Private detective Viktor Karppa has an orderly life, and that's just the way he likes it. His new girlfriend Marja, an independent-minded academic, also prefers things as they are - tranquil and uncomplicated. When Viktor is hired by a kindly antiques dealer to find the man's missing Estonian wife, he accepts the case; it's a well-paid job, after all. However, it soon transpires that the woman is also the sister of a notorious gangster, and so begins Viktor's descent into an international criminal underworld with all the trimmings: drugs, former KGB operatives and assorted tough characters from the low-caste Ingrian subgroup, ethnic Finns who have emigrated from their native Russia "back" to Finland. Suddenly nothing is as it used to be, not least with Marja, who has become all too aware that Viktor's line of work is unlikely to bode well for a healthy relationship - Matti Ronka's novels have a strong political and social focus, and his Finnish, Russian and Baltic settings are unique amongst crime novels for their grim realism.His unsavoury settings and characters are not elements often associated with Finland, but Ronka, a journalist and television news anchor, can claim deep familiarity with his material.
Matti Ronka is a Finnish TV journalist and seven-time novelist, recipient of the prestigious Glass Key award given annually to writers of Nordic crime fiction. He has anchored a daily news programme since 2003 on Finnish television, earning the nickname "Suomen aani" ("The Voice of Finland").