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Cold Courage (Studio Series Book 1) by [Hiltunen, Pekka]
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Cold Courage (Studio Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

Confident, unique and captivating thriller - Kaleva Pekka Hiltunen hooks the reader of his new thriller from the very first page - Apu Rich in details, sure in its descriptions of London and smoothly written, this novel is a stylish debut - Turun Sanomat

About the Author

Pekka Hiltunen is an author and journalist living in Helsinki. He works as a managing editor at Mondo magazine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1028 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1843914964
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press Ltd.; 1 edition (28 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CKDEA06
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,160 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a thorougly engaging debut novel,set in London,by the
Finnish author.It features two fascinating and somewhat mysterious
female protaganists,and has a tense and interesting plot.
Lia,a Finnish graphic designer for a magazine is on her way to
work in the City of London,when she witnesses from the top of a
bus,what she later discovers is the mutilated body of a Latvian
prostitute left in the opened boot of a car.Shortly after this,
whilst celebrating her birthday in a bar,she meets ,by chance,
another Finnish woman,the enigmatic and wealthy Mari.They strike
up a friendship.Mari possesses a Sherlock Holmes like power of
deduction,and runs 'The Studio',which is a group of five people
who use ingenious and often illegal means to achieve control over
matters that Mari wants changed.
Mari enlists Lia help in discrediting a UK far right-wing leader,and
in return for this,agrees to use her resources to track down the killer
of the Latvian prostitute.
As the tense thriller progresses,one has to suspend disbelieve
on occasions,but this is easily done,as one yearns for the baddies to
get their commuppance.
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Format: Hardcover
Review taken from my Blog June 2013 (#369).

* I was provided with a hardback copy of this book by the First Reads Scheme on Good Reads.

{This review may contain a few spoilers}

My first impression of the cover was that it might well prove to be a very dark and forbidding read, and I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. So, I opened it not with a little trepidation.

Having just finished, I am happy to report that it exceeded my expectations, and then some. It just shows, one should not really judge a book by its cover!

I cannot deny that it wasn't difficult subjects being dealt with: murder, fraud, brutality, prostitution, domestic abuse and manipulation of a political party for personal gain and exploitation. However, it was dealt with very sympathetically.

Quite simply the writing was an exceptional quality, with well formed characters. We are treated to a well thought through plot and a nice pace that keeps the pages turning.

Lia in particular was written well. There were glimpses into her past, but the reader is not left to feel not that there wasn't sufficient back story to judge her abilities and vulnerabilities.

As far as Mari was concerned I was left with the distinct impression that there was much more to her than met the eye. She had a darker side, and it left me feeling more distrustful of her motives as the plot moved along. I still am not completely sure in my own mind whether she was likeable. Certainly she came across as somewhat manipulative, but was that really for the good of mankind of by way of her own self-service? Was it due to her past or her complex personality?
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Format: Hardcover
I am a fan of Nordic crime fiction and am always looking out for new authors. Pekka Hiltunen is Finnish but this novel is set in London with 2 of the main characters being, to use the title of part 1 `Finnish Girls'. The novel starts like any classic crime with the discovery of a body. Lia is on the bus and can see that something terrible has happened involving a car parked on the pavement, it is only later that she discovers that a mangled corpse is in the boot. She gradually becomes obsessed with this crime and finds herself in a position to investigate after a `chance' meeting with Mari, who is also Finnish and works with a team of experts.

The team is known as `The Studio', and comprise Mari, a PI, an actress, computer geek and `props' man. It reminds me of the `A-Team' although this group deal more with white collar crime. Lia is drawn into this world and she is determined to solve the mystery of the body in the car. The plot also involves the rise of the right wing `Fair Rule Party' and it's leader Arthur Fried.

I was unsure of this novel at first until I saw the direction it was going in and then I became hooked and only took me a couple of days to finish it. The plot is intriguing and well thought out and all the main characters are well drawn, we learn a bit about them but I am sure that there are more revelations to come. Although Lia, as the new recruit to the team, can be seen as the main protagonist in `Cold Courage' I see it more as an ensemble piece with all of the characters being equally important in their own way.

I recommend this author to anyone who enjoys a good crime thriller and is looking for something a bit different from the standard police procedural. It is also interesting to see England through the eyes of a Fin. Finally, isn't it about time that the Fins got in on the act? I will definitely be reading the next one in the series and won't be waiting for the paperback either.
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Format: Hardcover
Cold Courage Pekka Hiltunen

'Cold Courage' is a tricky one: a strong original thriller with many excellent points, but also quite a few weak ones...The overall weakness, I found, was indeed a kind of pervasive cold throughout the whole book, that made it a little difficult to muster enthusiasm in reading it sometimes. (Not at the beginning though, the first chapters are totally gripping.) Its top trump card is obviously in the two finnish heroines, Lia and Mari, both very convincing and engaging characters. But again, if Mari has a kind of hypnotic, mysterious quality, the thrill would be, at some point in the story, to discover her background, her motives and the source of her incredible set-up 'The Studio', something that would make her a little more human and approachable. Of course, the point is precisely I guess, that she remains an enigma, but the story misses something there. Her relationship with Lia, that Mari initiates and controls, is the best thing of the book, but here again, I felt a shyness from the author in not going the whole hog, a reticence that added to the ambient coldness. The plot that revolves around two subjects, the horrible crime of a Latvian woman, and the political campaign of a party leader, Ukip-style, is quite good. Though I am starting to think that people-trafficking and the Eastern block is just a little over-done nowadays...The destruction of the party leader is, in contrast rather more original and terribly topical, with the issue of domestic violence across all classes...But then, you really have to wonder, nearly at every pages, where the unlimited foundings for the very expensive activities of the 'Studio' come from...
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