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Authors: Jarkko Sipila

Tags: #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #International Mystery & Crime, #Police Procedurals, #Finland

Darling

BOOK: Darling
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HELSINKI HOMICIDE:

DARLING

 

JARKKO SIPILA

 

 

 

Translated by

Katriina Kitchens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, incidents, and situations depicted in this work are wholly the creation of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, organizations, places, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author, the translator, or the publisher.

 

Originally published in Finnish as
Muru
by Crime Time, Helsinki, Finland. 2011.

 

Translated by Katriina Kitchens

 

Published by

Ice Cold Crime LLC

5780 Providence Curve

Independence, MN 55359

 

Printed in the United States of America

 

Ice Cold Crime LLC gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of:

 

 

 

Cover by Ella Tontti

 

Copyright © Ice Cold Crime and Jarkko Sipila 201
4

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher.

 

ISBN-13: 978-1-937241-08-7

 

 

Also by Jarkko Sipila

 

In English:

 

Helsinki Homicide: Against the Wall
(Ice Cold Crime, 2009)

Helsinki Homicide: Vengeance
(Ice Cold Crime, 2010)

Helsinki Homicide:
Nothing but the Truth
(Ice Cold Crime, 2011)

Helsinki Homicide:
Cold Trail
(Ice Cold Crime, 2013)

 

In Finnish:

 

Koukku
(Book Studio, 1996)

Kulmapubin koktaili
(Book Studio, 1998)

Kosketuslaukaus
(Book Studio, 2001)

Tappokäsky
(Book Studio, 2002)

Karu keikka
(Book Studio, 2003)

Todennäköisin syin
(Gummerus, 2004)

Likainen kaupunki
(Gummerus, 2005)

Mitään salaamatta
(Gummerus, 2006)

Kylmä jälki
(Gummerus, 2007)

Seinää vasten
(Gummerus, 2008)

Prikaatin kosto
(Gummerus, 2009)

Katumurha
(Gummerus, 2010)

Paha paha tyttö,
with Harri Nykänen (Crime Time, 2010)

Muru
(Crime Time, 2011)

Suljetuin Ovin
(Crime Time, 2012)

Valepoliisi
(Crime Time, 2013)

Luupuisto
(Crime Time, 2014)

 

In German:

 

Die weiße Nacht des Todes
(Rohowolt Verlag, 2007)

Im Dämmer des Zweifels
(Rohowolt Verlag, 2007)

 

In Italian:

 

Morte a Helsinki
(Aliberti Editore, 2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HELSINKI HOMICIDE:

DARLING

 

 

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS

 

 

Kari Takamäki.......Detective Lieutenant,
Helsinki PD Violent Crimes Unit

Suhonen
.......Undercover Detective, VCU

Anna Joutsamo
.......VCU Sergeant

Mikko Kulta
.......VCU Detective

Kirsi Kohonen
.......VCU Detective

Leif Nyström
.......VCU Detective

Toukola
.......Narcotics cop

Eero Salmela
.......Suhonen’s old friend and ex-con

Laura Vatanen.
.......Victim

Marjaana
Vatanen.......Laura’s mother

Nea
Lind.......Defense attorney

Sanna Römpötti
.......TV crime reporter

Jorma
Korpivaara.......Building custodian

Pekka Rautalampi
........Mustache Guy at the Alamo Bar

Heikki Lahtela
.............The Quiet Guy at the Alamo

Jaakko Niskala
.......Small-time criminal at the Alamo

Rautis
.......Two-bit dealer

Aarnio
.......Late night garbage bag guy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

FALL 2010

HELSINKI PRISON

 

He lay in the dimly lit prison cell. The only light was the red hue of the street lamp streaming in through the bars in the window. He couldn’t sleep, but the problem wasn’t the bed. He was used to sleeping on prison bunks by now, and the mattress wasn’t bad. The problem was his cell mate in the top bunk.

They had brought the guy in two days ago, and it was obviou
s from his eyes that he’d been medicated. “Hell,” he said to the guards. “Take him to the hospital. He shouldn’t be here in that condition.”

The guy coughed and wheezed for a minute before his breathing slowed down.

Last night the guard asked him if the upper-bunk guy had taken his medication. What the hell did they think he was, a damn nurse? If the guard was so worried about it, he should watch the guy himself. Or take him to the hospital. The guard snorted and disappeared.

Unlike his cell mate who lay in bed all day, he’d at least kept himself busy in the license plate shop.

He heard mumbling from the top bunk but couldn’t make it out.

He wasn’t scared of the guy; he could take care of himself, no problem.
Sometimes, though, hallucinating junkies could get violent if they thought you were someone else.

They’d exchanged a few words earlier in the day and it seemed like the guy
was at least aware that he was in prison.

“I killed her.”

The direct statement startled him.

“I killed her, goddammit.”

Was the guy talking in his sleep or was he awake?

“Strangled her.
Fuck, I strangled her.”

He wondered if he should say something
to the guards, but for now decided against it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY,

DECEMBER 7, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

WEDNESDAY
, 11:25 A.M.

N
ӒYTTELIJӒ STREET, HELSINKI

 

The apartment complex custodian stood at the door in blue-and-yellow overalls, fiddling with a set of keys. Two uniformed police officers were waiting behind him. They didn’t mind the time he was taking, since this wasn’t an emergency call.

The stairwell of the
1980s apartment building was as dull as the decade: pale gray walls, a landing laid in dark stone, stairs up and down, and four brown doors. Sergeant Tero Partio had seen hundreds of these stairwells. Despite the impression from TV reality shows, Partio sometimes had quiet nights at work, and on one of these he had wondered if there was an apartment complex left in Helsinki he hadn’t visited.

Intrigued, he
had looked up a website which gave the number of apartment buildings in the city as forty-five thousand. Over his career the total number of shifts he had worked amounted to about a tenth of that number, and he had never had as many as ten calls during a shift. So Partio concluded that he hadn’t even been to every block in the city, especially since the calls always seemed to concern the same few areas and buildings. This city-owned apartment complex in North Haaga was one of them.

The last time he was in this building was back in August, when police
had been called to an apartment on the first floor. Two men had shared a cab and ended up in a knife fight. A man who lived in the building had shared a ride with a thirty-year-old guy he had just met in a bar, and had offered to let him crash in his apartment. The police were called at ten o’clock after the men dug out their knives to settle an argument. With their wounds treated, they both ended up spending the night in the Töölö jail.

That apartment was two floors below. Partio
had glanced at the name on the mailbox and thought it was different from before. Maybe the hospitable gentleman had been evicted.

“Okay, good,” Partio said when the
maintenance man finally managed to unlock the door. He had a bandage on his index finger, which might have been why it took him so long. Perhaps he expected thanks, but Partio didn’t see the point, especially since the man smelled like booze, and it wasn’t even noon yet.

“Stay here,”
Partio said to the guy.

The apartment was quiet, but the lights were on. At first glance the place looked clean—no piled-up mail behind the door or empty bottles rolling
around to trip over. A piercing, sickly-sweet smell of iron hit him, which was never good news.

“Anybody home?” Partio asked loudly. “It’s the police.”

No
answer. As he walked down the hall he saw a coat rack and a small closet on the right. A beige rug covered the floor, and Partio noticed a rusty stain on it. Not a good sign.

“Don’t step on the rug,” Partio warned his colleague Esa Nieminen, who was behind him.

BOOK: Darling
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