Evil Things

Evil Things

Book - 2019
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Hella Mauzer was the first ever woman Inspector in the Helsinki Homicide Unit. But her superiors deemed her too 'emotional' for the job and had her reassigned. Now, two years later, she is working in Lapland for the Ivalo police department under Chief Inspector Järvi, a man more interested in criminal statistics and his social life than police work. They receive a letter from Irja Waltari, a priest's wife from the village of Käärmela on the Soviet border, informing them of thedisappearance of Erno Jokinen, a local. Hella jumps at the chance to investigate. Järvi does not think that a crime is involved. After all, people disappear all the time in the snows of Finland. When she arrives, Hella stays the village priest and his wife, who have taken in Erno's grandson who refuses to tell anyone his grandfather's secret. A body is then discovered in the forest and she realizes that she was right; a crime has been committed. A murder. But what Hella doesn't know, is that the small village of Käärmela is harbouring another crime, a crime so evil, it is beyond anything any of them could have ever imagined.
Publisher: London : Bitter Lemon Press, 2019.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781912242092
Branch Call Number: IVA
Characteristics: 319 pages.


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May 30, 2019

This book was slow to start, but once Hella sets off for the small town of Kaarmela, and starts asking questions things pick up. There's a man who's been murdered (or has he?), a priest with a past, a fink of a neighbor, and a hand with pink fingernail varnish. Hella perseveres, though some of her conclusions and the clues are not well-drawn. The Finish countryside is vivid and cold. The characters are colorful and the plot moves along well. I agree with Raven's assessment about a possible dig at NATO, but the author is Russian with a history degree and the world has many different points of view. If you enjoy Nordic Noir, this first book by Katja Ivar is enticing and worth a read. Let's see what else she can do.

Feb 28, 2019

Tension is so high along the Soviet-Finnish border that everyone fears a Soviet invasion could happen at the slightest provocation. Policewoman Hella Mauser insists on investigating the disappearance of a Laplander whose village (in remote northern Finland) is only a few miles from the border. Hella is her own worst enemy and far from being the polished detective we often find in police procedurals, she is quickly in over her head. The characters are well-done and author keeps the pace moving well. However, I was disappointed with the ending, which depicts a thinly-disguised NATO as the villain (here called the "Western Alliance") as intent on covering up a bio-warfare experiment which has killed innocent villagers. Considering that Putin has ordered dissenters, journalists, and ex-KGB agents horrifically poisoned, this looks like anti-NATO propaganda.

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