Report:  On the ground reports from key crime events and festivals .
  • Events round-up: Listings of the key must-attend events in the crime fiction calendar.

Editor Sarah Williams told us more about the magazine and how it came about :“The idea for Crime Fiction Fix crystallised on a drive down the M4 on the way back from CrimeFest in Bristol a couple of years ago. I love crime fiction conventions and conferences. They bring together three of my abiding passions – learning about the craft of writing, talking to crime writers and finding out about new authors. I didn’t want it to end. And so I conceived the idea of a monthly online crime writing magazine providing bite-sized chunks of insights and information, together with a video interview with an established crime fiction writer, talking about their writing – a magazine that would be of use to writers and of interest to readers.

Crime Fiction Fix has now been running for just over a year, and an exhausting and exciting year it has been. We have a highly gifted and committed editorial team, some amazing techies, but above all we have been struck by the extraordinary generosity of crime fiction writers, ready to share their time, advice and experience, of the technical experts who provide invaluable guidance on all aspects of crime fighting and of the publishers who have kept us informed about new authors and forthcoming publications.

Our aim above all is to be illuminating, exciting, informative and supportive, providing access to the understanding and insights of established mystery writers and a platform for new crime fiction writers to showcase their work, all in the context of an ongoing conversation about the craft of crime fiction writing.

It’s a great privilege and enormous fun.


To find out more hop over to www.crime-fiction-fix.com  and be sure to follow the magazine on Twitter @CrimeFictionFix

To subscribe visit the website at www.crime-fiction-fix.com/join_now

Annual subscriptions are £35 and single issues are £3.50 each.




THEN SHE WAS GONE is the fourth novel in the brilliant Murphy and Rossi detective series.

Here’s the blurb: “Tim Johnson took his baby daughter out for a walk and she never made it home. Johnson claims he was assaulted and the girl was snatched. The police see a different crime, with Johnson their only suspect.

A year later, Sam Bryne is on course to be elected as one of the youngest MPs in Westminster. He’s tipped for the very top … until he vanishes.

Detectives Murphy and Rossi are tasked with discovering what has happened to the popular politician – and in doing so, they unearth a trail that stretches into the past, and crimes that someone is hell-bent on avenging.”

Luca Veste knows how to blend the authentic detail of a police procedural with the fast-paced thrills of a thriller. This is one of my favourite series, and is a must for crime thriller fans. If you’ve not read him, trust me, you need to start right now.

THEN SHE WAS GONE is published today! You can buy it here from Amazon.

Find out more about Luca over on his website http://www.lucaveste.com and follow him on Twitter @LucaVeste

And watch this space for a more detailed review of THEN SHE WAS GONE to follow …