Nights of Awe (Ariel Kafka Mysteries) (Paperback)
'Nyk nen's twist on Nordic crime fiction may be the most inventive of the year. Ariel Kafka, a middle-aged bachelor, is a detective in Helsinki (think early Harry Hole) and, as far as he knows, the only Jew on the entire Helsinki police force, which is why he's picked to head up the investigation of a series of murders that began with two Arabic-looking men who may have been shouting Jewish obscenities as they died. Set during the days leading up to Yom Kippur, this complex tale moves quickly, as Ari attempts to figure it all out. With pressure from his colleagues, police administration, his brother, and the local Jewish community, can he uncover everything before the holiest day in the Jewish calender? The clever combination of classic Jewish themes with the traditions of Nordic crime makes for a refreshing tale with wide appeal. And the subtle humor, combined with a hero who is not completely depressed and alcoholic, makes it even better. Not just for readers of Nordic fiction, this should also be suggested to those who relate to New York Jewish detectives, including Lenny Briscoe (from Law & Order) and John Munch (from Homicide and Law & Order: SVU), as well as readers who enjoy the black humor of Stuart MacBride.' Booklist
Harri Nyk nen, born in Helsinki in 1953, was a well-known crime journalist before turning to fiction. He won the Finnish crime writing award The Clue in 1990 and in 2001. His fiction exposes the local underworld through the eyes of the criminal, the terrorist, and, most recently, from the point of view of an eccentric Helsinki police inspector.
'Where does Harri Nykanen's hero sit in the detective constellation?' He's as cynical as Morse but with more of a sense of humour and fewer crosswords. Perhaps he's a little like Jack Reacher but shorter, with fewer opportunities for fisticuffs and seduction. Or maybe, just maybe, Ari Kafka is Ari Kafka and, where ever he fits, I'm sure that this first book won't be the last.' Book Bag
Nykänen’s twist on Nordic crime fiction may be the most inventive of the year.Not just for readers of Nordic fiction, this should also be suggested to those who relate to New York Jewish detectives, including Lenny Briscoe (from Law & Order) and John Munch (from Homicide and Law & Order: SVU), as well as readers who enjoy the black humor of Stuart MacBride." Booklist
Professional responsibility and ethnic affiliation clash in Nykänen’s intriguing first novel starring Finnish police detective Ariel Kafka.The resolution will satisfy noir fans.’ Publishers Weekly
In Harri Nykänen Nights of Awe, Ariel Kafka, of Helsinki’s Violent Crime Unit, wins the award for most intriguing name for a fictional detective, and it suits this impressively labyrinthine mystery. When two Arabs turn up dead on his patch and more murderous mayhem arrives at an Iraqi-owned garage, Kafka finds himself up against the Mossad as well as the Finnish State Security. But is he dealing with terrorists, drug runnersor worse? A cool debut for Kafka, with the promise of more to come.’ Time Out
'A solid police procedural, but also a great character study into a man who has a job to do while dealing with his religious upbringing.' Bookgasm