Harri Nykanen, 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