Blue Phantom

The year is 1940. Detective Sergeant Mujunen, familiar to  readers of White Heat, is swept up in a new, more poignant  chain of events. Mujunen, in mourning for the death of his wife,  meets the Lithuanian dancer Ilse Anders at the cemetery, and  his heart skips a beat. But his troubles are far from over.

A Finnish commuter plane vanishes after taking off from  Tallinn, a bank is robbed in Kerava, and riots flare in Helsinki,  the protesters demanding peace and brotherhood between  Finland and the Soviet Union. Also involved is a big time  gangster, Finnish-American Bill Kovanen, arrived too late to  take part in the Winter War. Crime journalist Ossi Koho and photographer Sanna Rytkönen  suspect a conspiracy: what if everything is connected with the accident where actress Sirkka  Sari fell into the chimney of the Aulanko Hotel? The last act is played out on the windy shore  of the Ice Sea, where Mujunen’s faith in mankind is put to the test.

Black Whirlwind

The black whirlpools of fate spin Mujunen from Helsinki to East Karelia.

The time is late summer, 1942, and the offensive phase of the Finnish Continuation War has bogged down in trench warfare. Former State Police Senior Detective Mujunen thinks his life is over, but then two femmes fatale and a nighttime air raid draw him back to work.

Communist prisoners escape from Riihimäki, north of the capital, and, soon after, a time bomb goes off in an antiaircraft ammunition depot in West Helsinki. One of the perpetrators is apprehended, but he escapes. One of these saboteurs, now disguised as a military lieutenant, is on the loose in Helsinki, as is the German Reichsführer of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, whose life Mujunen is obliged to protect. At the same time, Mujunen experiences a torrid romance with a co-worker and does his best to save the Jewish refugees whom the leadership of the State Police intend to expel to Germany – meaning certain death. Himmler offers the same fate for all of Finland’s Jews.

On the trail of vandals and murderers, Mujunen ends up in Finnish-occupied Petrozavodsk, which has been rechristened Äänislinna, in the Finnish concentration camp and the Karhumäki amusement park set up near the front for the troops. He finally finds the truth in Berlin, but whose truth? Can a counter-espionage agent maintain his humanity during wartime, or is that just an unnecessary luxury?

Tapani Bagge has outdone himself again. Strong period description and precise character development combine in a fast-paced, exciting story that will also move you.

Red Shadow

Mujunen encounters twists of fate in postwar Finland

”These are dreadful times”, says the prime minister of Finland in 1944. A treaty of peace has just been concluded between Finland and the Soviet Union and the Finnish troops are now fighting Germans in Lapland.

The Russian control commission has occupied the Hotel Torni in Helsinki, casting a long shadow over the entire country. Mujunen is interrogating prisoners of war, but is called to investigate the murder of a Russian captain – and to report to the commission. Are the Russians using the murder as an excuse to occupy Finland?