2011 A Dead Man in a Foreign Country
orig. Väärän maan vainaja

Matti Rönkä’s sixth crime novel, A Dead Man in a Foreign Country, continues the story of Viktor Kärppä, the author’s Finno-Russian protagonist, in his dealings with Finns and with Finland’s Russian speaking minority. The book starts with Kärppä chancing upon the body of a young Russian man while on an uneventful and mundane job. While Kärppä is at the deceased man’s home informing his parents of his death, the body disappears without trace. The deceased was not the most honest of men, but Kärppä still believed that he deserves an honourable burial. Who was he, who killed him, and where did his body go? Viktor Kärppä has to investigate all of this in wintry, snow-covered Helsinki. Everyone, including the Russian Embassy, urges Kärppä to steer clear of the case, but when he has taken it upon himself to investigate the death, he must find the corpse and return it to the mother for burial.

The case soon features familiar characters from previous Kärppä novels, including former KGB officers. The book contains interesting information about the history of Soviet Union and Russia, and Rönkä offers readers some pertinent observations about modern day Russia. Matti Rönkä moves the story nimbly across a grey zone, where it is easy to slip into the side of the underworld. Rönkä’s social awareness, biting humour and nuanced narration make his novels humanly touching and highly captivating.

“It looks like Matti Rönkä has clearly found his very own form of narration. The text is measured and dense and the language full of clarity. The author has not forgotten humour, including black humour”. Kirjavinkit

“Thankfully we have Matti Rönkä”. Satakunnan Kansa

”Kärppä has made his way into the hearts of Finnish readers. He manages to be ordinary and unique, all at the same time. He resembles the picture that Finns have of themselves: We are perfectly ordinary, yet quietly know that underneath the surface lurks something extraordinary.” Helsingin Sanomat

Utländska förlag:
Finland, Gummerus