Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Deep as Death by Katja Ivar.
Katja Ivar grew up in Russia and the U.S. She travelled the world extensively, from Almaty to Ushuaia, from Karelia to Kyushu, before finally settling in Paris where she lives with her husband and three children. She received a B.A. in Linguistics and a master’s degree in Contemporary History from Sorbonne University. Evil Things was her debut novel.
About the book
Hella Mauzer has just been fired by the police and is now a reluctant private investigator. Escaping the mind-numbing routine of shadowing unfaithful spouses, Hella finds herself at the centre of an investigation of multiple murders.
It all begins when a prostitute is found floating upside down in Helsinki Harbour. Not exactly a high priority case for the Helsinki police, so homicide chief Jokela passes the job to his former colleague Hella. It’s beginning to look like a serial killer is at work when another lady of the night narrowly escapes being driven into the harbour, handcuffed to the car by her client.
What begins like a taut whodunit turns into something more tantalizing as Hella turns her attention to different suspects, often to the consternation of the fascinating Inspector Mustonen, charismatic, ambitious and trying desperately to live up to the standards of his high-maintenance wife.
Hella is always on the short end of the stick. Her career with the police, as the first female homicide detective, is over and her new role as a private investigator isn’t really bringing in the much needed cash.
She is surprised when her old boss recommends her services on a case he is wanting to brush under the carpet. Pitting her against a charismatic ex-colleague seems counter productive, especially because she is known for digging her heels in even when it gets dangerous for herself and others.
It’s Nordic crime that uses a bedrock of sexism, gender equality and the thin line between law and order and crime, which was still quite a prevalent imbalance in the era the story takes place in.
Ivar’s stories have a Nesbo flair to them, but with more of a noirish feel. The crime within a crime which is laid upon a bed of evil. It makes for a glorius read. The reader is pulled between doubt and certainty, especially in regards to the main characters. Is there ill intent or just fumbling foolishness, real danger or just a paranoia perceived out of circumstances?
Either way Ivar writes a cracking read and is honing her craft. I expect to hear more from this particular author. I wonder whether the mystery mentioned briefly towards the end will be the focus of the next book in the Hella Mauser series.