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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second outing for Maria Kallio - complicated Finnish noir
This is the second book featuring Maria Kallio. It is translated from the Finnish, but it is idiomatic and flows well.

Maria narrates the story herself so everything is seen from her point of view. She has left the police force and is working as a lawyer. She and Antti have started living together and are staying in his parents' house while they are away for...
Published 15 months ago by Mrs. K. A. P. Wright

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat confusing and disappointing
This is the second of the many Maria Kallio mysteries to be translated into English. Once again it is set in Finland, this time the city of Espoo.

I very much enjoyed the first in this series (My First Murder (The Maria Kallio Series), but unfortunately in my personal opinion 'Her Enemy' is not as good as the first.

For me, this book just didn't flow...
Published 16 months ago by H Jackson


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat confusing and disappointing, 3 May 2013
By 
H Jackson (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Her Enemy (The Maria Kallio Series) (Paperback)
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This is the second of the many Maria Kallio mysteries to be translated into English. Once again it is set in Finland, this time the city of Espoo.

I very much enjoyed the first in this series (My First Murder (The Maria Kallio Series), but unfortunately in my personal opinion 'Her Enemy' is not as good as the first.

For me, this book just didn't flow and I really struggled with the huge cast of characters and their very similar Finnish names. In fact there is actually a 2 page list of all the characters who appear in this book. Even with this appendix of characters, I still struggled to remember (and care) who everybody was. Having read a lot of Scandinavian fiction, I can say that this is the first time that I've struggled to remember who was where and doing what.

Also, the book was first published in 1994, and it is very noticeable in its cultural and technological references!

I'm only giving this book a 2 star rating as I just didn't enjoy it - it felt like a chore to read. Whether the next books in the series are better, I guess we will have to wait and see. Unfortunately, this book didn't live up to the promise of the author's first book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second outing for Maria Kallio - complicated Finnish noir, 12 May 2013
By 
Mrs. K. A. P. Wright - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Her Enemy (The Maria Kallio Series) (Paperback)
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This is the second book featuring Maria Kallio. It is translated from the Finnish, but it is idiomatic and flows well.

Maria narrates the story herself so everything is seen from her point of view. She has left the police force and is working as a lawyer. She and Antti have started living together and are staying in his parents' house while they are away for the summer.

For the first time she is getting involved with Antti's extended family whom she has known as acquaintances before. These relationships are quite complicated and I was glad that there was a list of characters and their relationships at the back of the book. The day after a family party Maria goes to visit Armi who is engaged to Kimmi, the brother-in-law of Antti's sister. She finds Armi dead, strangled in the garden. The police have no doubt as to the perpetrator and arrest Kimmi. Kimmi asks Maria to be his lawyer. The plot is hugely complicated - a previous death, presumed suicide - sado-masochism - drugs - self-harming - so I won't attempt to summarise it. It is enough to say that Maria's suspicions switch backwards and forwards as she discovers more and she soon realises that she, too, is under threat. She also is becoming aware that her relationship with Antti is perhaps reaching a crisis point.

I really enjoyed the first book, My First Murder, and was looking forward to the next in the series as I thought Maria was a character with a lot of potential for development. Sadly this wasn't realised. Maria and her friends spend a lot of time getting wrecked and having day long hangovers that slow the action down, but, if anything, she is less complex and less interesting than she was in the earlier book.

Having said that, it is a competent thriller and a good read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow Finnish, 7 May 2013
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Her Enemy (The Maria Kallio Series) (Paperback)
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Originally published in 1994 and translated by an American, 'Her Enemy' doesn't read like the average crime novel. Its resolutely pedestrian pace means that there is a lack of suspense until the closing pages. In addition, the story is riddled with digressions about some of the more mundane aspects of living. Of course, background detail and the changing nature of relationships are important in any genre, but in this novel there seems to be a surfeit of them.

The narrator, Maria Kallio, is a police officer turned lawyer who defends the lover of a murder victim, her strategy being to find the real killer. Cue some amateur sleuthing and a great deal of antagonism. Maria's biggest obstacle is the investigating officer, Strom, whose pigheadednes seems almost contrived.

For this English reader, the Finnish names are a problem, as most are not obviously male or female, e.g. Risto and Makke, and a lot of characters are thrown into the text early on, making it difficult to remember who is who. 'Her Enemy' is a pleasant enough read, but for most crime fiction fans I suspect it will not be an entirely satisfying one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Herr Enemy, 1 Jun 2013
By 
maggiefb (Famagusta, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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The Kindle version of this was offered for 1.99. I have enjoyed several Scandinavian authors: Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo and Carin Gerhardsen etc. so thought I'd give this a try. I like to learn about different countries and cities through reading (mostly crime) fiction, but found little sense of place here. I was confused by the introduction of so many people with unfamiliar and often similar names. For example the murdered woman was Maria Kallio's 'boyfriend's brother-in-law's stepbrother's fiancee'!
I also struggled with the language. What does a 'poofy flowery dress' look like?
The story dragged on with lots of people I couldn't place and some pretty dire 'lovemaking'. It wasn't so bad I couldn't finish it but it came close.
I'm glad I only paid 1.99.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read, 28 July 2014
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I enjoyed reading this book and despite other readers' criticisms I had no difficulty keeping up up with the characters who were no more numerous than in many other books, just unfamiliarly named. The first person narrative gives it an intimacy I don't get in the straight narratives I prefer to read and is a welcome change although it means that the supporting cast of characters is less well defined. The plot is very much a one woman crusade with Maria Kallio convinced that she, alone, can solve the murder and get the accused off the hook. It may not be the most credible plot I have ever read but it rolls along at a good pace and the Finnish lifestyle details are interesting and so is easy to read.It's a good way to pass a few hours.
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4.0 out of 5 stars easy read that will keep you guessing, 10 April 2014
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Unlike so many novels this one was actually not that obvious and a bit less dramatic than most. It was easy to read but kept you hooked all the way through. If you like detective novels then I can really recommend this one.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not for me, 25 Mar 2014
By 
xenofan "xenofan" (Kansas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Her Enemy (The Maria Kallio Series) (Paperback)
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What can I say about this novel? It promised so much and yet by page five and the phrase ‘There was something about those eyes, something there that seemed more than rambunctious’ that made me give up and close the book. If you want a novel that grabs you and keeps you then this is possibly not the book for you! A disappointment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars simple read .. keeps you guessing, 6 Mar 2014
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A light read, with enough plot to make it interesting. Characters are real enough to make it plausible! Enjoy it
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3.0 out of 5 stars New Scandinavian Crime, 18 Feb 2014
By 
G. J. Oxley "Gaz" (Tyne & Wear, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Her Enemy (The Maria Kallio Series) (Paperback)
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This is another one of those tales where an amateur sleuth (former police officer, now a law graduate) gets involved in investigating a case and making a better fist of it than the appropriate authorities.

I can buy it if it's Elvis Cole and Joe Pike doing the job, but I found myself having to suspend an awful lot of disbelief in this one.

Still, an enjoyable read and it wouldn't necessarily dissuade me from reading anything from this author again.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 31 Jan 2014
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Really enjoyed this book, good, fast moving story clear and comprehensive read it in one night, can't wait for more of Leena Lehtolainen books
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Her Enemy (The Maria Kallio Series)
Her Enemy (The Maria Kallio Series) by Leena Lehtolainen (Paperback - 14 May 2013)
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