Before the Polar Night Falls

Elina Backman

Original title: Ennen kuin tulee pimeää

Author: Elina Backman

Published: 2022

Publisher: Otava

Genre: Crime & Suspense

Pages: 400

Part of a series: Saana Havas series

Reading material:

English sample and synopsis

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.

It’s clear that the crime author Elina Backman just keeps on getting better book after a book. [–] It’s clear that the third part of the series is the best so far. [–] Backman has written the atmosphere just right in its oppressiveness. The reader constantly feels that there’s some threat hiding in the shadows and preying on the community.

Kirsin kirjanurkka book blog

Download reading materials

Rights sold:
FINLAND: Otava (orig.)

DENMARK: Gyldendal
SWEDEN: Bokfabriken

About author

Elina Backman

Elina Backman is an author and a media & marketing professional living in Helsinki. Elina loves books (all sorts), traveling, 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 debut novel All the King's Men was published in 2020 and immediately gained an enormous amount of attention from the Finnish media, including a praising review by the biggest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The Havas series is now a best-selling series in Finland and an international TV series is in development. Elina's books have sold over 70 000 copies in Finland.

Together with Heidi Holmavuo, Elina has also narrated the true crime podcast Ratkaisematon (Unsolved), which turned into a full-length audio book as the two crime writers started investigating the murder of a young girl in 1967. They were able to uncover new evidence and their research led the police to reopen the investigation. This story is narrated in the book Unsolved - The Case of Elli Immo.


2022, Crime & Suspense

Elina Backman

Before the Polar Night Falls

2022, Crime & Suspense

Elina Backman

Unsolved - The Case of Elli Immo

2021, Crime & Suspense

Elina Backman

Still Waters Run Deep

2020, Crime & Suspense

Elina Backman

All the King's Men