cover image Her Enemy: A Maria Kallio Mystery

Her Enemy: A Maria Kallio Mystery

Leena Lehtolainen, trans. from the Finnish by Owen F. Witesman. Amazon Crossing, $14.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-611099-64-5

A strong lead character—obstinate, fearless, smart Maria Kallio—makes up for the rocky plot of Lehtolainen’s second mystery featuring the former cop and novice lawyer (after 2012’s My First Murder). Kallio, who practices near Helsinki, gets deeply involved in the murder of Armi Mäenpää, a recent acquaintance strangled outside her own home. Soon arrested is Mäenpää’s fiancée, Kimmo Hänninen, a hapless young man with quirky sexual habits. The suicide of Kimmo’s sister a year earlier is still fresh in people’s minds, and Kallio feels that somehow the sister’s death by drowning and Mäenpää’s murder are connected. In casting a wide net with her questioning, Kallio antagonizes just about everyone, including Mäenpää’s employer, an indiscrete gynecologist; her own boss, who has hidden some files she sorely needs; and most of Kimmo’s wildly dysfunctional family. An unconvincing conclusion won’t stop readers from wanting to see more of Kallio. (May)