Author: Jarmo Papinniemi

Keeping the day job

30 September 2003 | Authors, Interviews

Matti Yrjänä Joensuu

Photo: Irmeli Jung

Finland’s most famous cop, Chief Superintendent Timo Harjunpää, is the fictional creation of another policeman, Matti Yrjänä Joensuu. The long-awaited eleventh novel in the Harjunpää series, Harjunpää ja pahan pappi (‘Harjunpää and the priest of evil’) appeared this autumn after a gap of a decade. Joensuu talks to Jarmo Papinniemi about crime, the creative process and the powers of darkness

Matti Yrjänä Joensuu (born 1948) is one of the best-known Finnish crime writers and is certainly one of the most respected. He writes novels about ordinary policemen and ordinary crimes; bleak tales of murder which do not pander to the reader with complicated plots, non-stop action or glamorous settings. Like the Swedish writers Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö or Henning Mankell, Joensuu’s narratives focus on social reality and expose the darker sides of society and the day-to-day misery and suffering which gives rise to crime. More…