When an old man is found dead on the road - seemingly run over by a Hungarian au pair - police investigator Anna Fekete is certain that there is more to the incident than meets the eye. As she begins to unravel an increasingly complex case, she's led on a deadly trail where illegal immigration, drugs and, ultimately, murder threaten not only her beliefs, but her life.
Anna's partner Esko is entrenched in a separate but equally dangerous investigation into the activities of an immigrant gang, where deportation orders and raids cause increasing tension and result in desperate measures by gang members - and the police themselves.
Chilling, disturbing and terrifyingly believable, The Defenceless is an extraordinary, vivid and gripping thriller by one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.
`Tough and powerful crime fiction' Publishers Weekly
'The Finnish Kati Hiekkapelto deserves her growing reputation as her individual writing identity is subtly unlike that of her colleagues' Barry Forshaw, Crime Time
'There is something fresh and slightly subversive about Hiekkapelto's writing in The Defenceless. there is something of that restless energy here, a nod to anti-authoritarian and countercultural ideas that makes the novel stand out from the pack' Doug Johnstone, The Big Issue
`An edgy and insightful chiller with a raw and brooding narrative. Skilfully plotted and beautifully written, Hiekkapelto has given us an excellent and suspenseful crime novel' Craig Robertson
Kati Hiekkapelto was born in 1970 in Oulu, Finland. She wrote her first stories at the age of two and recorded them on cassette tapes. Kati has studied Fine Arts in Liminka Art School and Special Education at the University of Jyvaskyla. The subject of her final thesis/dissertation was racist bullying in Finnish schools. She went on to work as a special-needs teacher for immigrant children. Today Kati is an international crime writer, punk singer and performance artist. Her books, The Hummingbird and The Defenceless have been translated into ten languages. The Hummingbird was shortlisted for the Petrona Award in the UK in 2015 and The Defenceless won the prize for the best Finnish Crime Novel of the Year 2014, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious Glass Key. She lives and writes in her 200-year-old farmhouse in Hailuoto, an island in the Gulf of Bothnia, North Finland. In her free time she rehearses with her band, runs, hunts, picks berries and mushrooms, and gardens. During long, dark winter months she chops wood to heat her house, shovels snow and skis. Writing seems fairly easy, after all that. Follow her on Twitter @HiekkapeltoKati or visit www.katihiekkapelto.com David Hackston is a British Translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. Notable publications include The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, Maria Peura's coming-of-age novel At the Edge of Light, Johanna Sinisalo's eco-thriller Birdbrain, two crime novels by Matti Joensuu and Kati Hiekkapelto's Anna Fekete series (which currently includes The Hummingbird, The Defenceless and The Exiled, all published by Orenda Books). He also translates Antti Tuomainen's stories. In 2007 he was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Translation. David is also a professional countertenor and a founding member of the English Vocal Consort of Helsinki. Follow David on Twitter @Countertenorist