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Helsinki Noir (Finland)

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Helsinki Noir joins Copenhagen Noir in representing the Akashic Noir Series in the far north of Europe, exposing its frigid and sometimes frightening confines.

$22.95 $17.21

What people are saying…

“Readers should be prepared to keep the lights on at night after finishing this unnerving collection.”
Publishers Weekly

“A gripping collection . . . Whether you are already a fan of the gloomy Finns or are new to the uniquely sinister aspect of Scandinavian literature, this book will provide steady entertainment.”
Reviewing the Evidence

“This is a good collection of all kinds of stories.”
Journey of a Bookseller

“Mystery and true crime readers will appreciate the styles from all over the world, and embrace the darkness that every culture shares—no matter how hard they try to hide it.”
Mom Read It


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Leena Lehtolainen, Johanna Holmström, James Thompson, Antti Tuomainen, Jesse Itkonen, Joe L. Murr, Jukka Petäjä, Tapani Bagge, Pekka Hiltunen, Teemu Käskinen, Tuomas Lius, Riikka Ala-Harja, Karo Hämäläinen, and Jarkko Sipila.

From the introduction by James Thompson:

“Finland, the myths and truths. Internationally, it has a reputation as perhaps the best place in the world to live. A great economy. A low crime rate. Good and nearly cost-free health care. The needy are provided for by the state and live in reasonable comfort. Finns: peaceful and quiet people, living in the perfect example of a social democracy functioning as it should. A tourist, or even a person who has lived here for a length of time, might well view Finland as such. There is some truth to this, but like every country, Finland has many truths . . .

Finland is, like the theme so often explored in Star Trek, a parallel universe in which, on the surface, all seems normal, but under that shell lie vast differences . . .  As this book demonstrates, Finland is a noir nation [and] this anthology is, I believe, the best representation of Finnish noir ever offered to the international community. Every word rings true. It holds Finland up in a way that not only exposes this wonderful and fascinating country to the world, but acts as a mirror that reflects its people and culture in a way every Finn will recognize, vocalizing those truths that are so seldom spoken here amongst ourselves.”

Table of Contents


Part I: Deep Cuts
“Jenkem” by Pekka Hiltunen (Töölö)
“Kiss of Santa” by Leena Lehtolainen (Stockmann Department Store)
“The Hand of Ai” by James Thompson (Kallio)
“St. Peter’s Street” by Riikka Ala-Harja (Eira)
“Hard Rain” by Tapani Bagge (Esplanadi)

Part II: Broken Blades
“The Silent Woman” by Joe L. Murr (Munkkiniemi)
“Little Black” by Teemu Kaskinen (Aurinkolahti)
“Silent Night” by Jarkko Sipila (East Pasila)
“Snowy Sarcophagus” by Jukka Petäjä (Meilahti)
“Dead Cinch” by Tuomas Lius (Central Train Station)

Part III: Winds of Violence
“Good Intentions” by Jesse Itkonen (Itäkeskus)
“The Broker” by Karo Hämäläinen (Fabianinkatu)
“The Script” by Antti Tuomainen (Lintulahti)
“Stolen Lives” by Johanna Holmström (Vuosaari)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Published: 11/4/14
  • IBSN: 9781617752414
  • e-IBSN: 9781617753268


JAMES THOMPSON (1964–2014) lived in Finland for over fifteen years and was one of the most popular representatives of Nordic noir, with his work being published in a dozen countries. His novel Snow Angels, the first book in his acclaimed Kari Vaara series, was one of Booklist‘s Best Crime Novel Debuts of the Year and was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Strand Critics awards. Kirkus selected Lucifer’s Tears, the second book in the series, as one of the best books of 2011. G.P. Putnam’s Sons will release Helsinki Dead, the fifth installment in the series, in 2014. Jim was a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books and held a master’s degree from the University of Helsinki. He was the editor of Helsinki Noir.

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