Mikael Niemi: Koka björn

Koka björn

Novel (Swedish and Faroese)

Mikael Niemi: Koka björn, 2017

It is the summer of 1852 in the small village Kengis in the northernmost part of Sweden. The Sami boy Jussi and his mentor, the local priest, investigate a gruesome murder and while most think the unfortunate victim was killed by a bear, Jussi and the priest think otherwise. When more mysterious murders take place the two of them investigate and things get more complicated and mysterious. In the end, Jussi himself is accused of the murders. Besides being a crime story it is also a story about the priest’s fight with ignorance and corruption and the Sami situation and the priest’s job of converting them into Christianity. It is also a sweet love story about Jussi in love with the lovely Maria. The priest’s character is based on a true story of reverend Lars Levi Læstadius and the author Mikael Niemi was born and raised close to the old parsonage in Pajala where Læstadius lived with his family.