Rights sold:

WORLD ENGLISH: HarperCollins

CROATIA: Planetopia
ESTONIA: Rahva Raamat
FINLAND: Gummerus
FRANCE: Editions Leduc.s

Original title: Väärän jäljillä

Author: Leena Lehtolainen

Illustrator: Leena Lehtolainen

Published: 2008

Publisher: Tammi

Class/genre: Crime & Thriller

Pages: 378

Reading material:

Finnish edition

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In my dreams, everything I’ve experienced in my life comes back to me. The muzzle of a moose rifle extends towards my chest, and when it withdraws, I see an exploding mailbox, which launches into the air with my daughter Iida.

Mari Kallio has left behind the Espoo Police Department. However, her plans for establishing a law firm to serve the less fortunate founder when her intended partner and school friend Leena is permanently disabled in an automobile accident. Maria begins work with a domestic violence research project under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior, safely behind a desk.

Through Leena, Maria becomes acquainted with a journalist, Jutta Särkikoski, who has exposed the illegal doping of two champion discus throwers. Särkikoski has been injured under mysterious circumstances: his car was forced off the road after he had been interviewing Toni Väärä, a runner who had recently made a surprise breakthrough in the 800-meter. Väärä, who was also in the car, is injured so badly that he will be out of competition for the following season. Särkikoski had been receiving death threats before the accident, and there doesn’t seem to be any end to them.

Letting go of the past isn’t easy for Maria, evidenced by the repetitive dreams that torment her. When the threats against Särkikoski are carried out, Maria is unexpectedly forced back to her old workplace and its familiar faces. Memories of her last, nearly catastrophic homicide investigation won’t leave her alone, but there isn’t any room for resting on the back stretch in a race with a murderer.

Before the tape is broken at the finish line, far too many people manage to put the police on the wrong track in this tale of scandal in the world of sports.

Rights sold:
Original publisher:
WORLD ENGLISH, AmazonCrossing
GERMANY, Rowohlt
LATVIA, Jumava


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Leena Lehtolainen

Leena Lehtolainen is the top female crime author in Finland: her new titles always head straight to #1 on the Finnish bestseller lists.

Leena’s brand new title The Ripple Effect will be published in August 2020. It is already the 15th book of the super popular Maria Kallio series that has sold over 2 million copies worldwide!

* * *

The 1993 book Ensimmäinen murhani (My First Murder) kicked off Lehtolainen’s first and on-going crime novel series, which has brought an enthusiastically-received female perspective to the male-dominated detective genre through its distinctively down-to-earth heroine Maria Kallio. The Bodyguard Trilogy, meanwhile, stars a New York-trained bodyguard who is fiercely self-sufficient, highly alert to her surroundings, and haunted by horrific violence in her past.

Lehtolainen published her first novel at the age of 12; this work of juvenile fiction appeared in 1976. Leena Lehtolainen has also published outside the crime genre; her book The Charm of Figure Skating was voted sports book of the year 2010 in Finland and A Life in Six Scenes showed her return to literary fiction.

In her free time, Lehtolainen enjoys all kinds of music from 70’s punk to Schubert and Bach – just like Maria Kallio, the heroine of Lehtolainen’s crime novel series. And just as events in the Bodyguard (trilogy take the heroine Hilja Ilveskero all around Europe, Lehtolainen’s own work takes her to book festivals, exhibitions and other events across the globe.





Leena Lehtolainen

The Charm of Ice

2016, Non-Fiction

Leena Lehtolainen

My First Murder

1993, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Her Enemy

1994, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Copper Heart

1995, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Snow Woman

1996, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Death Spiral

1997, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Fatal Headwind

1998, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Before I Go

2000, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Rage

2003, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Nightingale Murder

2005, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

Where Have All the Young Girls Gone

2010, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Iron Triangle

2013, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

A Stroke of Sadness

2015, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Bodyguard

2009, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Lion of Justice

2011, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Devil’s Cubs

2012, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Eye of the Tiger

2016, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The End of Innocence

2017, Crime & Thriller

Below the Surface US cover image

Leena Lehtolainen

Below the Surface

2003, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Killer’s Girlfriend

2018, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen


2019 Fall, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

The Ripple Effect

2020 Fall, Crime & Thriller

Leena Lehtolainen

A Crossing in the Darkness

2023, Crime & Thriller

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