Book Reviews

Book Review: The Healer.


Antti Tuomanien was an award-winning copywriter and has a vivid imagination.

The setting and timing of this novel alone are intriguing as writers choose as far north as Helsinki, and the time, being two days before Christmas is unusual.

In Europe, two days before Christmas is a busy time, since everyone is preoccupied making festive preparations.

Investigative journalists don’t chase stories to exotic places at this time of the year. .

The main character of the novel is married to Johanna, who works as an investigative journalist for a flailing newspaper.

Helsinki is crumbling because of severe climate changes,. Subways and coastal areas are flooded, electricity supply is fraught with “brown outs”, and essential supplies (food, medicines, water) are gradually declining.

Police forces rarely function as before as manpower shortages beset them/ Private security companies provide whatever security they can.

Tapani Lahtinen, a struggling poet, is married to Johanna, who goes missing while on duty investigating a serial killer who murdered entire families becomes obsessed to find her.

First, Tapani contacts police, but is informed that they cannot help due to manpower shortages.

Tapani then hires a taxi, driven by a North African driver, and starts looking for Johanna, and discovers that Helsinki residents are leaving the city to live in northern Finland where conditions are more amenable to an orderly and secure life.

Teh author navigates a post apocalyptic city which is suffering from the effects of global warming.

The prose is fast paced and enjoyable which compels the reader to turn page after page to discover the next “dilemma” that Tapani will encounter.

In the process, the reader discovers how Finish think, behave in tragedies, and treat immigrants, particularly vismins, who arrive in great numbers to work hard and return to their native lands to starts their own businesses.

The end of the novel is unexpected, but I will leave it up to the reader to discover for him/herself.

Highly recommended.

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