As Red as Blood

As Red as Blood by Salla Simukka US Cover Art

As Red as Blood

The Snow White Trilogy (Book 1)
by Salla Simukka
Translated by Owen F. Witesman
Published by Skyscape in the US and Hot Key in the UK.
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*Kirkus starred review*
*Publisher’s Weekly starred review*

In the midst of the freezing Nordic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood. Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.

AS_RED_AS_BLOOD_Cropped 2“This trilogy opener from a talented young author has a bracing energy that stands up to the most muscular of Scandinavian thrillers and a heroine more than equal to her competition. … Limned in stark red, white and black, this cold, delicate snowflake of a tale sparkles with icy magic.” — Kirkus

“Finnish author Simukka creates a tough, self-sufficient heroine in 17-year-old Lumikki Andersson in this first book in the Snow White Trilogy. … Fans of Nesbø and Larsson won’t be disappointed.” — Publisher’s Weekly

 “Lumikki is fit, resourceful and a mistress of disguise, able to transform her appearance at a moment’s notice…the world Lumikki infiltrates is amoral and cynical; a sophisticated tale, then, suavely translated by Owen F. Witesman.” – Financial Times

Copper Heart

PPCover_CopperHeart_lowresCopper Heart

The Maria Kallio Series (Book 3)
by Leena Lehtolainen
Translated by Owen F. Witesman
Published by AmazonCrossing
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.

Former police sergeant Maria Kallio gladly left her tiny Finnish hometown of Arpikylä without looking back. But even though Maria despises the small town and the acrid smell from its now-closed copper mine, when Arpikylä’s sheriff asks her to serve as deputy sheriff for the summer, she agrees.

What should have been a quiet summer soon turns dramatic—and deadly. Meritta, an outspoken local artist, plunges to her death from the copper mine’s tower, and Maria immediately suspects someone helped her fall. Now Maria must face the harsh truth that one of the town’s residents killed Meritta, and friends Maria has known for decades all harbor their own murderous motives—even Johnny, her gorgeous former crush who almost makes her forget about her long-distance boyfriend, Antti, who is studying in Chicago.

In this thrilling addition to the internationally successful Maria Kallio mystery series, the past and present of the beloved Finnish detective violently collide, leaving her future in grave danger.

Also in the Maria Kallio Series:

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Her Enemy

HerEnemy_CvrImgHer Enemy

The Maria Kallio Series (Book 2)
by Leena Lehtolainen
Published by AmazonCrossing

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After solving her first murder and leaving the Helsinki Police Department behind, Maria Kallio thought that a move to the neighboring city of Espoo would signal a fresh start—a chance to not only put her new law degree to use, but to nurture her budding romance with Antti Sarkela. But when she discovers the strangled body of a new acquaintance, old habits die hard for the redheaded sleuth—especially since the accused is not only the victim’s fiancé, but a member of Antti’s family.

Though she works as a legal counselor, Kallio soon finds herself unofficially investigating the murder, now labeled a sex crime. While Antti’s relative may have some peculiar sexual tendencies, Kallio doubts that the man she’s agreed to defend is capable of the crime. To crack the case, Kallio will have to pull back the curtain on Espoo high society…and uncover a secret someone is willing to kill to keep hidden.

Her Enemy, the latest addition to Lehtolainen’s bestselling crime series, sends intrepid Detective Kallio into the dark side of human passion.

Also in the Maria Kallio Series:

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Cold Courage

Cover ArtCold Courage

by Pekka Hiltunen
translated from the Finnish by Owen F. Witesman
Hesperus Press.

Order now in the UK.

“Panic spread through the street, rippling in a viral wave of contorted faces and anxious gestures. The moment before catastrophe. This is what it looks like.”

When Lia witnesses a disturbing scene on the way to work, she, like the rest of the city of London, is captivated and horrified. As details unfurl in the media the brutal truth transpires – a Latvian prostitute has been killed, her body run over by a steamroller and then placed in the trunk of a car to be found. As the weeks pass and no leads are found, the story quickly disintegrates but Lia can’t easily forget. So when she meets Mari in a bar late one night she feels fate might have brought them together. Like her, Mari is a Finnish woman in London finding her way, somewhat of an outsider, very independent. But there is much more to Mari than meets the eye: she is a psychologist who possesses an unnatural way of being able to ‘read’ people, see into their inner most thoughts and pre-empt their actions. She uses her ‘gift’ to try to help people and has formed a close unit she calls the Studio, a kind of team of investigators, who are not beyond breaking the law to put the worlds to rights. Mari and Lia strike up a firm friendship and when Lia shares her plaguing thoughts about the murder, Mari thinks she and the members of the Studio can help where the police have failed. But Mari and Lia are about to step foot into extremely dangerous territory, especially as Mari has a will to control others, take vengeance on those she deems deserve it and use the Studio to questionable ends.

From WSOY Foreign Rights:

“Hiltunen’s debut novel Cold Courage is a skillfully paced, intensive and exciting psycho-thriller. The book sets a new, high standard for intelligent entertainment. The novel is food for both thought and for the feelings. Though the narrative dwells on human trafficking in Europe, political populism and the hard culture of working life these days, the author does not moralise. With his debut novel, Hiltunen takes his place among the mystery authors that write about ordinary people solving crimes. Hiltunen’s protagonists Lia and Mari, two Finnish women living in London, take the reader on a journey through the contemporary world.

The book opens with Lia seeing a murdered body. The sight of it stays with her. Soon Lia meets Mari, who through questionable means tackles injustice. Thus the narrative sets the question of whether the end justifies the means. Alongside moral questions, the novel dwells on modern people’s sense of alienation, with elements of a growth story.

The Finnish Whodunnit Society in awarding the Clue of the Year 2012 (Finland’s top prize for mysteries and thrillers)

Praise:

“I predict international success for this confident, unique and captivating thriller.” – Kaleva

“Pekka Hiltunen hooks the reader of his new thriller from the very first page. The main characters are likeable and believable, and the author’s awareness of social issues shines through in his writing. Cold Courage is a very topical novel.” – Apu

“The women’s friendship, the organisation’s activities, and the use of technology are all narrated in a convincing way. I recommend this book to readers who like slightly unusual psychological thrillers – here evil certainly gets its just rewards in a way which, while being complex, is also often amusing, touching and unusual. A good opening for the new series!” – Kirjavinkit

“Cold Courage expands the thematic landscape of Finnish crime literature. It is refreshing to read about professional and amateur private detectives with no problems regarding either alcohol or woman. In its own way the book gives faith in the notion that the world can and should be changed.” – Helsingin Sanomat

“The novel updates the story traditions of crime novels in an interesting way. It is a psychological thriller and a whole lot more, too. As well as having an exciting plot it shows depth in its descriptions of people. Hiltunen´s concept of the Studio is a fascinating insight into these modern times. Rich in details, sure in its descriptions of London and smoothly written, this novel is a stylish debut.” – Turun Sanomat

My First Murder

My First Murder
by Leena Lehtolainen
Published by AmazonCrossing

The best-selling Detective Maria Kallio series begins in English!

Order now, including as an audiobook.

Maria Kallio has just been assigned her first murder investigation. To prove to herself and her squad that she has what it takes to be a detective, she’ll have to solve the death of Tommi Peltonen. Found floating face down at the water’s edge of his Helsinki villa, Tommi had invited his choir group to spend a weekend at his retreat. But beneath the choir’s seemingly tight-knit bonds seethed bitter passion and jealousy. As Maria sets out to determine the difference between friends and foes, she uncovers the victim’s unsavory past—and motives for all seven suspects. Now it’s up to her to untangle a complex set of clues before the killer strikes again.

The first book in Leena Lehtolainen’s bestselling Finnish crime series starring Detective Maria Kallio, My First Murder offers hard-boiled realism from a female perspective.

 

Also in the Maria Kallio series:

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