Nights of Awe

Reading material

Finnish Edition
English Edition

Original title: Ariel

Published: 2004

Publisher: WSOY

Class/genre: Crime & Thriller

Pages: 324

The first entry in the Inspector Kafka series.

During the period known as the Days of Awe that lead up to Yom Kippur, Ariel Kafka, inspector in the Violent Crime Unit of the Helsinki police and one of two Jewish policemen in Finland, is confronted with the most difficult case of his career. Two Arabs are killed near the capital city and, shortly after, Kafka discovers two more bodies at an Iraqi-owned garage. Are these deaths evidence of gang warfare or international terrorism?

When it transpires that an Israeli Minister will make an unofficial visit to Helsinki, matters become truly complicated. The Finnish Security Police and Mossad all have a role to play and Kafka is on a trail that leads him back to his youth.

Rights sold:
ISRAEL, Steimatsky
ITALY, Atmosphere di Libri
RUSSIA, Text Publishers
UK, Bitter Lemon Press

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.”


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

Ariel and the Spider Woman

2005, Crime & Thriller

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