Cruel Is the Night

Cruel Is the Night

Book - 2017
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"Inspired by puzzle-mystery great Agatha Christie, prizewinning Finnish author Karo Hamalainen (The Buyout) presents us with a comedy of murderous intentions Three cell phones ring in an opulent London suite. The calls go unanswered, because their recipients are dead. Earlier that night, four old friends and lovers meet for a reunion dinner. It's been ten years since the host, Robert, who made millions by way of unethical (but not illegal) interest rate manipulation, has seen Mikko, an investigative journalist feared by corrupt financiers and politicians. Mikko's wife, Veera--with whom Robert once had a secret affair--and Robert's young trophy wife, Elise, are also joining the fray. Mikko thinks he's about to get away with murder, but he has no idea what's on the menu for the night: not only does every diner have a bone to pick with another, but there's an arsenal of deadly weapons hiding in plain sight. And by the end of the night, there will only be one"-- Provided by publisher.
"Prizewinning Finnish author Karo Hamalainen's English-language debut is a literary homage to Agatha Christie and a black comedy locked-room mystery about murder, mayhem, and morality in our cynical modern world. Three cell phones ring in an opulent London apartment. The calls go unanswered because their recipients are all dead. Earlier that night, four Finnish friends meet for dinner. It's been ten years since the host, Robert, has seen his once-best friend, Mikko. The two had an ideological falling-out because Robert, a banker, made millions off of unethical (but not illegal) interest rate manipulation. Mikko, meanwhile, is an investigative journalist who has dedicated his career to bringing down corrupt financiers and politicians. Mikko's wife, Veera--with whom Robert once had a secret affair--and Robert's young trophy wife, Elise, are also joining the fray. Mikko has arrived in London with an agenda and thinks he's about to get away with murder, but he has no idea what's on the menu for the night: not only does every diner have a bone to pick with another, but there's an arsenal of deadly weapons hiding in plain sight. And by the end of the night, there will only be one survivor"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Soho Crime, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 161695681X (hardback)
9781616956813 (hardback)
Branch Call Number: M HAMALAINEN
Characteristics: 313 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Witesman, Owen - Translator

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dkyle70
Nov 07, 2017

Even though the broad foreshadowing unforgivably illuminates the lone survivor of the novel and the characters are somewhat unlovable, there is still goodness in this bright and quirky story.
Four friends/lovers with a past converge for a drama (and farce) that constitutes the breadth of one bizarre evening. You must suspend belief and relegate yourself to the perspective of observer and then let the tale unfold. There is something in each character to represent the dark side of any human psyche, but likewise there are also the moments of lovely, manic lightness that have equal weight.
The story is told from four perspectives, much in the form of memory, which round out characters who might otherwise be unknowable in such a short book. It’s the work of a night to read it, and it is the first offering from someone who could easily emerge to be quite a star in the constellation of Nordic Noir writers.

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