Ariel and the Spider Woman

Reading material

Finnish Edition

Original title: Ariel ja Hämähäkkinainen

Published: 2005

Publisher: WSOY

Class/genre: Crime & Thriller

Pages: 318

The second entry in the Inspector Kafka series.

The police receives an anonymous telephone call about the discovery of two bodies who have been stabbed to death. Much to his surprise, Kafka recognises one of the victims as Maija Erkkilä, known in criminal circles as “Spider Woman.” The identity of the other victim surprises him even more: It is Aimo Ikonen, Helsinki Violent Crime Unit’s deputy commissioner.

The deeper Ariel and his subordinates dig, the more tangled the affair becomes, complicated by evidence of Ikonen’s troubled past. In the course of his investigation Ariel meets Ikonen’s artist daughter Saara, a woman more ill-fated than Maija Erkkilä, and one who leaves an everlasting mark on him.

Praise for Ariel Kafka series


“Nykänen’s twist on Nordic crime fiction may be the most inventive of the year…”
-Fantastic Fiction, UK

 “…an interesting plot told in an entertaining, straightforward style by a welcome new voice.”
-Literary Review, UK

“Kafka is an appealing detective: a non-observant 40-something Jewish bachelor who is such a stubborn, dedicated policeman that he’s willing to risk his career to get an answer…Here’s hoping Bitter Lemon Press publishes the remaining books in the series.”
-The Reporter, US

“Nykänen has once again written a detective novel that’s impossible to put down until you’ve devoured it.
-Studio 55/MTV3/ Christmas Books TOP 5, Finland (on Holy Ceremony)

“The story is compelling, Ariel a likeable protagonist. A writer to definitely keep an eye on…”
-Crime Fiction Lover, UK, US

“[Ariel Kafka is] as cynical as Morse but with more of a sense of humour…or like Jack Reacher with fewer opportunities for fisticuffs.”
-The Bookbag, UK

Harri Nykänen


Harri Nykänen is an industrious novelist who draws on his 20 years of experience as a crime reporter at Helsingin Sanomat, the largest daily in the Nordic countries. An author since 1986, he has written dozens of books portraying the customs and rules of the Helsinki underworld – through the eyes of both criminals and members of the police force. Nykänen has won the Finnish crime writing award The Clue twice, and was nominated for the Glass Key for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel in 2004.

Nykänen’s brutal antihero Raid, starring in ten of his books, has become iconic in Finland. His story has also been adapted into a movie and TV series. Television rights to the original Finnish series have been sold in Russia, and Nykänen has also received interest in television remake rights from the U.S. His newer Ariel Kafka series, starring a cool-headed policeman who is also a member of Helsinki’s Jewish community, has received praise in international press. Drawing from current events, the series is firmly rooted in the streets of the Finnish capital. In his latest standalone novel, To Earth Again (Mullasta maan, CrimeTime 2014), a crime story set in Northern Finland, he delves into “Arctic Noir.”

Bibliography


Harri Nykänen

The Lion King

2013, Crime & Thriller


Harri Nykänen

Holy Ceremony

2011, Crime & Thriller


Harri Nykänen

In the middle of Nowhere

2009, Crime & Thriller


Harri Nykänen

Nights of Awe

2004, Crime & Thriller

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