When it comes to Scandi-noir, I have read some Swedish, Norwegian and Danish, but never any Finnish mystery. I chose this one on Netgalley because Amazon Crossing often provides interesting, original discoveries. Among Finnish writers, I have read Sofi Oksanen and Tove Jansson (but she wrote in Swedish), and I had no previous knowledge of the Finnish society.
Because of my ignorance, I found myself relating to the victims who are foreigners, instead of relating to the Finnish characters, whom I didn’t quite understand (for a moment I was even confused about the gender of some of them). The investigator is Maria Kallio, a middle-aged policewoman with a successful track record, a wife and mother living in the suburbs of the capital Helsinki and working at a Special Victims Unit. The victims are 3 immigrant Muslim girls from various backgrounds, who faced the double weight of sexism at home and racism outside the home. All three disappeared after having been seen at the Girls Club, and Maria Kallio is called to investigate.
- this policewoman is the hero of a whole bestselling series in Finland, and I was glad to try it and discover some things about Finland society and the treatment of immigration there
- Many issues in the book are rather heavy and complex, and they are treated with sensitivity
- I found that latching into the series at book #11 was rather tough
- The investigator is nice enough but I didn’t particularly warm up to her.
- The plot was rather sluggish, perhaps because the author was treading on eggshells. But because of the cultural distance to the author and context, going any faster would have lost me completely!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.