Black Whirlpool

Original title: Musta pyörre

Published: 2012

Publisher: Crime Time

Class/genre: Crime & Thriller

Pages: 350

The black whirlpools of fate spin Mujunen from Helsinki to East Karelia.

The time is late summer, 1942, and the offensive phase of the Finnish Continuation War has bogged down in trench warfare. Former State Police Senior Detective Mujunen thinks his life is over, but then two femmes fatale and a nighttime air raid draw him back to work.

Communist prisoners escape from Riihimäki, north of the capital, and, soon after, a time bomb goes off in an antiaircraft ammunition depot in West Helsinki. One of the perpetrators is apprehended, but he escapes. One of these saboteurs, now disguised as a military lieutenant, is on the loose in Helsinki, as is the German Reichsführer of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, whose life Mujunen is obliged to protect. At the same time, Mujunen experiences a torrid romance with a co-worker and does his best to save the Jewish refugees whom the leadership of the State Police intend to expel to Germany – meaning certain death. Himmler offers the same fate for all of Finland’s Jews.

On the trail of vandals and murderers, Mujunen ends up in Finnish-occupied Petrozavodsk, which has been rechristened Äänislinna, in the Finnish concentration camp and the Karhumäki amusement park set up near the front for the troops. He finally finds the truth in Berlin, but whose truth? Can a counter-espionage agent maintain his humanity during wartime, or is that just an unnecessary luxury?

Tapani Bagge has outdone himself again. Strong period description and precise character development combine in a fast-paced, exciting story that will also move you.

Tapani Bagge


Tapani Bagge (born 1962) is known for his versatility. He has written more than 20 books for children and teens, more than 50 Jerry Cottons, as well as television series, radio plays, TV screenplays, and comic scripts -more than 70 books in total. Among them are also several crime novels, hard-boiled and noir, with plenty of black comedy. Bagge’s closest counterparts are Dashiell Hammett, Donald Westlake, Elmore Leonard and Chester Himes, with a bit of Jim Thompson thrown in.

In his Hämeenlinna Noir crime novels, Bagge depicts the cops and cons of his Finnish home town with dark irony and warm humour. Bagge’s most recent crime series, starring Detective Sergeant Mujunen, is set in Finland during World War II.

Bagge’s story Hard Rain is featured in the Helsinki Noir anthology, published by Akashic Books in the U.S in fall 2014.

For kids, Bagge writes adventure and other stories with warm and sometimes absurd humor. He has written about Bud and Bella (Tahvo and Bella), as well as the spirited adventures of Chloe (Kaisa) and the Black Dog Detective Agency.

Bagge’s accolades include the The Finnish Whodunnit Society’s annual award in 2007 for his novel Black Sky (Musta taivas). Black Sky was also the Finnish candidate for the Nordic Glass Key Award in 2008. Tapani Bagge’s children’s book On the Country (Maalla) was nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2010.

Rights sold to Germany (Godfathers’s Funeral, 2008, and Black Sky, 2006)

Bibliography


Tapani Bagge

Red Shadow

2013, Crime & Thriller

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