Ari Räty
Publication date
Format info
311 pages

What September Saw

Syyskuun viimeinen

A stunningly intensive psychological thriller about the end of childhood and a crime that knows no statute of limitations…

September, Komo, Piezo, Lehtola, and Eddie.

Five boys, from five different families. And one corpse, the body of a classmate’s older sister, found splayed out in the long grass as the boys are skipping classes from school. From that moment on, nothing was ever going to be the same again.

Years later, another girl’s body turns up. This time, among the first on the scene of the crime is Chief Inspector Eskelinen. Eskelinen is tasked with determining whether the case might have some links with earlier killings. In going through old investigation material, he comes across the name September, and also the fact that some on the side of the law are willing to do absolutely anything to ensure that murders go unsolved.

What September Saw is a coming of age, love and detective story inhabiting the genre of crime fiction. Ari Räty’s next crime novel Shadowman continues the stroy of What September Saw in the same somber tones, telling of anger and despair, as well as failure, but there is also room for beauty and love. And hope. Shadowman is due out in March 2018.

What September Saw was nominated for the Best Debut of the Year Prize, the first crime novel in the award’s history to be so recognized.


Awards and nominations

2017 Shortlisted for the Best Debut of the Year Prize


Reading materials

English sample
English plot summary
English review
Finnish edition


Praise for the work

“Strong language and a potent atmosphere. (…) What September Saw is a story of crime and revenge, but also of friendship and love. There is a strong, fruitful contradiction to the novel. The language is juicy and skilful as well as beautiful (…).” – Etelä-Saimaa newspaper

“This is not the first time words have been written about spurned good guys like September. That does not make September any less significant. He leaves the reader with the melancholically beautiful memory of a knight of the sad figure.” – Savon Sanomat newspaper

“Delivering this sort of existential knockout on an annual basis would be impossible for any author. The rare event is here and now.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

“The crime is the focus of the work, but it is more of a dominating force looming in the background. The exceptionally believable characters take the mainstage. (…) Humane in its directness and even poetic in its barrenness, What September Saw is one of the most surprising works of the new year thus far. The book gives a new meaning to the word ‘loyalty’. Lovers of detective novels, get ready!” – Rakkaudesta kirjoihin Literary blog

What September Saw does not indulge in violence; instead, the thrill is one of psychological torment.” – Lukutoukan kulttuuriblogi Literary blog

What September Saw is a dark, sometimes hopeless story whose characters are certainly not favoured by fortune.” – Kirjakaapin kummitus Literary blog

What September Saw is surprising, as its unique approach is immediately palpable. (…) the plot is intriguing, the character of September interesting and the descriptive style captivating. Räty has made an ostentatious opening to this year’s Finnish crime literature.” – Tuijata Literary blog