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When a woman's body turns up in a lake - a bullet to the back of her head - Violent Crime Unit commander Maria Kallio, freshly back from maternity leave, is fast to get on the case. The victim is ID'd as Annukka Hackman, wife of a prominent publisher and author of an upcoming unauthorized tell-all book on Sasha Smeds, Finland's celebrated racing rally driver.

Almost as soon as the inquiry starts, it goes off the rails, as those connected to Annukka - and to Smeds - seem to have more secrets than they have alibis. Was the journalist about to reveal a bombshell that someone was desperate to keep quiet? Or will it take some reading between the lines? The clues may be few, but the list of suspects is long. As she struggles to balance her home life, run a department tainted by career-threatening allegations, and catch a killer, Maria is shocked to find just what someone was willing to do in the name of love...or revenge.

©2003 Leena Lehtolainen (P)2017 Owen F. Witesman. P 2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • 09-11-17

Another excellent Maria Kallio detective novel

Below the Surface is a recent release in the excellent Maria Kallio modern detective series. I have previously reviewed the prior seven novels in the series. Protagonist Kallio is a police lieutenant in Finland and the author Leena Lehtolainen is a well known and respected Finnish author who writes in her native language. Kallio is an ex-lawyer who commands a group of cops, is married to a mathematician, and has two young children. She has never failed to close a homicide case since joining the police department. The current victim is a woman shot in the head with her own gun while swimming in a lake. It is a fascinating murder case. In addition, the novel deals with relationships between her police officers including a sexual harassment claim as well as her child care issues and her husband's job issues.

The eight novels (so far) in the series are stand alone. Novel 1 earned 3 stars, but the other seven have earned 4 or 5 stars. I recommend this novel and this series.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-18

Truly Enjoyed!

Perfect amount of suspense and realistic as well.

I'm of Scandinavian decent and enjoyed the weather descriptions.