Cover image for As red as blood
Title:
As red as blood
Author:
Simukka, Salla, 1981- author.
Uniform Title:
Punainen kuin veri. English
Publication Information:
New York : Skyscape, [2014]

©2014
Physical Description:
256 pages ; 21 cm.
Summary:
In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school's darkroom and finds a stash of money splattered with someone's blood. She is swept into a whirlpool of dangerous encounters with dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin as she helps to trace the origin of the cash.
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9781477847718

9781524713416
Format :
Book

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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
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Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Being fixed/mended
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Summary

Summary

In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school's dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry--splattered with someone's blood.

Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she's singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school's most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she's been blind to the forces swirling around her--and she's running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Lumikki has escaped an abusive past by moving 70 miles from home to the Finnish town of Tampere. There, she attends a high school for the arts, works out in Body Combat class, and meticulously avoids meddling in other people's business. That works fine, until she finds dozens of bloody 500-euro bills hanging in the school's darkroom. Her curiosity leads her to observe the suspicious behavior of three classmates, who eventually enlist her help in revealing the source of the money, which they had found in a bag tossed in a backyard. Perhaps it's loneliness that drives Lumikki to take part in the investigation, but after a case of mistaken identity, Lumikki herself becomes the target of assassins. Readers should be prepared for stark imagery (red blood seeping into fresh snow) and some mature themes in this suspenseful page-turner. Lumikki jokingly calls herself the secret love child of Hercule Poirot and Lisbeth Salander, and she proves again and again to be as smart and tough as each. Translated from the Finnish, this is a YA novel in the tradition of Nordic noir: edgy crime novels set in frigid lands. Recommend to fans of Francine Prose, Adele Griffin, and other authors of compelling, atmospheric mysteries.--Colson, Diane Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Finnish author Simukka creates a tough, self-sufficient heroine in 17-year-old Lumikki Andersson in this first book in the Snow White Trilogy. The novel begins starkly, with a young woman's freshly shed blood soaking the snow of a Finnish winter. Lumikki, who lives alone and attends a prestigious arts school, becomes enmeshed in the murder when she finds (literally) laundered money in the school's darkroom. Soon, she is swept into an investigation of a dangerous drug cartel along with three schoolmates, including Elisa, the pretty, spoiled daughter of a local narcotics officer. In response to a childhood trauma, Lumikki has remade herself-independent, cerebral, distant; her unlikely friendship with Elisa is unexpected and endearing. Parents are markedly absent; Lumikki has intentionally estranged herself. Elisa's father loves her, but his criminal involvement consumes him. This leaves the teenagers of Simukka's story negotiating a landscape that adults have created and then abandoned, cold as the Scandinavian winter; the warm heart at its center is the web of alliance they form. Fans of Nesbo and Larsson won't be disappointed. Ages 13-up. Agent: Elina Ahlback, Elina Ahlback Literacy Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This exciting thriller with fairy tale elements is Simukka's first work available in English and launches a trilogy. Lumikki attends a private school in Finland, away from her parents and the childhood that haunts her, and has left her with skills that are unorthodox for an average 17-year-old girl. She knows how to escape at a moment's notice and make herself invisible, traveling without leaving a trace. When she inadvertently stumbles across a large sum of money in the school's darkroom, she is swept into a dangerous mystery with three high-profile classmates, unlikely allies for Lumikki's life of solitude. Amy McFadden ably narrates this fast-paced story. Give this to those looking for something similar to Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Gabi Kreslehner's Rain Girl.-Rebecca Flannery, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon, CT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Sunday, February 28   1   Glittering white lay all around. Over the old snow, a new, clean layer of soft flakes had fallen fifteen minutes earlier. Fifteen minutes earlier, everything had still been possible. The world had looked beautiful, the future flickering somewhere in the distance: brighter, freer, more peaceful. A future worth risking everything, worth going all‑in, worth trying to make a break for it.   Fifteen minutes earlier, a light, downy snowfall had spread a thin feather blanket over the old snow. Then it had ceased, as suddenly as it had begun, followed by rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds. Hardly any days all winter had been this beautiful.   Now each moment saw more red encroaching on the white, spreading, gaining ground, creeping forward through the crystals, staining them as it went. Some of the red had flown farther, a shrieking, bright crimson spattering the snow.   Natalia Smirnova stared with brown eyes at the red-flecked snow, seeing nothing. Thinking nothing. Hoping nothing. Fearing nothing.   Ten minutes earlier, Natalia had hoped and feared more than ever before in her life. With trembling hands, she had stuffed money into her authentic Louis Vuitton handbag, anxiously listening for even the tiniest rustling from outside. She had tried to steady her nerves, assuring herself that everything was fine. She had a plan. But at the same time, she had known that no plan was ever perfect. An intricate edifice carefully constructed over months can collapse at the barest nudge.   The purse had also contained a passport and plane ticket to Moscow. She wasn't taking anything else. At the Moscow airport, her brother would be waiting with a rental car, ready to drive her hundreds of miles to a dacha only a few people knew about. There, her mother would be waiting with three-year-old Olga, the daughter she hadn't seen in more than a year. Would her little girl even remember her? But no matter. A month or two hiding out in the countryside would give them time to get to know each other again. While they waited until she believed they were safe. While they waited for the world to forget about Natalia Smirnova.   Natalia had stifled the nagging voice in her head that insisted no one would forget her at all. That they wouldn't allow her to disappear. She had assured herself that she wasn't so important that they couldn't simply find someone to replace her if need be. And going to the effort of tracking her down would be too much bother anyway.   In this line of work, people disappeared now and then, usually taking some money along with them. That was just one of the risks of doing business--an unavoidable loss like the spoiled fruit a grocery store had to throw out.   Natalia hadn't counted the money. She'd simply stuffed as much of it as she could into her bag. Some of the bills had gotten crumpled, but that didn't matter. A crumpled five-hundred-euro bill was worth just as much as a crisp one. You could still buy three months of food with it, maybe four if you were really careful. You could still use it to buy a person's silence for long enough. For lots of people, five hundred euros was the price of a secret.   Natalia Smirnova, age twenty, lay facedown, her cheek in the cold snow. Not feeling the prickling of the ice against her skin. Not feeling the frigid chill of thirteen below on her bare earlobes.   The man had sung about a woman named Natalia to her in a gruff voice, off-key. Natalia hadn't liked the song. The Natalia in it was from Ukraine, but she was from Russia. On the other hand, she had liked the man who sang and stroked her hair. She'd just tried not to listen to the words. Fortunately, that had been easy. She'd known some Finnish, under-standing much more than she could speak, but when she stopped trying and let her mind relax, the foreign words ran together, losing their meaning and becoming nothing more than combinations of sounds falling out of the man's mouth as he hummed sweetly against Natalia's neck.   Five minutes earlier, Natalia had been thinking about that man and his slightly clumsy hands. Would he miss her? Maybe a bit. Maybe just a little bit. But not enough, because he had never loved her, not really. If he had loved her, really loved her, he would have solved Natalia's problems for her, as he'd promised to do so many times. Now Natalia had to solve her problems for herself.   Two minutes earlier, Natalia had snapped her handbag shut, which bulged with cash. Quickly, she'd tidied up and then glanced at herself in the front hall mirror. Bleached blond hair, brown eyes, thin eyebrows, and shining red lips. She had been pale, with dark circles under her eyes from staying up too late. She had just been leaving. In her mouth, she had tasted freedom and fear, both of which had a metallic tang.   Two minutes earlier, she had looked her reflection in the eye and raised her chin. This was her chance to make a break, and she was taking it.   That's when Natalia heard the key turning in the lock. She had frozen in place, straining her ears. One set of footsteps, then another, and a third. The Troika. The Troika were coming through the door.   All she could do was run.   One minute earlier, Natalia had charged through the kitchen toward the patio door. She'd fumbled with the lock. Her hands had been shaking too much to get the door unlatched. Then, by some miracle, it had given way, and Natalia had run across the snow-covered terrace into the garden. Her leather boots had sunk in the fresh snow, but she'd pressed on without looking back. She hadn't heard anything. She had thought for a moment that she might make it after all, that she might escape, that she might actually win.   Thirty seconds earlier, a pistol fitted with a silencer had fired with a dull snap, and a bullet had pierced the back of Natalia Smirnova's coat and skin, barely missing her spine and ripping through her internal organs and, finally, the handle of her Louis Vuitton bag, which she had been clutching to her chest. She had fallen forward into the pure, untouched snow.   The red puddle under Natalia continued to spread, consuming the snow all around. The red was still voracious and warm, but it cooled with each second that passed. One set of slow, heavy footfalls approached Natalia Smirnova as she lay in the snow. But she did not hear. Excerpted from As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.