When an old man is found dead on the road - seemingly run over by a Hungarian au pair - police investigator Anna Fekete is certain that there is more to the incident than meets the eye. As she begins to unravel an increasingly complex case, she’s led on a deadly trail where illegal immigration, drugs and ultimately murder threaten not only her beliefs but her life.
Anna’s partner, Esko, is entrenched in a separate but equally dangerous investigation into the activities of an immigrant gang, where deportation orders and raids cause increasing tension and result in desperate measures by gang members - and the police themselves.
Then a bloody knife is found in the snow, and the two cases come together in ways that no one could have predicted. As pressure mounts, it becomes clear that having the law on their side may not be enough for Anna and Esko.
Chilling, disturbing and terrifyingly believable, The Defenceless is an extraordinary, vivid and gripping thriller by one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.
Kati Hiekkapelto is a best-selling, award winning author, punk singer, performance artist and, formerly, special-needs teacher. She lives on an old farm (which has been in her family for hundreds of years) on the island of Hailuoto in Northern Finland with her children and sizable menagerie. Here she is currently setting up an asylum for artists in danger.
Hiekkapelto has taught immigrants and lived in the Hungarian region of Serbia, which inspired her to write her highly regarded debut crime novel, The Hummingbird.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By MRS V L HALL on 02-12-15
Scintillating delivery of an outstanding story!
Would you consider the audio edition of The Defenceless to be better than the print version?
Before listening to The Defenceless I had previously read the book and enjoyed it immensely. Undoubtedly it was one of my favourite reads of 2015 and as well as being a hugely timely and relevant novel it was also a remarkably profound insight into the life of migrants. To my mind, Kati Hiekkapelto is the finest exponent of urban noir and this gritty storyline packs a very weighty punch. Low on violence, blood and gore but this is powerful stuff!
I had not previously heard the narrator and her impassioned delivery certainly added something to the novel. An audiobook really comes to life when the narrator sounds as involved in the story as the listener and this was the case. A wonderful sense of urgency in the voice of Julie Masiey at moments of heightened tension also played well. I also appreciated the subtle distinction between characters voices which made this all the more riveting. I hope that this narrator provides the audio for future novels as she did a cracking job.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Undoubtedly Anna Fekete. A brilliantly realistic portrayal of a modern woman facing life as a migrant in a new country. Believable and human, unlike so many fictional cops!
Which scene did you most enjoy?
The banter between Anna and her bigoted colleague Esko. Initially coming across as a racist, drunken investigator with no sympathy for migrants and the situations that bring them to another country, his interaction witn Anna forces him to reconsider his opinions.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I spent a long time thinking about The Defenceless - it made me think about the sadness of just how easy so many people in society seem to find it to tar every immigrant with the same brush. A different situation brings each and every settler to a new country and without considering individual situations we cannot emphasise with people.
Any additional comments?
A splendid narration of a book which will resonate. Anna Fekete is brilliantly brought to life. Timely and relevant.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Biker on 13-07-16
Okay. But the Finnish pronunciation was awful.
The book was okay. I listened to it until the end, which I won't do if a book fails to engage me. As a person whose first language was Finnish the names were butchered. I cannot blame the narrator but surely someone Finnish could have been found to get the names said in a way which didn't hurt my ears. The Hell's Angels sub story line didn't really work or go anywhere. I suspect the jarring Finnish really stopped me getting into the book.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By MICHAEL on 26-09-15
A good read for those with milder tastes
This book was pretty good, but a little bit on the boring side. There were interesting elements but none of them really came together or were explored in depth. The several different threads of the investigation never crossed and were, frankly, slightly unbelievable. More than that just seem like a good book for an older person who didn't want to read anything to dark bloody or full of sex. A "lovely British mystery"
set in Finland.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful