Tuesday, 26 December 2017

The Girl And The Bomb by Jari Jarvela

The Girl And The Bomb by Jari Jarvela
First published in Finnish as Tytto ja pommi in Finland by Crime Time in 2014. English language translation by Kristian London published by AmazonCrossing in October 2015.

One of my WorldReads from Finland

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rust and Metro live life to the fullest in the small Finnish city of Kotka. The lovers work together by day and write graffiti by night, always staying one step ahead of the law. But their luck runs out after an ambush by rogue security guards causes Rust to fall to his death. Having literally left their marks all over the city, Metro cannot help but be reminded of Rust everywhere she goes, making it impossible for her to move past the tragedy. Heartbroken and alone, she becomes determined to get to the bottom of her partner’s death and to exact revenge on those responsible by using the tool she knows best: spray paint. As she fights to bomb the system, she is constantly—and harshly—reminded of how unfair life can be. Up against lies, betrayal, and corruption, Metro musters the strength and inspiration to persevere in the name of truth and by adding beauty to an ugly world.

I have been deliberately avoiding books with 'The Girl' in their titles for a few years now, but this particular example managed to get past my Derivative Titles filter and I am glad that it did so! I was intrigued by its premise and enjoyed the unusual crime mystery.

The Girl And The Bomb is told from dual perspectives: graffiti artist Metro and her nemesis, security guard Jere. The speak directly to the reader in alternating chapters and this device works well. The two have distinctively different voices so I never got confused as to whose point of view I was following. Seeing certain pivotal scenes from both perspectives was interesting as well. Metro is perhaps a little too indestructible to be believable, but I loved her inventiveness and her grief-driven desire for revenge is utterly believable.

Jarvela has a good eye for physical details which, combined with the graffiti artists' preferred locations - railyards, abandoned buildings, etc - I thought gives this novel a unique feel within the Scandinavian crime genre. I was reminded slightly of Missing by Karin Alvtegen at times as both novels seek to ask social questions as well telling a good tale. I've just bought The Girl And The Bomb's sequel and look forward to reading it soon.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Jari Jarvela / Crime fiction / Books from Finland

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