The Exiled by Kati Hiekkapelto – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

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.

My Review

The Exiled is the third book in the series to feature Anna Fekete. You could easily read this book and follow the story, it is slightly different to the earlier books. Anna has returned home to Serbia for a well-deserved holiday. However, when she is robbed shortly after arriving and then the thief is found dead her desire to get to the truth takes over.
One of the more welcome sides to this novel was the absence of Esko. But racism is still present and she feels increasingly disillusioned with her home country and people that she has always considered friends. She feels more than ever how different her life now is in Finland.
It’s very topical, the refugee crisis affects much of Europe and I hadn’t realized that this area was one of those that was struggling with people trying to get a better life. At times it was hard to read, seeing how one small act of kindness could make such a huge difference to somebody’s day. As always it is about power, greed and politics. Anna won’t back down, ignoring those who tell her she needs too and when she discovers that the thief has the same surname as somebody who tore her family’s life apart years earlier she is determined to get answers. When she refuses to stop looking into the crime she is in increasing danger from people connected to the case in present day but also from people who could hold the answers to her father’s death.
The epilogue was one that left me struggling how to feel. Chilled and a strange sense of relief is the only way I can describe it.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.


The Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto.


About the Book

When an old man is found dead on the road – seemingly run over by a Hungarian au pair – police investigator Anna Fekete is certain that there is more to the incident than meets the eye. As she begins to unravel an increasingly complicated case, she’s led on a deadly trail where illegal immigration, drugs and ultimately murder threaten not only her beliefs, but her life. Anna’s partner Esko is entrenched in a similarly dangerous investigation. As the two cases come together, it becomes clear that having the law on their side may not be enough.

My Review

The second book in the series to feature Anna Fekete, its main storyline concerns asylum seekers and gangs trying to gain control through drugs. As always there is a devastation where drugs are concerned and one of consequences here is Sammy. Sammy has been refused asylum and he fears that if he has to go back to Pakistan he will be killed for being a Christian. He takes drugs to relieve the stress not realising that he is making his situation worse. Anna really feels for him, she went through the process years earlier when it wasn’t as difficult but there is only so much she can do.
Initially at times it is hard to like her, she does come across as slightly abrasive but as the novel progresses more of her dedication to her family is revealed and how homesick and lonely she is. Gabrielle who she comes into connection with during an investigation seems to make it harder to handle. I thought Esko had mellowed at the end of the first novel but in this book he is vile! There were many times that I was cringing whilst reading. Thankfully I don’t know anybody like him.
There is no glamorisation of the consequences of drug abuse, I could see, smell and feel everything and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.
This is a series that I feel has great potential. Whilst the main characters are Anna and Esko there is plenty of room for the rest of the team. Nobody is portrayed as squeaky clean, they are normal people dealing with normal problems. They have their good points as well as their bad, although Esko doesn’t have many good points.
I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series, ‘The Exiled’ for the blog tour soon.

The Hummingbird by Kati Hiekkapelto

09HC_Kolibri_suojapaperi.inddWhen Scandinavian fiction was the thing that ‘everybody should be reading’ a few years ago I did so. Some I liked , some I wasn’t keen on. The Hummingbird by Kati Hiekkapelto is the first book in a series that I know I’m going to love.
Anna is a new police officer in Finland. Almost immediately the team have two investigations. One concerns a young immigrant girl who makes an emergency call for help. The family insist is was a misunderstanding but Anna especially, feels that she could be in danger.
The other case involves the murder of a lone female runner at night. When other murders follow the team are under pressure to find the killer in a case where there appears to be no link.

Anna struggles to feel accepted by certain members of the team at first. Not Finnish by birth, she moved to Finland from Hungary as a child. Esko especially is quite nasty, openly racist and sexist but thankfully this lessens as they get to know each other.
She is also going through a downward spiral into an unhealthy lifestyle. Going from a healthy eating athlete into a junk food eating, smoking and drinking insomniac.
I did find some of the racism hard to read but I suspect that it was quite accurate. I liked the relationship development between the team members and that the reader would get to know about all the members of the team. Anna, like many leading characters in other novels has a troubled life. A family uprooted by a war, one brother killed in the war, another brother who is wasting his life and a mother who thinks she is failing because she hasn’t married and had children.
I will be reading the second book very soon.