Sunday, 30 June 2013

#369 - Cold Courage

Books > Fiction > Crime > Mystery


When Lia witnesses a disturbing scene on the way to work, she, like the rest of the city of London, is captivated and horrified. As details unfurl in the media the brutal truth transpires - a Latvian prostitute has been killed, her body run over by a bulldozer and then placed in the trunk of a car to be found. As the weeks pass and no leads are found, the story quickly disintegrates but Lia can't easily forget. So when she meets Mari in a late night bar one night she feels fate might have brought them together. Like her, Mari is a Finnish woman in London finding her way, somewhat of an outsider, very independent. But there is much more to Mari than meets the eye: she is a psychologist who possesses an unnatural way of being able to 'read' people, see into their inner most thoughts and pre-empt their actions. She uses her 'gift' to try to help people and has formed a close unit she calls the Studio, a kind of team of investigators, who are not beyond breaking the law to put the worlds to rights. Mari and Lia strike up a firm friendship and when Lia shares her plaguing thoughts about the murder, Mari thinks she and the members of the Studio can help where the police have failed. But Mari and Lia are about to step foot into extremely dangerous territory, especially as Mari has a will to control others, take vengeance on those she deems deserve it and use the Studio to unscrupulous ends.

Product Details:

* I was provided with a hardback copy of this book by the First Reads Scheme on Good Reads.

Hardback and Kindle HERE.

* * * * *


{This review may contain a few spoilers}

My first impression of the cover was that it might well prove to be a very dark and forbidding read, and I wasn't particularly looking forward to it. So, I opened it not with a little trepidation.

Having just finished, I am happy to report that it exceeded my expectations, and then some. It just shows, one should not really judge a book by its cover!

I cannot deny that it wasn't difficult subjects being dealt with: murder, fraud, brutality, prostitution, domestic abuse and manipulation of a political party for personal gain and exploitation. However, it was dealt with very sympathetically.

Quite simply the writing was an exceptional quality, with well formed characters. We are treated to a well thought through plot and a nice pace that keeps the pages turning.

Lia in particular was written well. There were glimpses into her past, but the reader is not left to feel not that there wasn't sufficient back story to judge her abilities and vulnerabilities.

As far as Mari was concerned I was left with the distinct impression that there was much more to her than met the eye. She had a darker side, and it left me feeling more distrustful of her motives as the plot moved along. I still am not completely sure in my own mind whether she was likeable. Certainly she came across as somewhat manipulative, but was that really for the good of mankind of by way of her own self-service? Was it due to her past or her complex personality? Without a doubt Pekka wrote a multi-layered and complex personality, and maybe that Mari was intentionally written to be a 'shifting sands' character, with the reader making up his or her own mind about her.

The quality of the writing made me hope he will go on to write something more that will reveal further Mari and her work (be it for good of bad).

Having felt invested in Lia too, I'm left with a strong need to know more of her future. 


Five stars for me for this book, highly recommended. Kudos to Pekka for an exception piece of writing, and fingers crossed he goes on to write a sequel.

Errors / Bug Bears:

None - kudos to the Author and Publisher for a fabulous product.



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