Book Review: Palm Beach, Finland

PALM BEACH, FINLAND | Antti Tuomainen
10.18.2018 | Orenda Books
Rating: 5/5 stars


Welcome to Palm, Beach Finland! Get ready to stay in a brightly colored cabana decorated with flamingos and palm trees on Finland’s “hottest beach”. This bizarre holiday village is attempting to become a prime traveler’s destination, but there’s just one small problem…a murder has occurred nearby.

Jan Nyman, an experienced undercover detective, has been placed on the case. Immediately after arriving he finds this seaside town is filled with interesting people and no shortage of suspects. Number one on the list is Olivia Koski, who recently returned back to town and is the owner of the home where the murder occurred. Was she also the target? Nyman is hellbent on finding the truth, but he’ll have to navigate a cast of characters who just walked out of the script of Fargo first! Greed, dreams of fame, and bumbling criminals will stop at nothing to get what they want unless Nyman can put a stop to them.

It was an accident. An unfortunate turn of events. It was a misunderstanding, a delicate imbalance between push and shove. And thus the neck broke like a plank snapping in two.

PALM BEACH, FINLAND is my first book by Antti Tuomainen and I don’t think I could have asked for a better introduction to the author! This book could quite possibly be the most fun I have ever had while reading a work of crime fiction. Tuomainen has given his story an obvious nod to movies like Fargo where the criminals can’t help but get in their own way. This book is dark comedy mixed with noir into a perfect result!

Immediately Tuomainen opens the book to the murder, which inevitably draws Jan Nyman to town to investigate. Chico and Robin would love to think that they are the greatest criminals and conmen the world has seen, but these two are a hot mess! Their easy task to scare someone quickly spirals out of control into a series of ridiculously comical events that end in murder. I certainly wouldn’t be hiring these two for any jobs! Despite being terribly unorganized criminals they seem to be able to avoid suspicion and carry on with their attempts to make money and achieve their dreams. Each character within this book is well-rounded and Tuomainen alternates who the reader is spending time with, so we get a chance to know what makes everyone tick.

In that respect the duo’s actions were a continuation of before. Everything they touched blew up: they killed the wrong guy or didn’t kill the guy when they were supposed to.

The setting of the resort, Palm Beach, Finland, plays along perfectly with the story at hand. It’s owned by a man who desperately wants the place to be a success, but has also chosen to paint the cabanas in dayglo colors and decorate with palm trees and flamingos. Tuomainen describes the resort so well that I had no trouble conjuring an image in my mind and if we’re going to be honest…I really want to go there! I would love to experience this place firsthand!

This story and Tuomainen’s writing make for an incredibly addictive, bingeable read that will keep you turning pages just to see what foolery might happen next! The comedy works so unbelievably well with the crime in this story that you feel like you’ve been transported into a movie. I cannot wait to read more by Tuomainen! I read his acknowledgements at the end of this book and love that he described for readers the many styles he has written in, so now all I need to do is decide if I want to stay with his hilarious side or venture into his darker work.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

Disclosure: Thank you to Orenda Books for sending me a free copy in exchange for my honest review!

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