In a dark novel, Finnish Inspector Vaara is called by Sgt. Valtteri, informing him that black actress Suffia Elim's body has been found. She has been murdered and it looks like a hate crime.
There is instant drama in the novel as Vaara narrates the story in the hard boiled tradition of Hammett and Chandler. He is analytical and unemotional when dealing with these brutal crimes. His descriptions of the setting are also well done as when he describes the nights being so cold, he removed the battery from his car and brought it inside his home to be sure it would start in the morning.
This is an intense and deeply interesting novel about a part of the world so different from what we are accustomed to. With the story being told during the Christmas season, we also have the juxtaposition of the happiness with the tragedy of death.
It's the time of darkness that adds to the depression of many people leading to alcoholism in many instances. In addition, when viewing the community's struggle in the winter, it is compelling to view what some people do to survive while others succumb.
This is a well written novel with an original plot. Inspector Vaara is an appealing character with love for his current wife and dedication to his job.
An American ex-pat who makes his home in Finland, Thompson combines a visceral American sensibility with the traditional melancholy distance of the Scandinavian thriller. Racism and an insularity drive the investigation in this debut Inspector Kari Vaara novel, which centers on the extremely brutal murder of a beautiful Somali immigrant actress. It's just before Christmas. Vaara is married to an American ski resort manager, pregnant with their first … more
It's always interesting to read a book that begins a new series, particularly one involving police procedurals. This extremely well written work, set in Finland, is the first in a proposed new series featuring a police inspector in a small Finnish town around the Arctic Circle. In the winter, there is really no daylight, and the people tend to be morose, drink a lot, and either kill someone else or themselves. A grim way of life! The story concerns the brutal murder of a young … more