A(nother) Year of Orenda – The Exiled by Kati Hiekkapelto

Today Mandie shares her thoughts on the final book in the Anna Fekete series by Kati Hiekkapelto, The Exiled. I loved reading about Anna and The Exiled was actually my first introduction to her and one of my earliest ever Orenda Books reads. You can find my review right here. Before we take a look at what Mandie thought, here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Owner Copy
Release Date: 14 October 2016
Publisher: Orenda Books

About the Book

When Finnish police investigator Anna Fekete’s bag is stolen on holiday in the Balkan village of her birth, she is pulled into a murder investigation that becomes increasingly dangerous … and personal. The electrifying third book in the international, bestselling Anna Fekete series.

Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her bag 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 and 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 across Europe. How long before everything explodes?

Chilling, tense and relevant, The Exiled is an electrifying, unputdownable thriller from one of Finland’s most celebrated crime writers.

Mandie’s Thoughts

This is the third in the Anna Fekete series and I think the one I enjoyed most of all. Anna has returned home to visit her friends and her mother for an extended break during the summer.  When her bag is stollen and one of the suspects is found dead on the riverbank she starts to ask questions. As the local police believe the death was an accident they seem to want to drop the investigations however Anna is less than impressed with how they are handling things and won’t let it lie. As she starts to ask questions it drags up things from the past that will have implications for her family.

I have enjoyed this series and over time I have really started to warm to Anna. Yes she can be a bit distant but the more you read about her the more you can see why. As she reconnects with the ones she loves you can see her struggle with the realisation that as much as she has wanted to escape the place of her birth, her mother and brother are truly happy there and that she may be returning to Finland alone. The Exiled really gives the reader the chance to see the real Anna, the one with close family ties and friends that she can turn to when she is not sure of something. It was also nice to see her away from the setting of the police station although not away from her natural instincts to investigate crime. Being back home she has to deal with the memory of her father and his time in the police force, something that was both a help and a hinderance as she started digging into the death of the young gypsy thief. I just don’t think that when she started looking she ever thought she would open such a can of worms that include people smuggling and police corruption.

Once again Kati Hiekkapelto has managed to bring the reader to the centre of Anna’s world from the comfort of their own home. She does not shy away from the real issue of the refugee crisis or the lengths that people go to in order to escape persecution only to find that prejudices follow them no matter where they are. This commentary is not in your face but subtly blended in with the police investigations so that the reader can empathise with them and see that their actions are at times out of a necessity to just survive.

About the Author

Kati Hiekkapelto was born in 1970 in Oulu, Finland. She wrote her firstcstories at the age of two and recorded them on cassette tapes. Kati has
studied Fine Arts in Liminka Art School and Special Education at the University of Jyväskylä. The subject of her final thesis/dissertation was racist bullying in Finnish schools. She went on to work as a special-needs teacher for immigrant children. Today Kati is an international crime writer, punk singer and performance artist. Her books, The Hummingbird and The Defenceless have been translated into ten languages. The Hummingbird was shortlisted for the Petrona Award in the UK in 2015 and The Defenceless won the prize for the best Finnish Crime Novel of the Year 2014, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Glass Key. She lives and writes in her 200-year-old farmhouse in Hailuoto, an island in the Gulf of Bothnia, North Finland. In her free time she rehearses with her band, runs, hunts, picks berries and mushrooms, and gardens. During long, dark winter months she chops wood to heat her house, shovels snow and skis. Writing seems fairly easy, after all that.

Books by Kati Kiekkapelto

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