Hi and welcome to FromBelgiumWithBookLove where it is my absolute pleasure to share with you an excerpt from The Moose Paradox! Check out my review here if you missed it the first time around, but the long and short of it is that I had a great time with The Moose Paradox from start to finish. It made me grin and snort in a most unladylike fashion and it is just a fab addition to what is bound to be a fantastic trilogy. I would highly recommend it to fans of this particular brand of Nordic Noir and to readers who enjoy their crime on the funnier side.
Many thanks to Anne Cater for having me on the tour, and to Orenda Books for the excerpt.
Let’s have a quick look at the blurb first:
Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen has finally restored order both to his life and to YouMeFun, the adventure park he now owns, when a man from the past appears – and turns everything upside down again. More problems arise when the park’s equipment supplier is taken over by a shady trio, with confusing demands. Why won’t Toy of Finland Ltd sell the new Moose Chute to Henri when he needs it as the park’s main attraction?
Meanwhile, Henri’s relationship with artist Laura has reached breaking point, and, in order to survive this new chaotic world, he must push every calculation to its limits, before it’s too late…
Absurdly funny, heart-stoppingly poignant and full of nail-biting suspense, The Moose Paradox is the second instalment in the critically acclaimed, pitch-perfect Rabbit Factor Trilogy and things are messier than ever…
Alright, let’s head to Finland!
The adventure park could be seen from afar. It was a brightly coloured, red-yellow-and-orange box, in size somewhere between Stockmann’s department store and an average airport terminal. It was almost two hundred metres in length, stood fifteen metres tall, and on its roof in giant lettering was the park’s name: YouMeFun. Right now, the wistful, beautiful November sunlight struck the sign, bathing the car park the size of three football pitches in gold and lending a soft sheen to the great mass of tin and steel standing proudly behind it.
I stopped at the traffic lights, looked up at the adventure park across the road and thought once again that something really was different.
Something had changed and changed for good.
This was my park, I thought to myself. The thought gave me strength. I had almost died trying to save this park. I had steered it out from under a mountain of debt, and though it might not be profitable yet, at least, in all probability, it would be a survivor.
Only six months ago I’d been forced to resign from my job as an actuary at a leading insurance company. I was faced with choosing between a change in my job description that would have seen me moving into a broom cupboard to conduct an endless stream of meaningless pseudo-calculations or taking part in an emotion-oriented, time-dynamic training programme, not to mention group yoga sessions. But only a moment after handing in my resignation, I learnt that my brother had passed away and that I had inherited his adventure park. Upon arrival at said adventure park, I learnt that I had inherited my brother’s considerable debts too, debts that he had taken out with an assortment of hard-boiled criminals. One thing led to another, and to save my own life, the jobs of the staff, and the park itself, I had to resort to some radical acts of self-defence, and as a result of this one of the gangsters died after finding himself on the receiving end of the kinetic intersection between me and a giant plastic rabbit’s ear, I ended up opening a payday-loan operation, then quickly running it down again, I met an artist who aroused feelings I had hitherto never experienced, I had to avoid both the crooks and the police and witness an event that still makes me nervously fumble with my neck.
After all this, the park’s financial situation was still tough. There was no other word for it.
I’d already resorted to numerous money-saving measures, and I suspected there would be more of them down the line. I’d tried to lead by example in every respect. My salary was already lower than anybody else’s, and I paid for my lunch and snacks myself at the park’s main eatery, the Curly Cake Café. I didn’t want to cut the other employees’ salaries, but obviously I’d been forced to take a closer look at budget allocations for each department. This initially met with some resistance, but I defended my solutions with a series of carefully compiled spreadsheets and stressed to the staff at every turn that we had to look at things over a five- to ten year timeframe. This was greeted with silence. Which, in turn, gave me the chance to outline my money-saving proposals in more detail, ranging from the largescale (energy saving: the ambient temperature in the main hall was now on average one and a half degrees cooler than a month ago. Naturally, the children haven’t noticed the change, and I’ve provided the staff with warm sweatshirts sporting the park’s logo) to the smaller scale (I repainted the Loopy Ladder in Caper Castle by myself, which is evident in the splashes of paint on the wall behind it, but the saving was not insignificant).
I crossed the road and walked into the car park. My mood improved with every step because all the pieces were finally falling into place, both in general and individually, in the long term and on a day-by-day basis. The equation was beginning to take shape. All was well.
This was my life now. And most importantly of all, my life was orderly again.
Ah but is it, Henri? And more importantly, will it stay that way? Spoiler alert… It will not 😱 Find out more soon: The Moose Paradox is out in digital formats and hardcover on 27 October, with the paperback to follow next year. Pre-order directly from Orenda Books here.