J.-P. Pulkkinen: Large Blue

A hardboiled crime novel from Vantaa – a rough-edged boomtown with a character of its own.

Author: J. P. Pulkkinen
Finnish original: Vantaa – Sinisiipi
Publisher: Teos, 2018
Genre: crime fiction
Number of pages: 336 pp.
Reading material: Finnish original, English sample, English synopsis
Rights sold: German, Rote Katze verlag

In 1971 Timo and Leo, two eleven-year-olds from Vantaa, sneak out to watch race car drivers in training. An accident happens, and it’s also witnessed by a local construction tycoon named Laatunen and a policeman named Bång.

Forty years later Timo has become a police detective and Leo has inherited the management of Laatunen’s construction company. The young city is now a metropolis just a stone’s throw from the capital, and the building boom shows no sign of stopping.

But when rookie police detective Liina Vahtera finds the body of a young woman missing for many years at a construction site, construction of a large-scale shopping center is put on hold. And that isn’t the only body that turns up: death follows the police investigation at every turn. Soon it begins to look like the city was built with reckless disregard of the cost, and the case puts boyhood friends on opposite sides of the investigation.

Large Blue is the first in a new crime fiction series, with the city of Vantaa as a main character–a rough-edged boomtown just north of Helsinki city limits where the web of relationships between people and the past are crucial to solving crimes. The sequel The White Crow came out in 2019.

“You couldn’t start a crime writer’s career better than writing about the corridor echoing with boys speaking in ‘suburban sounds’. J.P. Pulkkinen has an eye and an ear for nuance. With a few choice words he paints the whole mental landscape, quite unlike to the usual straightforward and story-driven mainstream Finnish crime fiction”.  – Kauppalehti Optio Magazine

Large Blue is one of those books which linger after you put it down. The novel makes you identify with the characters and reach out for the story long after it’s finished.” – Kansan Uutiset Newspaper

Also available:
The Red Cupboard – Vantaa #3 (2021)
The White Crow – Vantaa #2 (2019)

About the author:
J. P. Pulkkinen