Unsolved – The Case of Elli Immo

A true crime story of a murder committed 67 years ago, the case reopened based on the work of two private detectives

In 1955, a young woman, Elli, was found murdered near her home in a small town in Northern Finland. Her father, who worked as a policeman, had also died in suspicious circumstances. Elli’s murder, however, remained unsolved. In 1972, a group of police officers demanded reopening the murder investigation, citing destroyed evidence and protection of someone involved.

Based on this claim, crime writers Elina Backman and Heidi Holmavuo started investigating the case in the 2020s. They travelled to the town of Kemi where the murder happened, interviewed locals and heard chilling things previously kept secret. Based on their research, the police decided to reopen the investigation.

Before the Polar Night Falls

The past and the present intertwine in this arresting novel with unforgettable characters!

A woman working for a law firm approaches Saana Havas to help with the mystery of her sister’s death. Her sister was found dead in a swamp near the Angeli village in Northern Lapland in 1998, and the murderer has never been caught. The police have given up on the case, and no witnesses were ever found in an area of Lapland that covers hundreds of kilometers. Saana promises to help her and receives all the material the client has collected. Part of this is a manuscript the woman wrote while investigating the case herself years ago.

Saana travels to the North and investigates as the winter and polar night keep creeping closer. As Saana investigates the old case, she also finds time to ponder her own roots. An old photograph shows her parents in love at the top of the Saana fell. By the time Saana was born, they all lived in Helsinki, and as the years passed her father returned to the North and her mother stayed in the South. Her mother, who has since passed away, never spoke about her father’s family or roots. Saana interviews the locals and soon finds out unexpected secrets.

Things take a threatening turn when another girl is found dead in Inari. What happened in the North all those years ago? Has the murderer come back after all these years? Who is trustworthy? Who has been carrying secrets inside themselves all this time? Set in both Helsinki and Lapland, this book is both a fascinating thriller and a detective novel about love, secrets, the magic of Lapland and nature, which acts as a silent witness.

Though part of the Havas-series, it’s not necessary to have read the previous installments in the series.

Still Waters Run Deep

Standalone sequel to the bestselling When the King Dies!
A young man goes missing in Isle of Sheep in Helsinki, Finland. He was last known to film a documentary about a reclusive film director on the Island. Detective Jan Leino starts investigating the case and her girlfriend Saana starts to produce a podcast about the disappearance.
At the same time, Suvi, the daughter of Finnish Ministry of the Interior, starts attending therapy. to address her relationship issues. When her boyfriend  – a wild motorcycle gang member is shot to death, Suvi is in danger. How are the cases connected?

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
NETHERLANDS: Cargo/De Bezige Bij

All the King’s Men

Opening of a new detective series, that became an international hit within weeks!

Saana has been fired from her job as a click-bait journalist, so she decides to spend a summer with her aunt in a small-town Hartola. It sounds like a perfect opportunity to take it easy and recover. But when Saana begins to dig into a case of a teenage girl who died 30 years earlier, the peace of the small town is shaken.

Meanwhile in Helsinki a fire-marked body is be found at Suomenlinna Sea Fortress, and crime investigator Jan Leino and his team have a new case in their hands. However, the investigation isn’t going anywhere, and Jan fears that the murder at King’s Gate a is just the beginning…

Saana and Jan continue working on their own cases until their paths cross for more than one reason.


Coming up: Book #2 Isle of Sheep coming in June 2021

Rights sold:

FINLAND (orig.): Otava
ESTONIA: Varrak (2-book-deal)
GERMANY: Piper Verlag (2-book-deal)
NETHERLANDS: Cargo/De Bezige Bij (2-book-deal)
NORWAY: Cappelen Damm (2-book-deal)
POLAND: Czarna Owca
SWEDEN: Bokfabriken (2-book-deal)

TV RIGHTS: Aurora Studios

Elina Backman

Elina Backman, 37, is a media & marketing professional living in Helsinki, in an old wooden 1920 house with a family of 2 kids and a husband. Elina loves books (all sorts), travelling, cycling and is a host of a Book & Wine Club. She is a creative soul with a commercial mind, and her goal is to find readers globally – her dream is a Netflix series based on her novels.

Her debut novel When the King Dies was published in May 2020 and has immediately gained an enormous amount of attention from the Finnish media, including a praising review by the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and becoming an immediate bestseller in Finland with 10,000 copies sold in all formats. When the King Dies has been to-date sold in 11 territories and international TV series is in development.