November 15th, 2009
Crime novelist Marko Kilpi works as a policeman. His debut novel, Frozen Roses, was awarded The Clue of the Year crime fiction prize. Kilpi's second crime novel, Outbreak, is shortlisted for the Finlandia Prize.

By Marko Kilpi (Stilton author)

In my work I meet a lot of very bad people, as do you. Daily. They are not drug addicts, killers or other kinds of hardened criminals. They are ordinary people. Like you and me.

Isn’t it strange that crimes whose depravity shocks us and shakes the very foundations of our society are often committed by ordinary people? These people may not even have a criminal record: they are ordinary folks, working family men, sometimes juveniles and school children. The recent years have yielded many examples of this. One of the most shocking could be found in Austria. The depraved acts of an elderly man called Josef placed him in one fell swoop right up there with the Saddams and Adolfs of this world. He didn’t need to commit genocide to achieve this status, unlike Saddam and Adolf. The depravity shown by him towards his own child and the grandchildren was enough.

The evil must be hidden. It is however an essential part of our humanity, and unlikely to stay hidden forever. Every once in a while we have to stop and contemplate less serious wrongdoings, such as the sending of inappropriate text messages, the groping of air hostesses by elected members of parliament, and other inappropriate acts that interfere with our daily decorum. We think, that the evil resides elsewhere: in newspaper headlines, in politicians, in other people, in faraway lands. But luckily not here, in our own backyard.

But we all have evil in us. It is everywhere we go. Why that should be, no one knows. Perhaps we should accept the fact that we don’t need to know everything. If we imagine that we always behave as we should - in a correct and blameless manner – the alarm bells would be ringing loud and clear. If that case, we may have ventured too far along the path of self-belief and indifference to realise our own insufficiency and vanity. It is healthier to accept the evil in us, rather than try desperately to hide it. Evil makes us human as much as good does. It will not wash off with the best of washing powders.

I sometimes try to introduce evil in the middle of everyday situations. I do it to provide a focal point and wake-up call so that we can spot the evil among us. It has all kinds of consequences and I have on occasions even found myself being prosecuted. Where is evil in the end? The evil inside the strong walls of a home often remains hidden, underneath a veneer of normality. But this is where the worst atrocities can take place. This much we know without having to ask Josef’s children.

Marko Kilpi tells about Olli Repo, the main character of his crime fiction novels Frozen Roses and Outbreak:

November 12th, 2009
Crime fiction author Marko Kilpi’s Outbreak is shortlisted for the Finlandia Prize 2009, greatest literary award in Finland. Five other books are on the shortlist. In the history of the Finlandia Prize only once before has a crime fiction novel been shortlisted. The winner will be announced on December 2nd.

Outbreak is the second crime fiction novel by Marko Kilpi. His debut novel, Frozen Roses, was awarded the 2008 The Clue of the Year literary prize issued by the Finnish Whodunnit Society for crime fiction readers. Furthermore Marko Kilpi was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award (Glasnyckel) in 2009.

Outbreak starts in a local garage, where the police have found an elderly man who abuses drugged teenagers to satisfy his own perverted needs. At the same time, a small-time celebrity from the Finnish Big Brother house disappears and a bomb threat is made by members of an online newsgroup. What is it all about?

Having formerly worked in the film industry, Kilpi decided to enrol in the police academy as a mature student. As a policeman, Kilpi has found the inner author in himself: the world inhibited by Marko Kilpi, the policeman, is full of interesting anecdotes and life stories – some happy, some less so – which provide the material for his novels.

Award-winning crime fiction author, police officer Marko Kilpi tells about Olli Repo, the main character of his crime fiction novels Frozen Roses and Outbreak:

More about the author:

More about the shortlisted novel:

September 15th, 2009
Crime novelist Marko Kilpi works as a policeman. His debut novel, Frozen Roses, was awarded The Clue of the Year crime fiction prize. Kilpi's second crime novel, Outbreak, was published this year.


By Marko Kilpi (Stilton author)

You know the feeling when on holiday, you realise that you should use every moment as effectively as possible. You feel like you should see and experience as much as possible, and squeeze everything out of a short visit to a new location. I constantly feel like this about life.

It is by no means all the same how I spend my time. I feel that the older I get, the more I should achieve. I want to utilise every moment to the maximum effect. Not that my frantic flapping about would earn me more material possessions, but simply because there is still so much that remains to be done.

The passing of time is frightening. I am not the only person to think this way: in China, for instance, clocks are not allowed in public places. Seeing them around would remind us of our eventual demise. When meeting dead people in my work, I often feel that the life of some deceased person has ended in fast forward mode. Without any previous knowledge of the deceased, I have to outline the main features of his or her life with a few bold strokes in my notebook. Sometimes I am left wondering how little of the page I actually use up.

With some clients leave me horrified by the blase way that their lives have been wasted. They have not achieved anything productive in their lives for years, and are unlikely to achieve anything much either. Why are they even alive?

One could ask who am I to judge other people’s way of life? How badly am I living my own life, at the end of the day, by rushing from place to place, from task to task, in such a frantic manner that sometimes my wrists ache, and there is no time to enjoy any of it. Why should our lives be so full that on the last day, there are not enough pages in the notebook to record it all?

I simply love life. I am greedy for it, with all my senses. I don’t want to waste a moment. Even though time seems limitless, looking back on it seems but a brief return trip. I understand that it is up to me to decide how much enjoyment and benefit that trip will give me, and how exotic I can make it appear.

I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but I would urge everyone else to be as greedy for life as I am. To live in such a way that not a single grain of sand from our hourglass is left unused, and that on the last day we would have no cause to complain about things left undone. That would be idleness in the extreme.