Paul's Reviews > The Defenceless

The Defenceless by Kati Hiekkapelto
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Sep 06, 2015

it was amazing

The Defenceless – A Stunning Thriller

Kati Hiekkapelto brings us a second outing for Police Investigator Anne Fekete with a stunning thriller The Defenceless, and easy to see why this was the best Finnish Crime Novel of 2014. This is a brilliantly written Scandi-noir that is at times provocative with a wonderful social conscience that challenges our own prejudices. At the same time as Europe is tearing itself apart over immigrants and how we deal with refugees Kati Hiekkapelto pricks our conscience in this exciting thriller.

An old man is found dead on an ice covered road, and a Hungarian au pair is accused of running him over, Anna Fekete is assigned the investigation and from the beginning she realises that nothing is as it seems. As the investigation grows from a seemingly innocent start becomes increasingly complex where illegal immigration, drugs and murder come to the fore.

Anna’s curmudgeon of a partner Esko is involved in a separate case in which his life is at risk from not only the criminal world but his own body. He has been asked to investigate the Cobras a gang made up of immigrants who are challenging a biker gang on its territory for drugs. The Cobras already gained a reputation across Scandinavia for challenging and taking over territories and are not afraid to leave dead bodies in their wake.

When two teenage girls find a bloody knife in the ever ending snow and ice of northern Finland the two separate cases come together in a way that is not expected. As Anna and Esko continue their investigations even though they may have the law on their side, the law can sometimes be a harsh tool for justice and will justice be done by the end of the book?

Kati Hiekkapelto delivers a strong and powerful investigator who is a tough and powerful character who still cannot define herself, she still sees herself as an immigrant but also Finnish. She also has the same feelings of loneliness many successful career women have in that they have to make sacrifices to be successful and should be personal happiness be really sacrificed on the altar of work life balance.

Kati Hiekkapelto is a brilliant new talent who is seriously good as a thriller writer, her characters continue to develop, who is not afraid to take risks and challenge the reader. Kati Hiekkapelto will continue to get better with her writing she avoids all the usual clichés with crime writing, so everybody comes across as human. The only problem for me with the setting is all that bloody snow and ice, makes me feel cold but even I will put up with the snow if it means I can have more of Anna Fekete....... please!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 6, 2015 – Shelved

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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine What a great review, Paul. Will have to check this out.


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