Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. How long will it take before everything explodes?
Chilling, taut and relevant, The Exiled is an electrifying, unputdownable thriller from one of Finland's most celebrated crime writers.
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- John S.
Sorry, not for me
First of all, this one is really Anna Fekete 2.5 rather than 3.0 in the series; it can be read as a stand-alone. The only Finnish connection consists of a couple of email exchanges with colleagues back home, as well as a few vague musings on her part about the differences between Finnish and Balkan culture. For those who have read the first two books, wondering what to expect, here's a general idea, with as few (what I consider) spoilers as possible . . .
No sooner has Anna arrived in Serbia when her handbag is snatched. She takes it upon herself to follow up on the incident when the local police consider it nothing more than petty theft. The thief, it turns out, was Romany (gypsy), so we get into that angle, as well as the refugee hoardes coming through to get into the nearby E. U. Around the halfway point, a Romany fellow lets Anna know that her father's convicted (Romany) murderer was framed; the guy does not know who really did it. So, Anna goes off in that direction as well. The bag thief had been found dead, which Anna came to realize quickly (shall we say) was a murder; that one and her father's come together in the end. There's an epilogue which is likely intended to be a "happy" outcome of sorts, though I was mildly disgusted by it. The only point in the book that I'd say has a bearing on the Anna-in-Finland series would be that her brother does not intend to return back north.
I didn't much like Anna in the first two books, listening to this one to use as my Audible credits were a bit backed up. I don't like her any more now, if anything slightly less. We do get to meet her mother, who seemed rather a witch to me. The British narrator's voice for her reminded me of Barbara Windsor behind the bar on EastEnders, while Anna herself sounded a bit like an East End Nancy Drew.
Wish I had skipped this one, as frankly I'm interested in the Finnish setting and the lives of her colleagues. If you've read the others, and are a fan of Anna, then you'll probably appreciate the book a lot more than I did.
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Nordic Noir in Serbia
I loved this book! The setting and the Anna character were intriguing, and the story was great. This was a great twist on Nordic Noir, transported to Serbia. I had not read of of the other books in this series and was able to pick this one up with no issues.