By James Thompson
(Berkley Trade, Paperback, 9780425245392, 352pp.)
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
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From the acclaimed author of Snow Angels comes a new novel featuring Inspector Vaara.
Inspector Kari Vaara has left the Arctic Circle and returned- reluctantly-to Helsinki, where headaches and sleeplessness plague him. But he must work through the pain. He has two cases on his plate: the brutal murder of a Russian businessman's wife, and-more secretively-an investigation into an elderly Finnish national hero who may have played a darker role in World War II than the public knows. Vaara's past has turned him into a haunted man. The questions he's asking now may turn him into a hunted man as well...
James Thompson, eastern Kentucky born and raised, has lived in Finland for the past decade and currently makes his home in Helsinki with his wife. Before becoming a full-time writer, Thompson studied Swedish and Finnish, in which he is fluent, and worked as a bartender, bouncer, construction worker, photographer, rare coin dealer, and soldier. He is also the author of the Inspector Vaara novels Snow Angels and Helsinki White.
“Thompson's style is on the dark end of the ‘Nordic Noir’ spectrum. The genre — with its stark and often violent police procedurals — has proved wildly successful…The marquee names have come from Sweden — think Stieg Larsson's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, or Henning Mankell's Wallander series — but Norway's Jo Nesbo and Iceland's Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardottir have also made their mark with international readers. Thompson stands out from that crowd by writing in English and telling Vaara's gritty narrative in the first person. ”--The New York Times
“In his dozen years of living in Finland…Thompson has absorbed enough cold, dark atmosphere for a spot on the roster of top Nordic crime writers—Mankell, Nesbø, Indrioason and the like.”—The New York Post
“The laconic voice of Inspector Kari Vaara is at the same time dangerous and human, his world cold, barren, yet intriguingly exotic.”—Peter Høeg, New York Times bestselling author of Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Praise for the Inspector Vaara Novels
“The tone evokes Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, but the plot takes off fast, the themes are universal and James Thompson tells a nighttime tale as only a bartender can.”—Michael Simon, author of The Last Jew Standing
“The stark Nordic setting will appeal to fans of Scandinavian crime fiction…Will remind readers of Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park.”—Library Journal
“Thompson’s portrait of Lapland in the depths of winter is starkly and realistically drawn…An outstanding series debut.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Intriguing glimpses of Finnish culture…Tangled small-town relationships and lust also fuel this noir-ish thriller.”—Publishers Weekly
“Stellar…Thompson elegantly threads Finland’s compelling national history with Vaara’s own demons in this taut, emotionally wrought novel.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Like the books of the late Stieg Larsson, Thompson’s reflect the gray cold of Nordic winters…But Thompson’s books move more quickly (and violently) than Larsson’s.”
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Impossible to put down…Essential reading for all fans of...Stieg Larsson.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A must-read for fans of Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell.”—Booklist