The cover design caught my attention first. Together with the intriguing-sounding summary, it was soon clear that I wanted to read it. And how thrilled I was when I unpacked it. The embossed font and the colored body of the book inspired me from the start. Black combined with all shades of blue and red give this hardcover a fantastic look. The thriller itself turned out to be a solid reading pleasure. At least for me. It wasn´t what I had expected after reading the summary and yes, that is a bit sad. But some of the figures, the setting, and the way how the author describes the buildings show that he loves his country.

Tage Voller Zorn*
by Tuomas Oskari
Translation Anke Michler-Janhunen
Original Title Roihu
Publisher Lübbe on November 25, 2022
Genre Thriller
Pages 573
Format Hardcover
Source Lovelybooks

A country on the verge of collapse - and only 24 hours to stop the catastrophe...

Helsinki 2027. Leo Koski, Finland's young prime minister, is charismatic. What nobody knows: He is just the puppet of a guild of rich men. It's you who decides. They don't care about the divisions in society and the increasing poverty in large parts of the population. But when a young woman sets herself on fire in protest on the eve of a large mass rally, the power structure begins to falter. The woman had previously sent letters to shake up the country. In this heated political situation, the prime minister turns his back on his donors for the first time. But who else can he count on? To his foster father and the richest man in Finland, Pontus Ebeling? On the leading figure of the left, Emma Erola? Koski has only 24 hours to save his country from catastrophe and countless deaths. The countdown begins ...
Leo is a politician who owes his office to the wealth and benevolence of his foster father. He doesn't like that, and it doesn't make his political work any easier. Because he must bring about serious changes if he wants to protect democracy and prevent a catastrophe. The only question is whether he can control things in the way necessary to save the lives of many before it's too late.

The thriller starts with a real bang. It's getting really "hot" and is the prelude to a series of explosive events that will test a country's democracy to the breaking point for those in power. The author is very good at mixing fact with fiction, so it is not always easy or clear for the reader to know what fact is, and what is fiction here. Does the thriller very well in terms of the initial suspense. Unfortunately, this then flattens out after just a few chapters, and the many economic facts, no matter how helpful they may be, are presented a little too dryly for my taste. What I really like, however, is the way the scenes are presented. You notice the love for detail and the history of a country in a very entertaining and visual way.

Tuomas Oskari has created characters here that are somewhat stereotypical in places. Leo Koski, the main character, is a naïve young man who holds a position of great responsibility but shrinks from the responsibility that comes with it. His charm and smile are his trademarks, albeit without substance.

Emma Erola, the young woman who is politically and otherwise completely opposite, is in comparison to Leo the purest power woman. She has an original conviction, and enormous ambition and can inspire the masses with a few words. As the driving force, she acts like a magnet, which then must deal with a truth that is so completely different from her political convictions.

A well-done thriller. Unfortunately, I wasn't as enthusiastic about the first half, and even ripped me off my stool as I would have liked. And the last third, where it gets action-packed and madness develops those questions a lot, couldn't turn things around. Too bad. There is no question that the author has created a wonderful plot here, created wonderfully constructed characters, and conjured up some chapters and scenes that were great to read. But unfortunately, it also created a few weak points that shouldn't have been there in my opinion. So it only remains with the solid reading pleasure. Just read for yourself and form your own opinion...

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Lovelybooks/ Lübbe in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Deutsche Rezension

Der Thriller legt mit einem regelrechten Paukenschlag los. Es wird richtiggehend „heiß“ und ist der Auftakt zu einem Reigen an brisanten Ereignissen, die die Demokratie eines Landes zur Zerreißprobe für diejenigen an der Macht werden lassen. Der Autor versteht es sehr gut, Fakten mit Fiktion zu vermischen, sodass es für den Leser nicht immer einfach oder klar ist, was hier Fakt und was Fiktion ist. Tut dem Thriller sehr gut, was die anfängliche Spannung angeht. Leider flacht diese dann schon nach wenigen Kapiteln ab und die vielen wirtschaftlichen Fakten, so hilfreich sie auch sein mögen, werden für meinen Geschmack ein wenig zu trocken präsentiert. Was mir hingegen gut gefällt, ist die Darstellung der Schauplätze. Da merkt man die Liebe zum Detail und zur Geschichte eines Landes auf sehr unterhaltsame und bildliche Weise.

Tuomas Oskari hat hier Figuren erschaffen, die streckenweise etwas stereotyp sind. Leo Koski, die Hauptfigur, ist ein naiver junger Mann, der zwar einen verantwortungsvollen Posten innehat, vor der damit einhergehenden Verantwortung aber zurückschreckt. Sein Charme und sein Lächeln sind sein Markenzeichen, allerdings ohne Substanz.

Emma Erola, die junge Frau, die politisch und auch sonst völlig entgegengesetzt steht, ist im Vergleich zu Leo die reinste Powerfrau. Sie hat eine ursprüngliche Überzeugung, enormen Ehrgeiz und kann die Massen mit wenigen Worten begeistern. Als die treibende Kraft wirkt sie wie ein Magnet, der dann aber doch mit einer Wahrheit klarkommen muss, die so ganz anders ist als ihre politische Überzeugung.

Ein zugegeben gut gemachter Thriller. Der mich nur leider über die erste Hälfte nicht so begeistert hat oder gar vom Hocker riss, wie ich es gerne gehabt hätte. Und das letzte Drittel, wo es so richtig actionreich wird und sich ein Wahnsinn entwickelt, der vieles infrage stellt, konnte das Ruder nicht mehr herumreißen. Schade. Keine Frage, der Autor hat hier einen wundervollen Plot erschaffen, herrlich angelegte Figuren erstellt und einige großartig zu lesende Kapitel und Szenen auf das Papier gezaubert. Aber leider auch ein paar Schwachstellen fabriziert, die in meinen Augen nicht hätten sein müssen. So bleibt es nur beim soliden Lesevergnügen. Einfach selbst lesen und eigene Meinung bilden. …

Tuomas Oskari
Tuomas Oskari ©Jonne Räsänen

Tuomas Oskari, born in 1980, is the pseudonym of Tuomas Niskakangas. He is a political and business journalist for Finland's largest national daily newspaper and worked for many years as a foreign correspondent in the USA. The dystopian economic thriller TAGE VOLLER ZORN is his critically acclaimed and award-winning debut novel. The thriller was enthusiastically received by the literary critics of his country and became a bestseller. In it, he describes the dangers to which democratic societies are currently exposed in a highly exciting and at the same time very well-founded manner. Tuomas Oskari lives and works in Helsinki.


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