Karo H m l inen spent 15 years as an economics reporter and currently works as the managing editor of Parnasso, Finland's leading literary publication. His debut novel, The Buyout, was shortlisted for the 2011 Savonia Prize and received the 2012 Tampere Literary Prize. His novel Alone won the 2016 Savonia Prize. Following stints in Munich, Berlin, and Tampere, he now lives in Helsinki. In his spare time, he likes reading and running; his record marathon time is 3-04-04.
Praise for Cruel Is the Night
"It's hard to separate the potential killers from the probable victims, and the mood ranges from darkly humorous to just plain terrifying. Hamalainen is a wicked and controlled writer who rarely allows his readers a moment of peace."
"A very dark comedy . . . Enjoy the ride."
-International Noir Fiction
"Hamalainen makes his English-language debut with a darkly humorous, carefully crafted Finnish take on the classic British locked-room mystery. Hamalainen is at ease with using the four distinct character voices to shift the apparent power balance constantly over the course of the evening, providing both thrilling surprises and the dread of inevitability, all in the context of some truly delightful dinner dialogue."
-Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"[A] well-paced thriller . . . Raises thought-provoking questions and makes relevant political commentary. Crime-fiction readers shouldn't think twice about accepting Hamalainen's invitation to this lethal dinner. "
-Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
"A clever novel of suspense."
"A compelling setup. The diners' repartee and the flashbacks revealing their relationships call to mind Herman Koch's The Dinner . . . But Hamalainen's novel takes things to a completely different level. The reader follows the events safely through a wall of Plexiglas, holding back laughter, yet absolutely absorbed."
"In F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, the night is tender, but in Karo Hamalainen's hands, it becomes extremely cruel. Champagne sabres are drawn, cyanide capsules get broken . . . Hamalainen has produced a thriller that is not only imaginative and over the top, but also fitting within genre bounds while being far from generic."
"A tense, irony-laden, not-so-cozy ode to cozies, award-winning author Hamalainen's English-language debut initiates a nail-biting shell game of poisons and allegiances . . . clever storytelling masks Hamalainen's secrets until the final pages."
"This English-language debut by a prize-winning Finnish author has a great hook . . . [for] readers who enjoy books like L.S. Hilton's Maestra and Caroline Kepnes's You, in which the game is the goal."
"[A] darkly elegant locked-room thriller ."
-Stop, You're Killing Me!
Praise for the works of Karo Hamalainen
"The Bonfire of the Vanities for the new millennium, flavored with [a] thriller plot."
-Kauppalehti Optio, on The Buyout
"The atmosphere is like on the savannah, where scavengers lie in wait for their prey and each other."
-Helsingin Sanomat, on The Buyout
"Psychologically astute and heartbreaking."
-Suomen Kuvalehti, on Alone as Book of the Year