CTG EXCLUSIVE: Kati Hiekkapelto author of The Exiled talks her 5 Favourite Crime Writers

 

Today I’m delighted to be joined by the fabulous Kati Hiekkapelto for the latest stop on her Finnish Invasion blog tour. Kati’s latest book The Exiled is out now, and like all great crime writers she is also a big reader – in her post today she talks about the five authors at the top of her list.

Over to Kati …

 

  1. Leena Lehtolainen is probably the most successful Finnish crime writer to date. She published her first novel at the age of twelve, and has written about thirty books (not only crime). Her work has been translated into twenty languages and her career has truly inspired me. Her Maria Kallio series (which includes My First Murder, The Lion of Justice and Copper Heart, amongst others) has been adapted for TV, too. Well worth reading for their stark, very Finnish setting, and labyrinthine plotting.
  2. Åsa Larsson sets her stories in Northern Sweden and that is one of the reasons why her work resonates to me. They are beautifully written stories in cold, harsh Lapland, exploring religious small community life and individuals trying to cope within it – something that is very familiar in Northern Finland, too. But that’s where ‘real life’ ends. There aren’t that many murders committed in either Swedish or Finnish Lapland!
  3. Karin Fossum is, quite literally, a researcher of human mind. Her (extensive, quite wonderful) Inspector Konrad Sejer series takes the form of a police procedural with deep psychological threads. I remember the feeling when I first read one of her books – a big wow, and probably the moment when I began to understand the flexibility and possibilities of crime fiction.
  4. Eva Dolan is a new, young and rebellious voice from the UK. I am tempted to say ‘angry’. I love her style, her characters, her incredible sense of social justice – the whole package. Her Zigic & Ferreira series is set in the Hate Crimes Unit of a police department in Peterborough, and I’m sure she’ll have no shortage of material over the coming years. Classy, beautifully written, confident crime fiction with a freshness that I admire.
  5. Enid Blyton is my childhood favourite, and worth mentioning. I’m sure that the books we read when we grow up are much more influential than we can even imagine. In fact, I suspect that they are as crucial for the imagination as healthy food and PE is for the body. I could list dozens of childhood books and writers that I loved, but Enid Blyton is the one that stands out. I vividly remember George (from The Famous Five), a girl who wanted to be a boy. How revolutionary for that time!

A huge thank you to Kati for stopping by and sharing with us who her top 5 crime writers are. I’m also a huge fan of Eva Dolan, and read many of Enid Blyton’s books as a child. 

Kati’s latest book is The Exiled – here’s the blurb: “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.”

You can buy The Exiled from Amazon here

To find out more about Kati Hiekkapelto and her books pop over to her website here and be sure to follow her on Twitter @HiekkapeltoKati 

And don’t miss all the other great stops along the way of The Finnish Invasion Blog Tour …

finnish-blog-tour

COVER REVEAL: THE MINE by Antti Tuomainen and THE EXILED by Kati Hiekkapelto

I’ve got a real treat for you today!

Not one but two gorgeous cover reveals for the latest books of two of Orenda Books brilliant Finnish crime writers – THE MINE by Antti Tuomainen and THE EXILED by Kati Hiekkapelto.

Both books will be published in paperback on 13th October 2016, but if you just can’t wait that long you’ll be able to get your hands on the eBooks in August.

 

First reveal … THE MINE by Antti Tuomainen

The Mine

Here’s what the blurb says: “A hitman. A journalist. A family torn apart. Can he uncover the truth before it’s too late? 
In the dead of winter, investigative reporter Janne Vuori sets out to uncover the truth about a mining company, whose illegal activities have created an environmental disaster in a small town in Northern Finland. When the company’s executives begin to die in a string of mysterious accidents, and Janne’s personal life starts to unravel, past meets present in a catastrophic series of events that could cost him his life.
A traumatic story of family, a study in corruption, and a shocking reminder that secrets from the past can return to haunt us, with deadly results … The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written, terrifying and explosive thriller by the King of Helsinki Noir.”

 

Second reveal … THE EXILED by Kati Hiekkapelto

The Exiled

Here’s what the blurb says: “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.”

So put the date in your diary! You’re not going to want to miss these new novels by these two great Finnish crime writers.

 

The (Not So) Secret Diary of a Slice Girl #BloodyScotland (part 2)

L-R: Kati, Elizabeth, Lucy, CTG (me!), Susi, Alex (c) Eoin Carey

L-R: Kati, Elizabeth, Lucy, CTG (me!), Susi, Alex (c) Eoin Carey

So I’m one of The Slice Girls – a group made up of crime writers, a publicist, and me – who took to the stage (actually, onto the bar) to perform a number at Bloody Scotland’s Crime in the Coo cabaret night. And this is how it happened …

I got ‘the call’, or rather, ‘the IM’ about four months ago. A short message from Slice Girls leader, Alexandra Sokoloff, that simply said, ‘Steph, do you sing?’ It was a simple question, but answering it made me feel a little like Neo in the Matrix – should I take the red pill or the blue one – what should I say? No. Yes. Kind of, well, there was that one time I sang with Danny La Rue …

In the end, I said yes. And so, it began. Well, after Harrogate in July, it began, anyway. I got sent the lyrics and the music for The Cell Block Tango from Chicago, was allocated my part (the “POP” monologue, and given instructions to practice. And practice I did. I also watched Chicago the film, watched clips of the Cellblock Tango performed on Broadway, and also by an all-male cast as part of a Broadway Backwards charity event (and the best rendition of the song in my book!).

L-R: Kati, Elizabeth & Lucy (c) Eoin Carey

L-R: Kati, Elizabeth & Lucy (c) Eoin Carey

But, as the months, weeks and days counted down to Bloody Scotland, I’d still only practiced on my own and in private. The fear set in. What if I forgot the words? What if I couldn’t do it in front of other people? Luckily I wouldn’t be up there alone, I was a Slice Girl now, and I’d be performing with fabulous crime writers Kati Hiekkapelto, Lucy Ribchester, SJI Holliday and Alexandra Sokoloff; and awesome Simon & Schuster senior publicist Elizabeth Preston. I told myself it was going to be fun (and I tried to believe it).

Before long, it was time. I arrived on Friday evening (late, as usual) at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival, and missed the first practice. Not such a great start, but at least I’d made it to the hotel – and the bar. I soon forgot my nerves after a few drinks, but the next day – Saturday, performance day – they were back, along with all the ‘what ifs’.

But I needn’t have worried – Alexandra had a plan. She gathered us together and had us rehearsing for as long as it took to change six people who’d never sung together into a group that might have a chance of looking like they knew what they were doing. There was choreography to learn too. And the challenge of actually getting up onto the bar in the first place (without putting our heels through the barstool covers). But we practiced, and practiced, and weirdly it was kind of fun.

So, to the evening. We met up at the hotel and headed down to the Curly Coo for our technical rehearsal at 7pm (with the bar due to open at 8pm). Dressed in our costumes we got more than a few odd looks from people out and about in Stirling. We had our rehearsal, with the lights being put up and cameras being fixed in place around us, and then, as the doors were about to be opened, I allowed myself a large glass of wine – for courage, you understand.

L-R: Lucy, CTG (me!), Susi, Alex (c) Eoin Carey

L-R: Lucy, CTG (me!), Susi, Alex (c) Eoin Carey

There were some fantastic performances – Val McDermid singing with Doug Johnstone on guitar, Mason Cross reading a rather entertaining one-star review, and numerous brilliant others. But I have to admit it was hard to concentrate knowing that soon we’d be up on the bar, performing our song.

When crime writer (and Maestro of the evening) Craig Robertson gave us a twenty-minute warning two things happened. First, we all got another drink, and second, we started running through our monologues, quietly, in the upstairs hallway.

Then it was time, and we made our way through the crowded bar, climbed up onto the bar (me in a far less elegant fashion than the others), and the music started …

And, you know what, it actually wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it’d be. All the way up to the music starting, I felt the fear – absolute and utterly terrifying. But all the practices of the day had done their work, and we all remembered our words, sung in time and had a very fun time. There’s even a bit of video around, taken by crime writer Mari Hannah – you can watch it here

So a massive thank you to Alexandra Sokoloff for pushing me out of my comfort zone, to the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival for letting it happen, and to my fellow Slice Girls – Alex, Kati Hiekkapelto, Lucy Ribchester, SJI Holliday, Elizabeth Preston.

I truly had a bloody brilliant time!!

L-R: Elizabeth, Lucy, CTG (me!), Susi, Alex (c) Eoin Carey

L-R: Elizabeth, Lucy, CTG (me!), Susi, Alex (c) Eoin Carey

 

L-R: Lucy, Elizabeth, Alexandra, Susi, Kati, CTG (me!)

L-R: Lucy, Elizabeth, Alexandra, Susi, Kati, CTG (me!)