03 / 2013
140 x 202 mm
Crime and Thrillers
Published by:
Kati Hiekkapelto

The Hummingbird


A strong, sympathetic heroine is born! This gripping start to a new detective series sends Anna Fekete to the icy latitudes of the Arctic and tackles burning issues of immigration

Hungarian by ethnicity, Yugoslav by birth, one-time refugee Anna Fekete’s career as a detective begins in a northern Finnish coastal town. Although fully integrated into her new homeland, the young immigrant considers herself a stranger, perhaps most of all to herself. And being partnered with middle-aged Esko, who doesn’t bother hiding his xenophobic prejudices, doesn’t help.

Anna’s work as a criminal investigator barely gets off the ground before she is thrust into a case that has riveted the nation. A young woman has been killed on a running trail, and a pendant depicting an Aztec god has been found in her possession. Another murder soon follows. All signs point to a serial killer. But can Anna catch the Hummingbird before he – or she – strikes again?

Anna is also troubled by the fate of a Kurd girl, Bihar. Bihar contacts the police, fearing “honour violence”, but refuses to co-operate during questioning. Since the girl will not speak, Anna must look elsewhere for evidence.



Nominated for The 2015 Petrona Award in the UK (Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year)


Press quotes from Finland

An exceptionally promising debut! – Seura

Promising Northern darkness. – Helsingin Sanomat

Here is an author who, with her first detective novel, trounces the Swedes. Läckberg & Co. feel clunky once you’ve had a chance to devour the realistic, engrossing and vitally topical story about Yugoslav Hungarian Anna Fekete, a criminal investigator from a northern Finnish coastal town. – Viva

The Hummingbird is a confident, thrilling crime novel, which credibly depicts the everyday life of the Finnish police. – Me Naiset

Hiekkapelto knows how to get into people’s skin. – 45 min, MTV3

When you’re reading The Hummingbird, it’s hard to believe that the book you’re holding in your hands is a debut. Absolutely everything comes together: the police work is described realistically, as are the problems faced by immigrants; the plot is skilfully constructed; the characters are lifelike and engaging. – Literary Blog Kirsin Kirjanurkka


Press quotes from abroad

Promises tough and powerful crime fiction to come – Publishers Weekly, USA

Crisp and refreshing, with a rawness that comes from a writer willing to take risks with her work. – Crimepieces, UK

A wonderful natural style and narrative flow, and a talent for memorable, intriguing characters. – CrimeFictionLover, UK

A terrific crime novel and smart social novel about migration! – Für Sie, Germany

A taut thriller and nuanced social novel about violence and migration – awesome! – Petra, Germany

This crime novel grips you with its multiple layers and the inspector’s inner conflict. The murders seem to be of secondary importance. – Hamburger Morgenpost, Germany

This novel is a bit like its protagonist: sometimes full of energy and fast-paced, but later melancholy and mournful – but always exciting and worth reading. – WDR 2 Crime Fiction Tip, Germany

Pacy and exciting all the way to the scorching ending. – Westfälische Nachrichten, Germany

All fans of Scandi-crime will love this Finnish debut. – Hörzu, Germany

A successful mix of crime novel and social portrait. – Donna, Germany

Most of the books from Finland that I’ve read recently have been excellent but it may well be that we’re getting the cream of crime fiction from the country.The Hummingbird by Kati Hiekkapelto is a strong addition to the genre… The book’s real strength, though, is the character of Anna Fekete and the focus on her coming to terms with her refugee past. You see Anna’s conflicted views towards both her own community which she tries to untangle herself from and also her new ‘home’ in the police which isn’t as expected. She’s a flawed character which adds to the depth of her portrayal… The writing is crisp and refreshing. – Crimepieces, UK

Identity is also key to Kati Hiekkapelto’s promising debut novel… Much of the story is engaged in exploring what it means to be from Finland, a place where ‘people were expected to unflaggingly present a play directed by market forces, a performance called Western civilisation’… Hiekkapelto provides an unsentimental account of Finnish society and its cultural traditions. – Irish Times, UK


Foreign rights information

An excerpt and synopsis of the series in English are available.

Published in:

  • Czech Republic (Host Brno)
  • Denmark (Turbine)
  • Hungary (Athenaeum)
  • Germany (Heyne / Random House)
  • Iceland (Skrudda)
  • Italy (Atmosphere Libri)
  • The Netherlands (A. W. Bruna)
  • UK (Arcadia Books/ World English)

Rights sold to:

  • Poland (Newsweek)
  • Russia (AST)
  • Sweden (Modernista)