New reviews

Good afternoon ladies, gents and all you other people. I’m feeling marginally better, therefore there shall be book reviews. Today I’d like to present two Finnish murder mysteries by Leena Lehtolainen.
Snow Woman
A Maria Kallio Mystery

Leena Lehtolainen

 

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Published: 9th December 2014
ISBN: 9781477826515
Price: 14.95 (USD)
Edition: Other Format
Publisher: AmazonCrossing

Description

The fourth book in the internationally best-selling Maria Kallio detective series.

When the well-known director of a women’s retreat center goes missing, Espoo Police Detective Maria Kallio is called to investigate. As the missing woman’s friends and family quickly become the pool of suspects, Maria must soften her tough interrogation style to uncover the information she needs to solve the crime. Meanwhile, a killer Maria put in prison escapes and sets out to take revenge. As the missing persons case—and Maria’s personal life—become increasingly complicated, the Espoo Police work to track down the escaped killer before it’s too late.

My Review

I really, really liked this crime thriller. I’ve never read any of the previous books but I could jump right in and read this installment of Maria Kallio’s adventures. The characters were interesting and relatable, the first person narrative intrigued me and I felt it worked well in the context. I also really like the cover design and must complement the translation; it is not in the least bit awkward.

5/5

The Bodyguard
Leena Lehtolainen

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Published by: AmazonCrossing
Publication date: 9th December 2014
ISBN: 9781477826607
Price: 14.95 (USD)
Edition: Other Format

Description

The first book in a new series from international sensation Leena Lehtolainen, author of the Maria Kallio mysteries.

As a professional bodyguard, Hilja Ilveskero rarely loses her cool. But one day, she and a client have an argument in a Moscow fur salon, and Hilja quits on the spot. When the client turns up dead, Hilja quickly discovers that she is a suspect. In an attempt to clear her name and find the killer, she uncovers ever-deeper layers of subterfuge. Amid all the covert treachery and intrigue, Hilja finds herself falling in love with a suspicious yet irresistibly sexy man—but is her heart clouding her judgment? In this tale of political romance populated by Russian oligarchs, Finnish politicians, and undercover cops, no one is what they seem and no one can be trusted. A fast-paced, tightly woven tale of love, murder, betrayal, and high-stakes deal-making, The Bodyguard—the first in a gripping trilogy by internationally acclaimed Nordic crime author Leena Lehtolainen—exposes the delicacy and dark underbelly of international relations on both a human and global scale.

My Review

It took me a bit more effort to get into The Bodyguard than Snow Woman, but once I did the story took hold and gripped me to the end. Again Leena Lehtolainen develops a complex plot with equally complex characters. That said, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous book, which may be because, as the first book in the series, the author has to weave a lot of background information into the narrative. The fight that triggers Hilja’s resignation makes no sense if her childhood experiences are not included. Some of it feels superfluous though. It slows the narrative but not disastrously.

5/5

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