The Exiled – Kati Hiekkapelto
Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes?
My thanks to Karen at Orenda for my review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.
The Exiled sees the return of Anna Fekete (first encountered in The Hummingbird and then The Defenceless). Ordinarily Anna is found in Finland where she is a member of the police force, however, in The Exiled Anna has returned to her homeland in the Balkans to enjoy a summer holiday in the company of her family.
Soon after her arrival, Anna is attending a party in the town square of her hometown and her purse and passport are stolen. But Anna has realised something is amiss and gives chase. Her pursuit takes her out of town where she loses sight of the thief (and the young girl who accompanied him). Anna finds herself at a Romany settlement where she asks if anyone has seen the suspected thief. There are denials and Anna is uncomfortably aware that she is guilty of appearing to believe a stereotypical view that the Romany are thieves.
The Exiled is a wonderfully well timed story, released at a time where racial tensions are at a level higher than we have seen for many a long year but Kati Hiekkapelto is challenging these. Anna denounces the prejudices and the author also ensures she highlights the plight that refugees face, it is done with simple elegant prose and the story benefits from the compassion displayed.
Anna’s hunt for her thief takes an unexpected development when his body is found the next day. The local police do not seem keen to investigate and declare the death accidental. Anna has doubts and begins her own investigation but someone is not happy with this decision and soon Anna will find herself in danger.
Despite being the third book in the series it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel and for new readers this is a great introduction to Kati Hiekkapelto’s books. I enjoyed The Exiled (as I did The Defenceless when I read it last year) and would encourage everyone to seek out these books.
The Exiled is published by Orenda Books and is available in paperback and digital format. You can order a copy by clicking HERE.