They Know Not What They Do – Jussi Valtonen

Happy belated release to this Finnish fiction novel!

Thanks to the publisher for the advanced ebook copy in exchange for my honest review.


Check back for the #CJSReads2017 thoughts on this one!


My Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars!

Right off the bat, I will say that this title was definitely marketed incorrectly. If you’re expecting a thriller, then you may be disappointed when you realize its more of a contemporary fiction novel (which isn’t a bad thing!). Just go into THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO knowing that it isn’t a thriller. However, it is a great character study with an intertwining story between them.

Joe Chayefski has finally achieved his goals in life. He’s on of the top neuroscientists in America and he has the perfect family: a loving wife and two beautiful daughters. One day this picture perfect life is threatened when his lab is targeted by animal rights activists, and to make things worse, his ex-wife Alina, calls him out of the blue. His son Samuel, whom he abandoned for his career in another country. Samuel is in the US now and searching for his estranged father to have his revenge.

It definitely comes off as a thriller or suspense novel, but it’s more of a contemporary drama. Jussi Valtonen does a fantastic job developing each character in this novel. You really get to know them all and what makes them tick. The author expertly weaves together the lives of these characters as well as the transitioning between timelines. I can appreciate how wonderfully written this book is – especially with it being a translation. However, it did feel like it was dragging for a little bit.

Overall, if you like a good contemporary drama, then this will be a great one to pick up. If you’re wanting a thriller/suspense novel, then this one won’t be for you. The great writing and characters made this book so interesting and I will definitely keep an eye out for more from Valtonen.


Are you a fan of contemporary fiction or dramas?


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