Harri Nykänen’s latest Ariel Kafka novel entertains Nordic crime fans

Nykanen newsletter 140204The Lion King (Leijonakuningas, Crime Time 2013), crime novelist and veteran journalist Harri Nykänen’s fifth entry in the Ariel Kafka series starring a Helsinki-based Jewish policeman, was on the year-end reading lists of literary bloggers around Finland. Many praised this cool-headed mystery in which Kafka investigates the sudden death of a two-time winner of the World’s Strongest Man competition.

”Finland is home to many talented crime authors, and Nykänen is one of the best… he writes with relaxed skillfulness, and his background as a reporter is noticeable. He has a mastery of language and dialogue, the plot proceeds logically, pieces of the puzzle fit together and the end conclusion is believable,” wrote Kirjabrunssi (“Book Brunch”) blog.

“The Lion King was a positive and entertaining reading experience nicely garnished by familiar locations,” wrote Nenä Kirjassa (“Nose in Book”) blog.

”As the father of the Raid and Johnny & Banzo [series], it wasn’t immediately obvious to me that now would be Ariel’s turn. All of my children are equally dear to me, but on occasion one of them becomes more beloved than the others….this time the building blocks of my story came from tabloid headlines…from the beginning it was clear to me that this story would fit Ariel best,” Nykänen himself wrote on the blog of CrimeTime publisher in late 2013.

Nykänen, who has been nominated for several crime book awards, is also known for his 10-part Raid series that has been adapted for film and television.

CZECH, Euromedia (Raid)
ESTONIA, Koolibri (Raid)
ISRAEL, Steimatsky (Ariel)
ITALY, Atmosphere di Libri (Ariel)
RUSSIA, Text Publishers (Ariel)
UK, Bitter Lemon Press (Ariel)
Original publisher: FINLAND, Crime Time

Harri Nykänen’s works have also been published in:
German, Swedish, English (U.S)

Reading materials:
Finnish edition
English sample

Contact: info@ahlbackagency.com

About author

Harri Nykänen

Harri Nykänen (1953-2023) was an industrious novelist who drew 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 wrote 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 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 also received interest in television remake rights from the U.S. His Ariel Kafka series, starring a cool-headed policeman who is also a member of Helsinki’s Jewish community, received praise in international press. Drawing from current events, the series is firmly rooted in the streets of the Finnish capital.


We are deeply saddened by the news of author Harri Nykänen passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harri Nykänen's family and friends. Our heartfelt condolences.


2015, Crime & Suspense

Ariel 5: The Lion King

Harri Nykänen

2011, Crime & Suspense

Ariel 4: Holy Ceremony

Harri Nykänen

2009, Crime & Suspense

Ariel 3: Behind God's Back

Harri Nykänen

2005, Crime & Suspense

Ariel 2: The Spider Woman

Harri Nykänen

2004, Crime & Suspense

Ariel 1: Night of Awe

Harri Nykänen