Maria Kallio is a young sergeant in the Serious Crime Unit in Helsinki, Finland. The book was first published in 1993 so if it seems socially a b..Show More »it off that is probably the reason. Maria is trying to decide her career path. She is divided between the police work she originally considered her goal-- she naively wanted to help both victims and criminals-- and an interest in practicing law, the current goal of her education. When the book opens she is engaged in a six month temporary assignment with the police
Her immediate supervisor is hors de combat due to his alcoholism. Her coworker is about to go on vacation and has made it clear that nothing is going to stand between him and his vacation, least of all a newly reported body found floating beside a dock connected to a summer villa. At first it seems the death might be the cause of an accident. Then it becomes Maria's first murder.
This is a procedural not an action packed adventure. Maria interviews all of the potential suspects and witnesses as she looks deeper into the case. There's connections within connections as it seems that everyone is somehow involved in more than one way with everyone else.
The narrator is quite authoritative when it comes to the names-- Finnish is not a language that people in the US tend to be familiar with by ear so hearing the names is quite helpful. Also most of the main characters have short first names which helps with keeping them straight.
All of the Finns I have met tend to be avid readers and when speaking English rarely use colloquialisms. I think that the dialogue in the book which is described as "wooden" by at least one reviewer is an accurate translation. It's one of those cases I guess where the translator must choose a between accuracy and accessibility in another language. I don't think choosing accuracy was a mistake.
So if you are thinking about listening to this book you might want to try a sample first.
I'm very pleased that AmazonCrossing and Brilliance Audio are making these translated works available to a wider audience.
A 16 year old wold class figure skater is brutally murdered near her home in Finland. Her body is placed in the trunk of a car in a parking deck. Sa..Show More »rgent Maria Callio, 4 weeks before the start of her maternity leave, is assigned the case. The murder case is set in the figure skating world in Finland. The potential murders are many.
Death Spiral is a well written and narrated murder mystery.