Holy Ceremony

Harri Nykanen (Author) Kristian London (Translator)


Praise for the Ariel Kafka series:

"Ariel Kafka wins the award for most intriguing name for a fictional detective, and it suits this impressively labyrinthine mystery series." --Time Out

"The clever combination of classic Jewish themes with the traditions of Nordic crime makes for a refreshing tale with wide appeal. And the subtle humor makes it even better." --Booklist

"Professional responsibility and ethnic affiliation clash in Nykänen's intriguing first novel. The resolution will satisfy noir fans." --Publishers Weekly

The third in the Ariel Kafka series.

There are two Jewish cops in all of Helsinki. One of them, Ariel Kafka, a lieutenant in the Violent Crime Unit, identifies himself as a policeman first, then a Finn, and lastly a Jew. Kafka is a stubborn, dedicated policeman with wry sense of humor, always willing to risk his career to get an answer. A woman's body scrawled with religious texts is found in a Helsinki apartment. It turns out she wasn't murdered: the body was stolen from the morgue. The body is stolen again, and this time is immolated in a funeral pyre in Helsinki's Central Park. Kafka finds himself investigating a series of crimes leading to the enigmatic Christian Brotherhood of the Holy Vault. But before he can solve the puzzle, more than one Brother must pay for past sins with his life.

Harri Nykänen, born in Helsinki in 1953, is a prize-winning mystery writer. This is the third in the Ariel Kafka series. It exposes the local underworld through the eyes of an eccentric Helsinki police inspector.

Product Details

$14.95  $13.75
Bitter Lemon Press
Publish Date
March 13, 2018
5.0 X 0.9 X 7.7 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Kristian London is an American translator who divides his time between Seattle and Helsinki.


Nights of Awe:

'Nykänen's twist on Nordic crime fiction may be the most inventive of the year. Not just for readers of Nordic fiction, but for those who relate to New York Jewish detectives, including Lenny Briscoe (from Law & Order) and John Munch (from Homicide and Law & Order), as well as readers who enjoy the black humor of Stuart MacBride.' Booklist

'Ariel Kafka wins the award for most intriguing name for a fictional detective, and it suits this impressively labyrinthine mystery. A cool debut for Kafka, with the promise of more to come.' Time Out

Behind God's Back:

'Nykanen's tidy style is reminiscent of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels...One charm of the novel is the sense of Finnish innocence and orderliness...another is the reserve of Nykanen's Helsinki cops, who are able yet unmarked by the dirty business that foreigners bring to their patch.' Booklist

Kafka is a rather uncomplicated character - a mild-mannered middle-aged bachelor with no particular axe to grind when it comes to women. Kafka emerges as endearing to readers simply because he happens to be good at his job. A very welcome addition to the genre of Nordic noir.' Booktrust