It’s my other stop on the Finnish Invasion blog tour, but this time, it’s for the amazing Kati Hiekkapelto – author of The Exiled. This is my kind of novel; it’s dark, challenges stereotypes and it’s gripping. Here’s what it’s about:
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?
What I say:
The Exiled is Kati Hiekkapelto’s third book in the Anna Fekete series. We meet Anna as she arrives at Serbia for a holiday. No sooner than she’s settled, she’s robbed. Being the woman that she is, Anna tries to chase down who she believed to be the thief without much luck. As if it couldn’t get any worse, the thief turns up dead and her money and passports are missing.
So what’s a girl to do?
Anna’s no ordinary character. She’s feisty, strong and won’t take no for an answer. Instead of letting the police deal with the investigation – not just a theft, but a murder too – Anna searches for answers.
The Exiled is riddled with tension, dark humour and fear. I was drawn in from the very first page because of the strong narrative voice – I’m a sucker for great characterisation. On top of that, Anna’s reluctance to call the place she grew up ‘home’ caught my attention immediately. I wanted to know what was so bad about the place aside from the fact that she isn’t ever acknowledged for who she is.
I’m a huge fan of novels where characters stand up to ill-willed societal attitudes. Anna’s forthcoming and very much uninfluenced by those around her. I loved her determination, independence and even the bits that she tried to stifle. There’s a recurring theme of loss that hovers in every chapter but the tone shifts at a certain point. It’s brilliant.
Many readers will enjoy the depths to which this novel travels. The mystery surrounding the case is intriguing and you’ll find yourself shouting at a lot of the characters for missing important things. I know I did, several times.
I can’t recommend this book enough – it’s a must read.
Check out the other stops on the Finnish Invasion blog tour:
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