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424 Pages

Cold Courage

Vilpittömästi sinun

“Will not let you in peace until you have finished it. Impossible to put down.” – Arkult, France


A gripping psychological thriller debut by award-winning Finnish author Pekka Hiltunen – skilfully paced, intense and intelligent.

When Lia witnesses a disturbing scene on the way to work, she, like the rest of the city of London, is captivated and horrified. As details unfurl in the media, the brutal truth transpires – a Latvian prostitute has been killed, her body run over by a bulldozer and then placed in the trunk of a car to be found. As the weeks pass and no leads are found, the story quickly disintegrates but Lia can’t easily forget. So when she meets Mari in a late night bar one night she feels fate might have brought them together.

Like her, Mari is a Finnish woman in London finding her way, somewhat an outsider, very independent. But there is much more to Mari than meets the eye: she is a psychologist who possesses an unnatural way of being able to ‘read’ people, see into their innermost thoughts and pre-empt their actions. She uses her ‘gift’ to try to help people and has formed a close unit she calls the Studio, a kind of team of investigators, who are not beyond breaking the law to put the worlds to rights. But Mari and Lia are about to set foot into extremely dangerous territory, especially as Mari has the ability to control others, take vengeance on those she deems deserve it and use the Studio to unscrupulous ends.

Winner of numerous prizes and awards, e.g.  Clue of the Year Prize 2012 for the best Finnish crime novel, the Kaarle Prize 2012,  The Best Finnish Thriller of the 21st Century Prize 2014 (shared 1st prize) and nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize for debut novelists, the Swedish Glass Key Award and for the Dublin IMPAC Award,  Cold Courage is the most awarded Finnish thriller and the first part in a gripping series which will have you hooked from the very first page.

Pekka Hiltunen’s novels Black Noise and Fear Me continue the Studio Series. The three novels may also be read as stand-alone titles.

A tv series based on Cold Courage, Black Noise and Fear Me will be broadcast by Viaplay in 2020.

Don’t stand in the way of Finnish women!


Rights sold

Czech (Argo)
world English (Hesperus Press, UK)
French (Balland / Gallimard)
Icelandic (Uppheimar)
German (Berlin Verlag)
Polish (Zysk)
Turkish (Epsilon)


Reading material

English edition
Finnish edition
French edition
German edition
Czech edition
Icelandic edition
Swedish full translation


Awards and nominations

2015 Longlisted for IMPAC Dublin
2014 The Best Finnish Crime Novel in 21st Century – shared first prize
2013 Nominated for the Glass Key Prize (Sweden)
2012 Clue of the Year Prize for best Finnish crime novel
2012 Kaarle Prize
2011 Nominated for the Best Debut of the Year


Praise for the work


Britain on Cold Courage

“Intriguing (…) Pekka Hiltunen was showered with national awards for debut novel Cold Courage, an ambitious attempt at tackling global politics and ethical issues in a thriller framework. (…) Hiltunen’s well-researched if convoluted plot, involving a steamrollered Latvian prostitute and far-right extremism, rattles along enjoyably.” – Metro UK Newspaper

“An attractive and engrossing read (…) Will make for a cracking series. I hope that Hiltunen picks up some new fans through this publication. My book of the month.”  – Crimepieces Blog


France on Sans visage

“Will not let you in peace until you have finished it. Impossible to put down.”  – Arkult


Iceland on Stúdíóið

“Fine thriller and a plot that holds the reader right to the end.”  – Morgunblaðið newspaper

“So well written (…) A crime novel with a dierence, covering some sensitive themes of our times.” – Fréttablaðið Newspaper


Czech on Finské Pouto

“Intelligent story with a thrilling plot. I can see why the book has received many awards in Finland. That’s simple, it deserves them.” –  Magazine Centrum Detektivky

“A masterful literary debut. Exciting, briskly written. When it ends, one feels sorry, wanting to read on and on.” – Book Blog Knihozrout


Finland on Vilpittömästi sinun

“I predict international success for this con_dent, unique and captivating thriller.” – Kaleva

“Pekka Hiltunen hooks the reader of his new thriller from the very first page. The main characters are likeable and believable, and the author’s awareness of social issues shines through in his writing. Cold Courage is a very topical novel.” – APU

“Thee women’s friendship, the organisation’s activities, and the use of technology are all narrated in a convincing way. I recommend this book to readers who like slightly unusual psychological thrillers – here evil certainly gets its just rewards in a way which, while complex, is also often amusing, touching and unusual. A good opening for a new series!” – Kirjavinkit

Cold Courage expands the thematic landscape of Finnish crime literature. It is refreshing to read about professional and amateur private detectives with no problems regarding either alcohol or woman. In its own way the book gives faith in the notion that the world can and should be changed.” – Helsingin Sanomat

“The novel updates the story traditions of crime novels in an interesting way. It is a psychological thriller and a whole lot more, too. As well as having an exciting plot it shows depth in its descriptions of people. Hiltunen´s concept of the Studio is a fascinating insight into these modern times. Rich in details, sure in its descriptions of London and smoothly written, this novel is a stylish debut.” – Turun Sanomat

“The next superstar of crime lit might well come from Finland. (—) My bet is on Pekka Hiltunen, who has already been dubbed the Stieg Larsson of Finland. His Cold Courage from last year and the new Black Noise have the same kind of flow in the story and uncompromising humanity as Larsson´s books.” – Tekniikka ja Talous

“Pekka Hiltunen’s debut novel Cold Courage is a cleverly paced, intensive, tense psycho-thriller. The book creates a new, high standard for intelligent entertainment.” – Statement of the Jury of the Clue of the Year Prize