Readers love Cruel is the Night by Karo Hämäläinen

Hamalainen Cruel 140130Author Karo Hämäläinen’s Cruel is the Night (Ilta on julma, WSOY 2013), a literary thriller that merges elements of a classic Agatha Christie mystery with satirical and spine-tingling cinematic touches reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino, has been compared by many critics to Herman Koch’s The Dinner. It also amusingly incorporates Hämäläinen’s expertise of the financial world and economics. Italian rights to Cruel is the Night have been sold to Newton Compton, which plans to publish it later this year.

“The reader follows the events safely through a wall of Plexiglas, holding back laughter but absolutely absorbed,” wrote Finland’s largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, while Kauppalehti financial newspaper described the story as “a thriller plot that is not only imaginative and over the top but also typical of its genre without actually being generic.”

Throughout late 2013 and early 2014 the novel has also garnered praise from several Finnish literature blogs.

“I didn’t make guesses as to what was going to happen, and I didn’t even want to – I wanted to enjoy Hämäläinen’s storytelling and layers…the story spans from youth to adulthood, and from Finland to Central Europe. References to literature, particularly to Agatha Christie, prompts one to look for a clue or a trick. A sort of twist is revealed, but in a wholly different way than I had expected…in spite of its macabre subject matter this book leaves a reader in a great mood. I’m thirsty for more,” described Jos Vaikka Lukisi book blog.

“I don’t read mysteries, but I do enjoy Agatha Christie. The same happened with Karo Hämäläinen; I was hardly able to let the book from my hands, and every time I had a spare moment I dove into it again,” praised Kirjan jos Toisenkin blog.

ITALY, Newton Compton
Original publisher: FINLAND, WSOY

SPAIN, Ediciones B.
Original publisher: FINLAND, WSOY

Tampere Literary Prize 2012 (The Buyout)
Nominated for the Finlandia Junior Prize in 2012 (Hooray for Helsinki!)
Nominated for the Savonia Prize in 2011 (The Buyout)

Reading materials for Cruel is the Night:
Finnish edition
English sample
German sample
Russian sample