Welcome to Have Books stop on the Orenda Books Finnish Invasion blog tour! Today I’m up with a review of Kati Hiekkapelto’s The Exiled and on the 29th November I have a guest post from Antti Tuomainen, author of The Mine.
About the book
Published: 10th October 2016 (Orenda Books)
Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets. A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal?
Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes?
Chilling, taut and relevant, The Exiled is an electrifying, unputdownable thriller from one of Finland s most celebrated crime writers.
The Exiled is actually book 3 in the Anna Fekete series however I didn’t this realise this when I started the book and it in no way affected my enjoyment of this instalment.
Anna is in the police force in Finland but is on holiday in her homeland of Kanizsa, in Serbia on the Hungarian border. Her relaxation is somewhat hampered when her bag is stolen whilst she’s enjoying a local wine festival with friends. The bag is then found on the shore of the Tisza river alongside the body of a young man with her passport and credit card missing, when the police don’t seem interested in investigating further, Anna takes the investigation into her own hands to find out what happened to the young man, the young woman who was with him when the bag was stolen and why the police are seemingly brushing it under the carpet.
The Exiled is much more than just a crime investigation, it also touches upon the difficult subject of the life and treatment of refugees, prejudice against other cultures and the associated stereotyping that accompanies these. Hiekkapelto handles these topical subjects with great knowledge and sensitivity.
The Exiled has been translated from Finnish by David Hackston and has been done extremely well that, other than some native-tongue words and phrases (which I felt were a great touch), it’s impossible to know that this wasn’t originally written in English.
I really enjoyed this book, the investigation, both into the crime and the treatment of refugees, and Hiekkapelto’s brilliant writing style. I will be going back and reading The Hummingbird and The Defenceless to find out more about Anna, I also look forward to more novels from Hiekkapelto.
About Kati Hiekkapelto
Kati Hiekkapelto was born in 1970 in Oulu, Finland. She made up her first stories at the age of two and recorded them on cassette tapes.
Kati has studied Fine Arts in Liminka Art School and Special Education at the University of Jyväskylä. The subject of her master’s thesis was racist bullying in Finnish schools. She went on to work as a special-needs teacher for immigrant children.
Today Kati is an international crime writer, punk singer and performance artist. Kolibri (The Hummingbird) was published in Finland by Otava in 2013 and Suojattomat (The Defenceless) in 2014. To date, they have been translated into seven languages. The Hummingbird was shortlisted for the Petrona Award in the UK in 2015 and The Defenceless won the prize for the best Finnish Crime Novel of the Year 2014. The Defenceless was one of the top ten bestselling books in Finland last year, across all genres.