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Sunday 14 December 2014

‘Black Noise’ by Pekka Hiltunen

Published by Hesperus Press,
17 October 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-8439-1496-9

The black videos on YouTube were taken as a joke, until they turned nasty: videos of someone being repeatedly kicked. Then the first body was found ...

This novel focuses on Lia, a Finnish woman working as a magazine designer in London. She’s also a member of ‘The Studio’, run by her friend Mari, an organisation which battles injustice and crimes the police aren’t solving. The group members are a likeable bunch: technology expert Rico, actress Maggie, designer Berg and his dog Gro, security expert Paddy and Mari herself, highly intelligent and with a sixth sense about people’s emotions. The book’s set-up – the black videos – is intriguing, and as the violence escalates the tension is ratcheted up by the race to find the tortured men. The book is strong on the use of technology, but it also has emotional movement, as we find out more about Mari’s past. The main characters and the interaction between them made Black Noise feel like a ‘cosy’, but the escalating violence was unsettlingly nasty.

A page-turning thriller, with likeable characters and a dark edge to the plot.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Pekka Hiltunen is a Finnish author and journalist living in Helsinki. He works as a managing editor at Mondo magazine. His debut novel in 2011 immediately became one of the most acclaimed first novels in Finnish literature. The psychological thriller Cold Courage was nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Prize for Best Debut of the Year, a rare feat for a thriller. It won three literary prizes in Finland, including the Clue Award for Best Detective Novel of the Year, and it has been nominated for the Scandinavian Glass Key Award 2013.
Hiltunen also writes in other genres, and his books have been translated into six languages, including French and German. His forthcoming work BIG deals with the tricky problem of the worldwide obesity epidemic. Following a twenty-year career as a journalist in 2010 he received the Best Writing Editor Prize for his magazine articles. He specialises in extensive articles tackling social and political topics.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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