A beautiful Somalian refugee-turned-actress is found murdered on a reindeer farm, gruesomely mutilated, a racial slur carved into her chest. Inspector Kari Vaara, head of the rural police force, is under great pressure not only to solve this crime himself, without the help of the big-city cops from Helsinki, but also to keep the potentially explosive case out of the news. Sufia Elmi had become a tabloid fixture, and her death—not to mention the awful way she met it—is sure to send shock waves across this insular, secretly racist country. Was this murder a hate crime, a sex crime—or both?
Kari is dealing with culture shock at home, too. His wife, Kate, is a young American woman, newly pregnant with their first child. She doesn’t understand much about Finnish customs or the Finns themselves and is struggling to come to terms with her new home. Kari himself is haunted by his rough childhood and his past, and even as he tries to shape a new life with Kate, the past keeps biting at his heels: the rich man his ex-wife left him for years ago may be Sufia’s killer.