Trouble | Crime Fiction Book
Helsinki, June 1953, at the heart of the Cold War. Hella, now a reluctant private investigator, has been asked by her former boss at the Helsinki murder squad to do a background check on a member of the Finnish secret services. Not the type of job Hella was hoping for, but she accepts it on the condition that she is given access to the files concerning the roadside death of her father in 1942, at a time when Finland joined forces with Nazi Germany in its attack against the Soviet Union. German troops were sent to Finland, the Gestapo arrived in Helsinki and German influence on local government was strong, including demands for the deportation of local Jews.
Colonel Mauzer, his wife and other family members were killed by a truck in a hit and run incident. An accident, file closed, they said. But not for Hella, whose unwelcome investigation leads to some who would prefer to see her stopped dead in her tracks.
“I read it in one sitting. It’s thrilling. The setting, the timing, being in the midst of the Cold War, and our stubborn, smart and brave heroine Hella – a woman fighting crime in a world opposed to her, are all elements I enjoyed. Katja Ivar turns a seemingly small random crime into something much bigger. A very good read!” Cecilia Ekbäck, author of Wolf Winter.
“This is a remarkable debut — the best novel I’ve read this year. A historical thriller with a heart that keeps you enthralled to the final page. Ivar has constructed a frightening, atmospheric and addictive tale set in 1950s Lapland on the border with Soviet Russia. Spies, international conspiracies, overlaid on icily claustrophobic rural life. But above all in Hella Mauzer a believable heroine prepared to put her own life on the line for justice. I can’t wait for her next adventure.” David Young, author of A Darker State and STASI Child.
"Welcome to the most stubborn of cops, Hella Mauzer, righting wrongs in cold Lapland, a memorable character with just the right disdain for authority and its amoral attitudes to justice and women. A feminist 1952 cop before feminism was invented." Maxim Jakubowski, author of The Louisiana Republic.