Bordertown: The Mural Murders is the second book in the Bordertown Finland Crime Series. Kari Sorjonen, a quirky yet exceptional police detective, was first introduced to us in the Nordic Noir series. Like Sherlock Holmes, Kari solves important crimes, but he isn’t a hero; rather, he is the perfect example of a flawed protagonist.
Kari experiences HFA and Savant syndrome in the television series. He joins the National Bureau of Investigation because of his unrivalled memory and criminal investigation skills (NBI). Kari began his career at Bordertown, Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland, where he assisted the police in apprehending famed serial killer Lasse Maasalo, who would later turn into Kari’s ideal adversary.
Bordertown: The Mural Murders come after the events after Lasse Maasalo’s arrest. A new serial murderer in town starts focusing on society’s miscreants after an online vote. In order to apprehend the Judge, also known as the Mural Murderer, the police enlist Kari’s assistance. The murderer thinks that by removing the bad apples, he is doing justice.
Bordertown: The Mural Murders Plot Summary
A dead body is being drained of blood in a seedy slaughterhouse by a man wearing a hood. On a wall close to the rail yard, he uses it to create a mural of Lasse Maasalo’s face. He even omits the well-known phrase from Maasalo, “Let’s make the world a better place.” After confessing to 11 murders, 18 manslaughters, and complicity in 3 killings, Maasalo uttered these comments in court during his trial.
Inspector Tuomas Heikkinen pays a visit to Kari Sorjonen the next day after he had checked himself into a mental hospital following the arrest of Maasalo. Heikkinen tells Kari about the bloody mural and bottle the murderer left at the police station. He even tells Kari about an anonymous online survey conducted to identify Finland’s most heinous criminals who need to be put behind bars. Samu Martikainen, who is suspected of assaulting 34 youngsters sexually, is at the top of the list. Samu’s blood was reportedly utilised in the artwork, according to Heikkinen, but his body hasn’t been located yet. And if Kari doesn’t offer assistance, the killer will likely kill 3 out of the top 5 suspects in the poll who committed felonies.
Kari first declines to assist. He examines Samu’s blood test results and discovers that the murderer sedated his victim with methitural. The drug Maasalo used on his victims was the same one. Kari therefore agrees to assist the police in apprehending the Mural Murderer as soon as he is satisfied that Maasalo is responsible for the horrible killings.
Who was The Mural Murder?
On the list of voters, Kari noticed Katia Jaakkola’s name at position 9. Kari’s close friend Katia, an FSB agent, was Detective Lena Jaakkola’s daughter. As a result, Kari made the decision to catch the assailant before he or she might harm Katia.
Janina was sent to Riihim ki jail by Kari, where Maasalo was serving a life sentence. At that point, Maasalo made a suggestion to Janina that he did have knowledge about Samu Martikainen’s murderer, but he would reserve formal disclosure for Janina’s lecture. In other words, Maasalo wished to go to Janina’s college for a face-to-face interview.
In the interim, Kari learned where Samu was killed—Roimu Meat—and shortly received a visit from his old acquaintance Lena Jaakkola. At the police station, Lena informed Kari that she had pursued the individual who had dropped the blood bottle. The police detained Roimu Meat employee Timo Lauermaa with the assistance of the intelligence. After a lengthy questioning, Kari came to the conclusion that Timo was only a co-conspirator in the crime and couldn’t have been its planner. Timo was subjected to maltreatment by Samu after his Aunt Ulla wed Samu while he was only six years old.
The second suspect, deceitful stockbroker Anders Wesselius, was found dead with another mural nearby. Even though Lena Jaakkola had been abducting alleged victims with the intention of rescuing them, the murderer had left evidence to blame her for these terrible killings on her. Kari, however, was unable to think clearly and fell victim to the murderer’s scheme.
Kari finally came to the conclusion that his adversary, Lasse Maasalo, was responsible for the heinous atrocities after a string of successes and failures. Henri Tervamaa, 42, was contacted by Maasalo via a single email mailbox while he was imprisoned. They corresponded via mail that was typed in the draught box and afterwards deleted. The police did not have any evidence of it because no emails were sent. The important evidence was brought up to Kari by Mastermind Maasalo after the talk, who noted, “The interesting things lie between the lines.” such as in draughts.
Bordertown The Mural Murders Ending Explained
Kari used the information he gained from discovering the covert communication route to locate Henri Tervamaa and the scene of The Mural Murder. Through Maasalo’s mail ID, he got in touch with Henri and learned his address. The police were notified by Kari that Henri had taken Katia Jaakkola to a residence in Ing. Katia’s life was saved after the cops broke into the home. They also detained Henri, but the story was far from over.
Maasalo established a means for himself to escape the prison via the entire plan, allowing him to deceive the authorities and flee. On his way back to the prison, Maasalo managed to escape after forcing Kari and Janina to invite him to the lecture at the college.
A serial killer always returns to his first victim, Maasalo said during their last discussion, Kari recalled. Maasalo’s first murder occurred in Lappeenranta’s Seppo Paltemaa. Kari left the train station right away since he was sure he would find his archenemy there.
Maasalo had intended to travel to Russia over the ocean border in Seppo Paltemaa in order to start a new life as a free man. Kari, though, stepped in to stop him before he could step foot on the boat. Janina is told by Maasalo at the start of the movie that her father is incapable of doing evil. Because of this, Maasalo felt confident that Kari wouldn’t fire or kill a man when he pointed a gun at him in the end. Kari would permanently lose himself and his morals if he did it. Kari did, however, ultimately lose himself. Maasalo was killed by a shot from him.
Kari carried Maasalo’s body to the middle of the water and bound it to a sack filled with stones to drown it after Maasalo was shot to conceal the evidence. Kari as a result deleted Maasalo’s existence. However, Kari was aware of the horrors that had in store for him. He couldn’t forgive himself for the wrongdoing he did that day.
In the story, Maasalo freely discussed killing social outlaws in order to improve the world. He instilled the Judge with these strong moral standards by the way he lived. The manner Kari captured him demonstrated throughout the lecture, according to Maasalo, that someone may be persuaded to violate their own boundaries and morality.
Kari’s conscience may have dragged him down because he violated his moral code in order to capture his foe. It played with his mental sanity so severely that he was forced to apply for admission to a psychiatric hospital.
It was also the second time that Maasalo had encouraged Kari to flout the law. Kari became bad in order to counteract the evil. The tiny boundary that had previously separated Kari from Maasalo has now vanished. In the end, Kari absorbed his adversary’s values and killed a bad guy to improve society. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to argue that Maasalo’s philosophy survived that day. Instead, Kari decided to adopt it.
This animosity between Kari and Maasalo has been explored numerous times in various characters, where the hero frequently ends up imitating their antagonist. Famous illustrations include Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Batman and the Joker.
Nordic crime noir film Bordertown: The Mural Murders was directed by Juuso Syrj in 2021. Netflix offers a streaming version.