Cruel Is The Night by Karo Hämäläinen published today!

hamalainen_IOJWe are thrilled to announce that WSOY has today published in Finland Karo Hämäläinen’s much-awaited thriller Cruel Is The Night (Ilta on julma):

Starting like Agatha Christie, turning into Alfred Hitchcock, and ending up with pure Quentin Tarantino.

Q & A with the author

When Karo Hämäläinen (b. 1976) was 12, he started reading Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle from the shelves of the Mikkeli City Library in Central Finland. Not until he was 14 did his Finnish teacher point out that there were also authors who wrote about crime whose names started with D (since the librarians had filed Arthur Conan Doyle under “C”), and Karo cast his gaze forward to Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

Your previous two novels were financial thrillers, The Bailout and The Buyout. Cruel is the Night isn’t a financial thriller though. What is it?

Cruel is the Night combines elements from classic whodunits, relationship dramas, and thrillers, but if I had to define it in one work, that word would be “tragedy.” I haven’t completely abandoned the world of financial thrillers though, since one of the main characters is a disgraced banker.

Your publisher describes the book as starting like Agatha Christie, turning into Alfred Hitchcock, and ending up with pure Quentin Tarantino. What do you think of that description?

I think it’s very apt, since I play with elements of the mystery genre picked from different stages of the genre’s development. What kind of murder mystery would Christie write today? She wouldn’t set it in a manor, she’d put the characters in a modern luxury flat. The structure of Cruel is the Night is a sort of locked room mystery similar to Hitchcock’s Rope. Rope is constructed around one single idea, which is one of Hitchcock’s classic insights: instead of setting up bombs to explode suddenly, sometimes it’s better to show the bomb sitting next to a chair leg while the characters sit around chatting idly. And Tarantino, yes! I had a lot of fun writing the last hundred pages! Read more here!

Finnish thrillers are conquering the world – join the global success and ask for reading material for Cruel Is The Night!

Reading material:
English sample
English synopsis
Finnish edition

Rights sold: Spain, Ediciones B. (The Buyout)

Rights enquiries:

About author

Karo Hämäläinen

Karo Hämäläinen (b. 1976) has two passions: literature and the stock market, and has a 15-year background as an economics reporter. He works as the managing editor managing editor of Parnasso, Finland’s best-known literary publication. Hämäläinen’s novel The Buyout was shortlisted for the Savonia Prize in 2011 and received the Tampere Literary Prize in 2012.

Hämäläinen has studied both in the humanities and in economics. Following stints in Helsinki, Munich and Berlin, he now lives in Tampere, Finland. He is a popular lecturer and guest commentator, and has had his own radio show. In his professional work, he uses Finnish, English, German and Swedish. In his spare time, Hämäläinen likes reading and running; his record marathon time set in 2010 is 3:04:04.


2015, Literary Fiction, Crime & Suspense


Karo Hämäläinen

2013, Literary Fiction, Crime & Suspense

Cruel is the Night

Karo Hämäläinen

2012, Literary Fiction, Crime & Suspense

The Bailout

Karo Hämäläinen

2011, Literary Fiction, Crime & Suspense

The Buyout

Karo Hämäläinen