July 14, 2015
As Red as Blood, by Salla Simukka
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 bloodstained 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.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect before I started reading this book. I wasn’t sure that I was up for a translated fairytale remake, much less, one taking place in Finland. I am pleased to say that I’m glad I didn’t let my doubt get the best of me! I really enjoyed reading the book, “Red as Blood” and can’t wait to read the next books in the series! The book is anything but cutesy and sugar coated. It is in fact, quite dark and suspenseful, which are a couple of the traits I really enjoy in the books I read. Initially, I was confused about a few things in the story, but by the end of the book, everything was cleared up and made sense. I finished the book in a day because it really kept my interest, which isn’t always easy to do! I also enjoyed the cute vague references to Snow White, but they in no way make up the story!
Winner of the 2013 Topelius Prize, Salla Simukka is an author of young-adult fiction and a screenwriter. She has written several novels and one collection of short stories for young readers, and has translated adult fiction, children’s books, and plays. She writes book reviews for several Finnish newspapers, and she writes for TV as well. She lives in Tampere, Finland.