Nominee: Glass Key Award for Nordic Crime Fiction 2013
Winner: Finnish Booksellers Laila Hirvisaari Grant 2012
Winner: Finnish Whodunnit Society Clue of the Year Award 2012
Winner: Kaarle Prize 2012, Nominee: Helsingin Sanomat Debut Prize 2012
Cold Blood. Cold Case. Cold Courage. The body of a young woman body is abandoned in a car boot in the middle of London as a warning to others. The police have no leads and no clues as to the identity of the victim. As weeks go by and the story drops from the headlines, it seems that Lia, who saw the discovery of the body from the bus on her way to work, is the only one who refuses to let the murderer go unpunished.
A chance encounter with the mysterious Mari gives Lia fresh hope that she can unravel the mystery. But just who is Mari? Can Lia trust her? Can Lia afford not to trust her?
In Lia and Mari, Finnish journalist Pekka Hiltunen has created two characters to care about. The London setting is detailed and contemporary. The mix of detection, moral dilemma and thriller adds a whole new sub-genre to 'Nordic Noir'.
©2011 Pekka Hiltunen (P)2013 Strathmore Publishing Ltd
"'Rich in details, sure in its descriptions of London, and smoothly written – a stylish debut" (Turun Sanomat)
"Confident, unique and captivating" (Kaleva)
"Pekka Hiltunen hooks the reader of his new thriller from the very first page. The characters are likeable and credible. A very topical novel." (Apu)
"A quirky, unusual psychological thriller – evil gets its just rewards in a way which, while complex, is also often amusing and touching." (Kirjavinkit)
The real mystery is how this ever got published. A weak and plodding attempt at a teenage version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, maybe? The narrator certainly seems to be reading to children. An implausible, rambling plot littered with unoriginal philosophy explained in wearying detail. My patience wore out in the first half - in which very little happened.
"This one is to be avoided"
I have downloaded and listened to dozens of books from Audible over the last few years and have never picked one which was as disappointing as Cold Courage.Within 10 minutes of listening I was intensly irritated both by the narrators voice and by the ridiculous premises on which the story is built.The characterisation is nonsensensical as are most of the actions within the story.I have never felt the desire to write a review before but I was so angered by this unbelievably silly book that I felt I wanted to warn other listeners of what is in store for them.Just don't waste your money on this one.
Having read the initial blurb and suggested awards I was looking forward to another strong Scandinavian writer. I have been completely disappointed. Almost nothing happened in the fist third of the book apart from some very dubious strands of a forming friendship [it was described as a 'thriller']. When the action did begin it seemed as though the author was trying to find as many unbelievable happenings as possible and weave them together to make a plot. The beginning was boring, the ending stretched the imagination too far.
"Finnish psychological thriller.."
Definitely different, this is a slow burn with a noir type feel throughout.
Lia a Finnish graphic designer who has a life changing experience when a murdered Latvian prostitute is found dead in broad daylight, the tragic circumstances do not leave Lia she becomes somewhat obsessed with any progress on the case.
Lia meets Mari, an enigmatic woman with an almost supernatural power, who has an innate ability to read people, running a secretive organisation called 'The Studio' . Here they try to put right injustices which come in many wide and varied forms. they manipulate the system and are often on the wrong side of the law to gain the results they want.
A firm friendship ensues between Lia and Mari though Mari's motives are unclear, she's a multi-layered complex character as she handles challenges like, domestic abuse, corruption, prostitution, murder all sewn into the plot seamlessly.
They make an agreement if Lia helps to bring down a corrupt politician who is gaining momentum, Mari will use her own vast resources to help find out more information about the murder of the Latvian prostitute.
I found Mari's character almost frigid and could not warm to her,but saying this annoyingly secretive that she's piqued my interest that I want to pick pick pick to unravel her mysteries and past.
Lia is much easier to understand and I loved how she developed and grew in strength as the story progressed.
The surrounding characters are strong and well defined, with a quality of writing that can't be denied. I found the slow pace increased my satisfaction towards the end and would decidedly read more by PH.
"Awesome first book"
Had me listening from the minute it opened to the end
Characters were undetailed but fascinating - had the two main women formed their relationship.
The plot was good and interwoven
For a first book, this was great
I have enjoyed many Scandinavian crime novels, but I simply could not get into this one.It began with reference to a particularly lurid crime, then seemed to ramble on about very little at great length. After 9 chapters and at least an hour of listening (which felt like forever) nothing much had happened with only a few passing references to this or any crime. I have no idea who might enjoy it.
I am returning this book and will avoid the author in future.
I was bored to distraction and very disappointed in view of the awards and nominations apparently piled on the book.
"A strange one"
I would recommend this book, mainly because it gives a Finnish view of London. It is unlike other scandi novels I have listened to.
Try a different Finnish author.
I don't think this plot would work if the main character was not from Finland.
I love scandinavian thrillers and got this book after I've read so many positive reviews. But I have to admit that this is the worst book I've (tried to) listen to all year. Really, do not bother with this one, unless you have a favor for unbelievable characters, minutelong insights of thoughts/feelings of a self-obsessed 26 year Finnish Girl who lives in London and thinks she knows it all, bad story-lines and a narrator who made me cringe. I will avoid in the future both author and narrator.
"You want to like it but..."
Unlike others I actually enjoyed the pace of the narrative and the characterisation was realistically modern. It's just that the hidden mystery and foundation of the characters' psyche is faintly ridiculous, or at least it feels so, and therefore the listener just can't bring themselves to care about anything that may or may not happen.
The prose is delicate and loving in its care so I'd consider another work but I fear that Hiltunen is going to continue to try and be different for the sake of it.
Gentle and enveloping.
I's say listening to this gives you a vague and rather irritatingly ambiguous sense that you could like this but you just don't.
"Dull and poorly read"
No, I would definitely not try either. I found the reader's tone totally unsuited to the story being read.
Write a story that is a bit more plausible and edit this story to about half its length.
I liked nothing of her performance. She read this novel as if it was an article from Hello magazine.
I would certainly condense the first two hours of reading into 15 minutes
One of the most disappointing books I've had from Audible. One to avoid.
"Introverts make a difference!"
The quiet cool almost glacial heroine faces some challenges and finds she is more than the person she thought she was. Bad things are put right, even if not legally.
Cool Finnish girls dispense justice
This story creeps up on you. At the start the heroine is colourless, vapour. Then you understand how glaciers can carve out the landscape.
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