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As Red as Blood    by Salla Simukka Amazon.com order for
As Red as Blood
by Salla Simukka
Order:  USA  Can
Crown, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Nordic and Scandinavian literature, especially mystery/suspense, has really taken off recently for adults, so it is no surprise that it is now seeping into the YA scene. As Red as Blood, the first of Salla Simukka's Lumikki Andersson trilogy, brings the grittiness to a younger audience.

Having suffered severe bullying as a child, Lumikki Andersson knows how to blend in. Now, living on her own to attend an arts high school, Lumikki finally feels more free until she stumbles into a dark room full of bloody money. Now Lumikki finds herself putting all of her hiding skills into full force as she stumbles upon a major crime ring.

The only difference I can find between As Red as Blood and other Nordic suspense I have read is that Lumikki is a teenager. It is dark, jolting, and intense, but maybe dialed back just a little, as I was actually able to stomach reading it for longer periods at a time. I did have a hard time, though, figuring out some of the cultural aspects, such as how Lumikki, a high school student, was able to live on her own.

YA readers who like their suspense hardcore will devour As Red as Blood. Salla Simukka has the atmosphere down pat, and it comes through seamlessly in Owen Frederick Witesman's translation.

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