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Harri Nykanen Books In Order

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Publication Order of Raid Books

Raid And The Blackest Sheep (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Raid and the Kid (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Ariel Kafka Mysteries Books

Nights of Awe (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behind God's Back (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Holy Ceremony (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Harri Nykanen

The Finnish author Harri Nykanen is a well known and equally well regarded novelist of mystery fiction, reaching a worldwide audience with his bestselling books. Looking at crime and the people involved, he really manages to turn the genre on its head, as he gets deep into the heart of why people do what they do. This has seen him achieve a huge amount of success, with many of his peers and contemporaries alike singing his praises, along with the general public as well.

Early and Personal Life

Born and raised in Helsinki, Finland, the author Harri Nykanen was born on the 20th of June in 1953, growing up with a strong passion for writing. Immersing himself in literature, he would come to be fascinated by the darker side to life, looking to reflect this darkness within his work. Taking much of his inspiration from the world around him, he would also set many of his novels in Helsinki as well, which would lend them a certain degree of authenticity.

Over the years he has made a name for himself as a writer who stands apart from the rest within his field, tackling the more difficult issues through the thriller genre. Prior to working full-time as a novelist, he was a reporter for the Finnish newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomat, which would provide him with many of his crime stories. Making a strong name for himself as a journalist of integrity, he would later go into the field of fiction, an area which he remains in to this very day.

Writing Career

It would be in 1992 that Nykanen would make his initial debut into the world of fiction, with the title ‘Raid’. This would also be the first in the ‘Raid’ series of books, which was later followed up with the sequel titled ‘Raid ja paperiansa’ in 1994. These would also see him enter into the world of cinema as well, with a big-screen adaptation created called ‘Raid’, which was released in 2003, itself following in the footsteps of the 2000 TV series.

In time these would also see themselves being translated into English for an international audience, with the novel ‘Raid and the Blackest Sheep’ being published in 2010. This was the fourth novel in the original Finnish series, and it would be followed up with the sequel ‘Raid and the Kid’ in 2012. Currently still writing, Harri Nykanen continues to put out work at a regular and consistent pace, maintaining a strong profile both online and off.

Raid and the Kid

First released through the ‘Ice Cold Crime’ publishing outlet, this was originally published in English in 2012 on the 25th of April. As part of the series of Raid novels, this would be an early entry for English speaking audiences, essentially introducing the character in a self-contained narrative. By itself though, it is a taut and tense thriller that really does excel in what it does, with its exciting premise and strong characters.

Tough and filled with suspense at every turn, this title will come as no surprise for long term fans of the author, but it still delivers all the same. Taking the reader on a tense and action packed ride, it really does manage to pull out all the stops in this exciting ride, filled with mystery and intrigue. The character of Raid is also extremely well developed too, bringing him to the forefront, whilst also allowing other supplementary characters a moment to shine too. Set in the north of Finland, it uses its rural setting well too, whilst creating a vivid portrait of Helsinki alongside this as well, thus ensuring its long-term international status for readers worldwide.

Looking to lie low for a period, the hit-man Raid is a hard-nosed and deadly contender, hiding out in his farmhouse, keeping a discreet profile. That’s when his solitude is disturbed by the son of one local shopkeeper, as he brings with him a bad of Bolivian drug traffickers chasing after him. Helping the boy out, Raid finds himself in the sights of the Bolivian cartel, raising their ire and making himself a target. Meanwhile, elsewhere further south, one Detective Lieutenant Jansson has discovered the bodies of a flight attendant and a Bolivian warehouse worker located in a Helsinki home. This leads to him looking to join the dots between everything that’s happening, all whilst Raid must keep himself and the kid out of harm’s way. Will he manage it, and can he find out who is behind it all? Where does a shady PI come into it all, along with a prostitution case that’s decades old? What will become of Raid and the kid?

Behind God’s Back

Brought out through the ‘Bitter Lemon Press’ publishing label this time, this would initially get published in 2014 on the 18th of November for an English speaking audience. Marking the third entry in the Ariel Kafka series of novels, it would provide another case for the lieutenant to essentially solve. It would also develop his character, building upon the arc of what came before in the previous novels in the series.

Immersed in the murky world of politics and conspiracies, this is a novel that really looms over the reader throughout. Bringing the background of Ariel Kafka into focus, it essentially makes him question his own identity and who he is. Set in Helsinki, this is one thriller that really doesn’t hold back, ensuring that its readers really are held there on the edges of their seats.

A lieutenant based within the Violent Crime Unit, Ariel Kafka is one of the only two Jewish cops in the whole of Helsinki, as he identifies himself as a policeman first and foremost, then as a Finn before, finally, Jewish. Non-observant religiously, Kafka is a highly dedicated forty-something bachelor policeman, one who’s willing to risk everything to get the answers that he so craves. That’s when a set of suspicious circumstances surround the death of a Jewish businessman, along with Neo-Nazi violence coming into focus, leading to him questioning things. With Israeli politics coming into it all, along with Mossad, it appears that Kafka has found himself in something larger than he first anticipated. Will he be able to find the answers that he’s hoping for? Can he solve the case in hand? What, exactly, is going on behind God’s back?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Harri Nykanen

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