cover image The Moose Paradox

The Moose Paradox

Antti Tuomainen, trans. from the Finnish by David Hackston. Orenda (IPG, dist.), $26 (276p) ISBN 978-1-914585-34-0

Former actuary Henri Kosinken, the painfully literal, pathologically rational protagonist of Tuomainen’s hilarious sequel to 2022’s Rabbit Factor, struggles to solve the many problems at YouMeFun, the children’s adventure park he inherited from his deceased brother, Juhani, six months earlier in the previous book. Things are looking up until he’s attacked by masked assailants—and saved by another hooded figure—while making after-hours rounds. The next morning, he walks into his office and finds the charming, hopelessly optimistic, and thoroughly criminally minded Juhani alive and full of new plans to “bring back a bit of creative madness” at the faltering park. Henri is soon entangled in unsavory schemes, blackmail plots, and comically accidental violence, much of which traces back to his incorrigible brother. Henri confronts each challenge, as well as his budding romance with former park manager Laura Helanto, with endearing, exasperating logical deduction. This mix of slapstick and dry wit, ably translated by Hackston, is a refreshing change from the decidedly gloomier crime fiction for which Scandinavia is known. (Apr.)