The Beaver Theory by Antti Tuomainen tr. David Hackston #bookreview #TheBeaverTheory

Can everyone’s favourite insurance mathematician, Henri, combine the increasingly dangerous world of adventure parks with the unpredictability of blended-family life? He’s about to find out in the final instalment of the hilarious, nail-biting Rabbit Factor Trilogy. Henri Koskinen, intrepid insurance mathematician and adventure-park entrepreneur, firmly believes in the power of common sense and order. That is until he moves in with painter Laura Helanto and her daughter… As Henri realises he has inadvertently become part of a group of local dads, a competing adventure park is seeking to expand their operations, not always sticking to the law in the process… Is it possible to combine the increasingly dangerous world of the adventure-park business with the unpredictability of life in a blended family? At first glance, the two appear to have only one thing in neither deals particularly well with a mounting body count. In order to solve this seemingly impossible conundrum, Henri is forced to step far beyond the mathematical precision of his comfort zone … and the stakes have never been higher…
Warmly funny, quirky, touching, and a nail-biting triumph of a thriller, The Beaver Theory is the final instalment in the award-winning Rabbit Factor Trilogy, as Henri encounters the biggest challenge of his career, with hair-raising results…


Hi and welcome to my review of The Beaver Theory!

The Beaver Theory is the third and final instalment in the Rabbit Factor trilogy, and while I will admit to having a certain weak spot for Antti Tuomainen’s writing in general, this trilogy is truly something special. I will miss it terribly, each instalment was something I looked forward to immensely, but I do love the manner in which it has come to a close. It’s been a beautiful journey and I can’t thank Antti, his magnificent translator David Hackston and Orenda Books enough for taking me on it.

What is so special about The Beaver Theory, and by extension the whole trilogy? Obviously, the writing style in general, and Antti’s unique blend of mystery, thriller and comedy, his ability to have bodies dropping left, right and centre, while still having his reader chuckle at every turn. Moreover, there’s Henri Koskinen. Oh Henri, how I love you, more with every instalment!

Back in book one, Henri was an actuary who had just inherited an adventure park. These days, Henri no longer works as an actuary, although he will always be an actuary at heart, and he doesn’t just still own the park, he has made it bigger and better and more profitable. And to his utter surprise, he actually loves his park! Until… a new competitor pops up and YouMeFun becomes deserted. Time for Henri to inspect and investigate and calculate. But then the bodies start dropping and Henri comes under police scrutiny… again. 

Is it all hyperrealistic? No, not at all, some of the events are rather over the top, I’d say. But it’s Henri’s sober reaction and his astonishment that these outrageous things keep happening to him, that makes the author get away with it. Because of Henri’s noticeable efforts to suspend his disbelief, the reader is able to do so effortlessly, which is something that I have only now realised, reading this third book.

Henri is truly the star of this trilogy and his character arc is nothing short of amazing, yet it feels very organic, because we’ve witnessed his personal growth throughout the trilogy. From a lone man with a cat, he has evolved to a family man. With two families, no less! (But not in a creepy way!) I always think of The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon when I read about Henri. Sheldon is one of my favourite TV show characters ever and I love his humour and his quirkiness and his character arc. Both men of logic and science, a bit misunderstood and wary of people, who find their place in the world after all. I just love it.

I could waffle on about Henri til kingdom come, but I won’t. If you’ve read the previous instalments, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll pick up The Beaver Theory asap, and if you haven’t read the previous instalments, you really REALLY should! Highly recommended.

The Beaver Theory is out on 12 October. Preorder it directly from Orenda Books here.

Massive thanks to Orenda Books for the digital proof. All opinions are my own.

4 Responses

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *