From suspect to species: Climate crime in antti tuomainen's the healer

Sarah Beth Dimick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


At the climax of The Healer, Finnish crime writer Antti Tuomainen's 2011 novel, the sleuth Tapani Lehtinen confronts the criminal mastermind Pasi Tarkiainen on the tracks of Helsinki's commuter rail. Adhering to conventions of the crime genre, Lehtinen pries a confession from Tarkiainen, demanding the rationale behind his series of cold-blooded murders. Over the past weeks, Tarkiainen has systematically targeted business executives and politicians disproportionately contributing to the acceleration of climate change: The CEO of a manufacturing company, the owner of a large chain of car dealerships, the director of a plastic packaging company, an advocate for the meat processing industry, and many others. Tarkiainen argues that he killed these executives and their families "on behalf of ordinary people, to avenge them [...] he was the last voice of truth in a world headed toward destruction-a healer for a sick planet" (11). As Lehtinen holds him at gunpoint, Tarkiainen elaborates on his motives, offering a starding justification for his crimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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