Clue of the Year to Marko Leino
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.