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Monday, 6 February 2017

‘The Exiled’ by Kati Hiekkapelto

Published by Orenda Books,
15 November  2016. 
ISBN 978 -1-910633-51-9

Our heroine Anna Fekete was originally from Kanizsa in the former Yugoslavia though she has spent most of her life in Finland, where she now works as a police inspector. 

Whilst on a summer holiday trip to see her mother in Kanizsa, Anna’s bag is snatched. The thief is later found dead and Anna cannot resist trying to find out who killed him - and why the police do not want anyone to know that he was murdered.  Her mother, old family friends, and the local police chief all try to dissuade Anna from continuing with her investigations, but she remains determined to find out who killed the thief, Lakatos Sandor.  She is helped in her searches by an old school friend, Reka, and a member of the local constabulary, Vajda Peter who, unfortunately for Anna’s awakening feelings, is already married with a young son. 

Anna’s search for the killer continues against the harrowing backdrop of the European refugee crisis.  This is particularly problematical around Kanizsa because of the town’s proximity to the Hungarian border that many refugees see as a convenient entry point into Europe. 

As the book draws towards its chilling end it becomes evident that the death of her father - also a policeman - who was shot when she was a young child, and the murder of the bag thief are linked, not only with each other, but also with corruption, greed and the most horrible form of betrayal imaginable.

The Exiled is a well-written book that portrays its subject and the background surrounding it in a telling, memorable and haunting manner.  I think it will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers and would recommend it unreservedly.
Reviewer: Angela Crowther.

Kati Hiekkapelto was born in 1970 in Oulu, Finland. She is a bestselling, award-winning author, punk singer, performance artist and, formerly, special-needs teacher. She lives on an old farm on the island of Hailuoto in Northern Finland (which has been in her family for hundreds of years) with her children and sizable menagerie. Here she is currently setting up an asylum for artists in danger. Hiekkapelto has taught immigrants and lived in the Hungarian region of Serbia, which inspired her to write her highly regarded debut crime novel, The Hummingbird.

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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