All things Scandanavian seem to be a must for book publishers. Unfortunately, all things Scandanavian are not necessarily up to the standards of several authors we now could name. However, bearing in mind that this book was published in 1993 and a debut novel to introduce Maria Kallio, it is a worthwhile gamble to have the debut novel translated into English in the hope we'll follow her career.
Well, we might. Written for a different market, we Anglo-Saxons struggle with names that register a different mental image from those intended. In this book there are too many characters franklyt with very confusing identities. Too much choir stuff which means little to most of us, I suspect.
But, in the midst of this is Sergeant Maria Kallio. She's a gentle soul finding her way through the usual assortment of drunken officials, lazy peers and a host of friends, one or more of whom has probably provided Maria with her first murder victim.
Because of the time lapse, the book doesn't read too well. The translation is excellent if one is American. Otherwise, for we Europeans, the language grates all too often. Regrettably this adds to a sense of out-datedness with a more or less old-fashioned methodology in the hunt for the hiller?
I'm not sure. I certainly think the book does enough to deserve our attention towards book 2 in the hope that the publishers take on board the comments of reviewers. Probably they won't so I'll risk book 2 just in case. Now, if BBC4 has this in mind, there is a TV series created in Finland which has to be a shoe-in for their Saturday night 9pm slot. Now that would help the author's sales, I don't doubt. She does need a helping hand to bring to the attention of the UK buying public a rather charming detective for a change - one who hopefully doesn't descend into the lifestyle chaos some of her Scandanavian peers have already reached.