Hi and welcome to #BiteSizeSaturday!
As you might recall I put two Orenda books on my summer reading list in preparation of #Orentober. I am sitting on my full reviews until October, but I’m sharing some Orenda review snippets here and now, an #Orentober sneak preview if you will.
For those of you who have never heard of #Orentober: it’s a month-long celebration of Orenda Books in October. Orenda Books is one of my favourite publishers out there, housing some of my favourite authors and some of my all-time favourite books.
First up: Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds, which is out now in digital formats with the paperback to follow in September.
The blurb: When a young woman vanishes from an exclusive oceanfront community, Detective Casey Wray’s investigation plunges her into a darkness she could never have imagined … Breathtaking, unnerving contemporary American Noir.
When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.
Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…
And then the first body appears…
My thoughts: Black Reed Bay is an intelligent and super addictive high-octane action thriller / crime novel / police procedural, call it what you want, but call it excellent, because that is what it is first and foremost. Impressive writing, well-rounded characters, oodles of atmosphere, tons of suspense until the riveting finale – so much so that for a while there I was worried it would end on a massive cliffhanger – and that certain je-ne-sais-quoi that is vital but so hard to define, but whatever it is, Black Reed Bay has it in spades. Need I spell it out? Highly recommended!
Next up: The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen tr. David Hackston, which will be out in digital formats in September and in paperback in November.
The blurb: An insurance mathematician’s carefully ordered life is turned on its head when he unexpectedly loses his job and inherits an adventure park … with a whole host of problems. A quirky, tense and warmly funny thriller from award-winning Finnish author Antti Tuomainen.
What makes life perfect? Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen knows the answer because he calculates everything down to the very last decimal.
And then, for the first time, Henri is faced with the incalculable. After suddenly losing his job, Henri inherits an adventure park from his brother – its peculiar employees and troubling financial problems included. The worst of the financial issues appear to originate from big loans taken from criminal quarters … and some dangerous men are very keen to get their money back.
But what Henri really can’t compute is love. In the adventure park, Henri crosses paths with Laura, an artist with a chequered past, and a joie de vivre and erratic lifestyle that bewilders him. As the criminals go to extreme lengths to collect their debts and as Henri’s relationship with Laura deepens, he finds himself faced with situations and emotions that simply cannot be pinned down on his spreadsheets…
Warmly funny, rich with quirky characters and absurd situations, The Rabbit Factor is a triumph of a dark thriller, its tension matched only by its ability to make us rejoice in the beauty and random nature of life.
My thoughts: I breezed through this book, it was such a joy to read from start to finish. I simultaneously wanted to race to the finale to find out if and how Henri had got himself out of his predicament, and slow down to be able to stay in this book for a while longer. If you like scenarios in which an ordinary guy ends up in impossible and at times comical situations with a bunch of criminals breathing down his neck, The Rabbit Factor is one you won’t want to miss. It is funny, it is bittersweet, it is suspenseful and Henri absolutely stole my heart. Highly recommended.
That’s it for today! Do come back in October for my full reviews 😄