My First Murder aka Ensimmäinen murhani
Author: Leena Lehtolainen [Website]; Translated by Owen F. Witesman [Website]
Series: Maria Kallio Thriller, Bk 1
Length: 242 pages
Obtained: Library ILL copy
Why this book?:
I was updating a bookmark featuring Scandinavian Crime Authors, checking for who might need to be added. I found Leena Lehtolainen (from Finland) but the library didn't own any of her books. So I decided to read this one first before asking the library to buy the more recently translated copies and adding her to the bookmark.
I'm late writing this up, so I don't remember everything well. But, I found this to be an interesting case. I mostly liked Maria. I did guess who the murderer might be and was incredibly annoyed with Maria for not having some sort of gut feeling about this. Perhaps that is more true-to-life. But Maria seemed pretty lonely and desperate for connections to other people, and I believe that contributed to her obtuseness when it came to the murder she was trying to solve. On the other hand her tracking down all leads seemed pretty decent and I was pleased with the way she stuck with the case even when she was receiving pressure to wrap it up quickly.
I went into reading this book expecting much gloom, doom, and depression. That has always been my impression of what one expects to find in a Scandinavian book (or at least the crime-types). And I guess I could see that. Maria is pretty mopey between her lack of a clear and determined future and her lack of friends. And the alcoholism in various figures throughout the book was evident. But it still wasn't quite what I expected. Perhaps I had built this up more in my mind.
We will see, as I intend to not only continue reading books in this series (I have the second and third books - Her Enemy and Copper Heart - checked out and waiting) and by this author, but also expanding to the works by some other authors listed on the bookmark. Perhaps I should participate in a Scandinavian author reading challenge... anyone know of any?