April 08th, 2011
Crime fiction novel Trap (orig. Ansa) by Marko Leino is nominated for the prestigious Scandinavian Glass Key Award. The award is given for the 20. time this year for the best Scandinavian crime fiction novel. Among the earlier winners are e.g. Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, Johan Theorin, Karin Alvtegen and Matti Rönkä.

Trap paints a grim picture of the murky world of the organised drug industry, which has tentacles from Russia through to Europe. Marko Leino spins a clever and captivating story, which includes worn down police, lowlifes of the criminal world, and crime barons. This game knows no mercy, and there are plenty who will chase after easy money. Someone will always pay the price, either with his own life, or with that of a loved one. The insignificant bit-players end up kneeling on a warehouse floor, waiting for the gun shot that will end it all. The dreams of instant riches turn into instant death, but the unpaid bills still need paying. They simply get transferred to the next generation.

Marko Leino (b. 1967) is considered to be the “Gold Finger” of the Finnish film industry. The biggest Finnish box office hits of recent years were based on his scripts. Leino is a very versatile writer. As well as his detective stories, Leino has written children’s books, plays, novels and poetry. His first book, a collection of short stories called Man’s Work (1999), was awarded the Kalevi Jäntti prize for young authors.

The other Glass Key nominated crime fiction novels are Chris Tvedt: Dødens sirkel (Norway), Leif G. W. Persson: Den döende detektiven (Sweden), Susanne Staun: Døderummet (Denmark). The Icelandic nomination is not yet made official.

April 07th, 2010
Marko Leino is the “Gold Finger” of the Finnish film industry. The biggest Finnish box office hits of recent years were based on his scripts. Leino also writes damn good crime novels. Leino has studied all genres of writing. His first book, a collection of short stories called Miehen tehtävä (A Man’s Work) (1999), was awarded the Kalevi Jäntti prize for young authors. Since then, Leino has written children’s books, plays, novels and poetry.

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By Marko Leino (Stilton author)

Tiina asked me to write a few lines about myself, including my work as an author, and my crime trilogy. The second part of the trilogy, Trap, was awarded the Clue of the Year prize a few weeks ago.

For more than ten years now, I have made my living as a freelance writer. Due to my solitary character, I have avoided public appearances, and publicity overall. I obviously want the book-buying public to know my name, but there is no need for them to recognise my face. I have decided that it is important for my books to speak for themselves, as the author’s disposition has no bearing on how good or bad his book is. I do give interviews to the press, but publicity can be a prison when all is said and done. Well-known people, including writers, gain very little from being exposed to publicity.

Over the years, I have written plays, children’s books and film scripts. I started writing my crime trilogy at the turn of the new Millennium. I wanted to write a thematically clear trilogy, in which I deal with interesting human traits through crime stories. It probably comes as no surprise that this trilogy focuses primarily on our darkest secrets.

The first instalment in the series, Suspicion, was published in 2004, and the second instalment, Trap was published last autumn. I was really happy to hear the positive reviews that Suspicion attracted in the press. In Feburuary when the second instalment, Trap, was awarded the 2010 Clue of the Year prize, I was pleasantly surprised. The success of Trap, and the reprint of Suspicion in paperback, help to promote the conclusion of the trilogy, Filth, which is scheduled for publication in 2012.

Some of you may wonder why the last instalment is not being published until 2012. There is a clear reason for this. Writing crime novels is a tough job. Whenever I write anything, I put my heart and soul into the imaginary world that I have created. I try and let the intrinsic lives of my characters take over. Sometimes I mirror myself in my characters to such an extent that the imaginary world seems stronger to me than the reality. As you may well imagine, witnessing the thought processes of a mass murderer first hand is not the nicest of tasks. In order to maintain my own sanity, I need to do other types of writing inbetween my crime novels. In that way I can once again spend months in the merciless and pitch black landscape that I have created. Could it be that because the characters of my books have been created with such passion and empathy, readers see them as believable and genuine?

What will I do before Filth? I am currently putting the final touches to my next novel, Life for Sale to be published in the autumn. I am also writing the story into a screenplay for a film to be released in 2011. The filming of Mannerheim is scheduled to start in the autumn, and I am one of the three script writers for that film. I should also try and find the time to write a short detective story of about 33 chapters long, due out this summer. Two new film projects are on my desk waiting to be started. So, however much I would love to spend longer telling you my news, I better hurry back to work!

February 17th, 2010
The Clue of the Year prize for 2010 has been awarded to Marko Leino for his novel Trap. The prize is awarded annually by The Finnish Whodunnit Society to the author of the most significant detective novel of the previous year.

The judging panel gave the following reasons for this year’s award:

Trap is Marko Leino’s second crime novel. The first, Suspicion, was published five years ago. In addition to the crime genre, Leino is also experienced in other genres of writing, and is perhaps best known as being the script-writer for some of Finland’s famous films of recent years. The book makes use of cinematic fast cuts between scenes; they are utilised to move the focus of the story rapidly between the characters. The story is centred around drug consignments which gradually grow to bigger and bigger proportions. Not all of the participants are willing to descend to becoming hardened criminals. Unwittingly, the police end up becoming a part of the criminal case. Leino manages to create an impression in the reader’s mind of the impending catastrophy – the story takes on the form of a traditional tragedy. The borderline between good and evil, right and wrong, is narrow; the characters' choices are weighed up by the standards of the underworld. Leino's writing is based on fresh and captivating dialogue. His characters are believable and real, and so capture the reader’s imagination. The author delves deep into his characters and uses skilful and hard-hitting language. The carefully crafted plot manages to surprise the reader over and over again.”

Marko Leino (b. 1967) is considered to be the “Gold Finger” of the Finnish film industry. The biggest Finnish box office hits of recent years were based on his scripts. Leino is a very versatile writer. As well as his detective stories, Leino has written children’s books, plays, novels and poetry. His first book, a collection of short stories called Man’s Work (1999), was awarded the Kalevi Jäntti prize for young authors. The winner of this year's prize, Trap, is the second instalment in a trilogy of books that describe life in the underworld. The first instalment in the series, Suspicion, was published in 2004.