Title: Death Spiral
Author: Leena Lehtolainen
Translator: Owen F. Witesman
Date Published: December 8th 2015 (translation) First published 1997.
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Series: Maria Kallio #5
A young figure skater is murdered with her own skates and seven-month pregnant police investigator Maria Kallio is on the trail of the brutal killer. Unfortunately, the girl made a habit of being difficult to get along with, and the list of suspects with potential reason to be violent grows. Besides that, the murder seems to have served no purpose. The mystery is far more complicated than Maria hoped this close to her maternity leave, but when a breakthrough finally comes, it is in the last place she expects.
This novel is a very well done translation by Owen F. Witesman, and other than the names of people and places being obviously Finnish a reader cannot tell the difference. The author, Leena Lehtolainen, is an established Nordic crime writer, and it is a treat to have her work available in the English language. Overall, Death Spiral was an enjoyable read, and I would give it a solid 3 ½ stars for the most part– even up to 4 stars in the final third of the book. It is slow at times, particularly in the first half, the characters are occasionally a bit melodramatic, and the crime itself is not overly exciting in the beginning, but Lehtolainen is a good writer, and it is a worthwhile mystery. Maria Kallio is an interesting character, rough, human, and easily likable.
MomReadsToo says, “At the finish your fingernails may still be mostly there, but your chores will still be there too!”
A review copy was provided for free through GoodReads in exchange for this honest review.