The Nightingale Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Quality police procedural from Lehtolainen again. This is thoughtful and entertaining writing. I look forward to the next installment
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I have read all the Maria Kallio books and frankly, they are getting more uninteresting as time goes on. Maria is unhappy in her job, her partnership with the father of her children is getting stale, Finnish politics is getting dismal. What is there to enjoy?

This one is no different. A famous prostitute is murdered at a TV studio, just before she goes on air. There are lots of suspects and some murky history and current scandals, any of which might provide a motive. The story, though gets bogged down in Maria's other unhappiness.

I would stop reading these books now, but there is a turnaround at the end of this one that might revitalize everything. I'll watch for the next one.
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4 stars
I enjoyed reading this book, translated from Finnish. It is set in Espoo, Finland and is book 9 in the series, but worked fine for me even though I haven't read any of the other books in the series.
The book opens when a young woman is found badly cut up in her genital area. Maria Kallio, head of the VCU(Violent Crime Unit), is called to the scene and then goes to the hospital to interview the victim, who is evidently a Russian prostitute who speaks very little Finnish or English, Maria's 2 languages. Maria realizes the woman is very afraid. The woman disappears from the hospital the next day and then a celebrity call girl, Lulu Nightingale is found dead from poison. Maria believes that there is a connection between the 2 and starts to investigate, putting her family life on hold.
The plot line shows that much of police work is tedious and boring, endless hours of viewing videotapes from various video cams connected to the crime scenes and interviewing every possible witness, and canvassing the neighborhood for more information.
Maria and her team do narrow the suspect list down to 1 person after some false leads. I liked the way the plot developed and the way the various police officers are portrayed, balancing personal lives against a demanding investigation.
There is some violence, and 1 graphic scene of rape, if that disturbs you.
Some quotes: Lulu's apartment: "The light was dim, the tiles black and red, as was the toilet, the sink, and the bidet. Somewhere Lulu had even managed to find black toilet paper."
Meeting a possible suspect: "He shook my hand, but his smile didn't reach his eyes."
Maria's boss: "Kaartomo was talking like George W. Bush trying to convince the rest of the western world to support his bombing campaign in Iraq. I believed him just as little as I believed George double-idiot."
Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Crossing for sending me this ARC ebook.
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Maria's involved in an intense police department investigation--murder, prostitution, human trafficking, rape, and the Russian mob. With many potential suspects and little concrete information, she must use her judgement and intuition to solve the case, all the time feeling guilty about spending so much time away from her family.
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For fans of Finnish noir. This was actually published in Finland in 2005, which makes me wonder how  or if it would be different had Lehtolainen written it in 2018 as it focuses on the highly topical issue of  human trafficking and sex workers.  Maria is one tough cop but she's also a wife and mother, making her balancing act one of the most appealing aspects of the novel.  Thanks to Amazon for bringing world literature in translation to us and to Netgalley for the ARC.  This is a well done procedural with a lot of atmospherics (love the details of life in Finland.).
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Sorry but I was unable to finish this book.  It just wasn't for me.
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Leena Lehtolainen has outdone herself with this book.  The murders are nasty, the subject is nasty, and it involves politics, women are brutally beaten up and Maria is wondering if Antti is having an affair.  If you like to read about this stuff keep reading because Maria has a life changing experience to her where she wants to change her job out of the police.  This book is an incredible.read and I recommend it highly.
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A unique and interesting mystery with a brazen outlook about legalizing prostitution, which opened a whole nest of aches, pains and murder. The Finish Police force in Espoo was at its wit's-end in trying to solve the murder of celebrity prostitute Lulu Nightingale, now they had another murder to deal with and an attempted murder. Detective Maria and her team had their hands full when their investigation uncovered the aspiring political desires of one of the suspects making him the chief suspect. Now as he watches his political aspirations and dreams disappearing, he loses his cool, he turned his anger upon Maria, having nothing to lose, he took his anger out on her, making her one of his victims in the worst possible way for a woman. An interesting story-line with equally interesting characters.
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This was such an unexpected pleasure- I had not heard of this author, I am embarrassed to say, but I can't wait to read more. 
While this book was in the middle of the series, I had no problem catching up with the main character's backstories, except for some previous crimes. I liked her, her husband and kids. All her characters were well described and dimensional. 
The salacious initial crime and subsequent murder of an equally salacious victim  attract all sorts of attention and problems. The investigation becomes more and more absorbing, keeping police away from home, which strains them all. 
The ending is a bit horrific, but probably more realistic than we'd like to admit.  There is a strong authentic tone in how different people speak to one another, play games and posture. 
Overall, this was a great book to read, it moved along quickly. 
Once I got the hang of the Finnish names, it was fun to figure out how they sounded out loud. A true pleasure.
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Thank you Net Galley. Maria Kallio is a fascinating and powerful protagonist. Loved it.
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4 stars

A young woman who is badly mutilated is found at a roadside. She is possibly of Eastern European or Russian descent. She barely responds to police questions in any language. Lieutenant Maria Kallio suspects that she might be a member of the sex trade. As the police set about to learn the woman’s identity, they receive a telephone call from the hospital. The woman has disappeared.

Meanwhile, on a televised talk show, one of the guests is murdered. It is Lulu Nightingale who was a vocal representative for the sex trade industry and call girl. Detective Lieutenant Maria Kallio and her team respond to the call. Maria and her team begin interviewing Lulu’s bodyguard and the other guests on the show. 

As the investigation continues, Maria speculates about who would want the woman dead. Is it organized crime? Was it someone on the show on which she was to guest? 

How Maria balances being a wife, a mother and her career is frustrating at times, but works out beautifully. She is very intelligent and driven to be the best at all of her “jobs.”  The descriptions of life in Finland are observant and particularly astute. 

This book is well written and plotted as are all of Leena Lehtolainen’s novels. The tension begins immediately in the story with the cutting of the woman and continues throughout the story. I tip my hat to the translator as well. They did a beautiful job that made the book easily readable in English. I’ve read Ms. Lehtolainen’s novels before and have enjoyed them as well. This is a great addition to the series. 

I want to thank NetGalley and AmazonCrossing for forwarding to me a copy of this good book to read and enjoy.
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Thank you Netgalley and AmazonCrossing for the eARC.
This is one of my favorite series, not only because it's set in Finland, a country we don't hear much about, but also because I love Maria Kallio.  She's a strong woman who has to juggle the life of wife, mother and career, which proves extremely difficult at times, even with the help of her husband and mother in law. Plus, dealing with the guilt is no mean feat either.  But somehow she always manages to pull it off.
When a young Russian prostitute is found, severely slashed all over her body, she's rushed to hospital, but doesn't speak Finnish and cannot or will not say who did this to her.  Soon she disappears and without any identity and probably in the country illegally, it's impossible to find her...they suspect she's probably dead. 
At the same time, a successful, famous, independent prostitute is scheduled to appear on a popular talk show.  Before she appears she's found dead in her dressing room, probably poisoned.  The tabloids are going wild and there's a lot of pressure to solve the case. But who would want to kill her and why?  Her clients were mostly from the highest levels of society and she was an astute business woman who'd never disclose names and proclivities!  Was it the Mafia or pimps who saw her as a dangerous influence on their working girls?  
This is such a good series, I love the glimpses of life and politics in Finland.  I was quite surprised, though, that this book was published in Finland in 2005...hopefully that means we'll be getting more Maria Kallio books in the US sooner rather than later. Kudos to the translator too, the books flow beautifully in English.  It takes a while to get used to the Finnish names, but it's fun and really worth it.  If you haven't had the pleasure of reading these books, do yourself a favor and do...starting with the first if possible!
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