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Good read, nicely written, characters interesting, good plot. Bit drawn out, could have been tighter and I'm not 100% convinced that so much copy on Maria's personal life helps the story tho it is interesting and fleshes out the character.
Sad but more and more crime books are becoming soap operas. The focus on the actual crime is minimal. Most of the book is on details of all major characters’ personal lives and none of it relevant to the crime. The main character (head of crime department) is in tears due to stress from being head of department. Not a good sign for developing a plot which goes a long way to explain why the crime does not even get to 3rd place. Leaves me sad as another liked author bites the dust. This has happened to a lot of English writers of crime and you can only think they are writing hoping to get a TV series.
This is a best selling novel for good reason. It has an unusual plot line which works and keeps you guessing to the end. But most of all it gives an insight into Finnish everyday life and social norms through the first person narrative, which draws you into the life of the lead character. Very well written, the only downer for me was there was a little too much domestic detail which at times seemed like word padding.
After reading seven books in her series, I've become quite fond of Leena Lehtolainen's Maria Kallio. This time out writer Annukka Hackman, in the midst of writing an expose of Finnish race car driver, Sasha Smeds, is shot in the head while taking a swim on a cold autumn day. And with all that is going on in the Smeds family, the suspects are many.
"Below The Surface" moves at a much faster pace and is more interesting than last (#7, "Before I Go"). Maria must deal with sexual harassment allegations against one of her subordinates... by another... and she is surprised when the police pathologist, a man she's worked with, becomes implicated in the crime.
Once again I enjoyed following both the detective work and Maria's personal thoughts as her husband Antii takes on a new job, and Jyrki Taskinen, her friend and superior on the force, faces personal problems at home.
I definitely like this series from Lehtolainen and have already begun reading #9, "The Nightingale Murder."
This is another excellent police procedural featuring Finnish Detective Maria Kallio. Maria, now head of the violent crimes unit, leads the investigation of a woman who was shot dead while swimming in an exceptionally chilly lake. She turns out to have been a difficult person who had given several people reason to want her dead. Maria and her colleagues pursue leads and interview witnesses while coping with the difficulties of their personal lives. In Maria's case, most of these involve caring for (and arranging care for) her two children; evidently, working mothers have it tough even in what I thought was enlightened Scandinavia. Maria pulls through, but her marriage remains a work in progress -- a story which provides another reason to look forward to the next in the series.
The latest release of the Maria Kallio series puts a somewhat heavier focus on the travails of family life vs. the responsibilities of work, especially the vocation of criminal investigation.. In fact, with all the life problems, Finnish social laws, and work rules it is surprising that any work got done. The central plot, solving the murder of a rather snarky investigative writer holds the work together and provides an enjoyable read. Unfortunately, the structure of the novel was a bit erratic, bouncing back and forth from one suspect to the other and also leaving too many loose ends.