What made this book so good to me is that I needed to throw out what I ususally know about police thrillers and learn a whole new way of thinking. That is what happens in a place where it is virtually dark all the time during the winter, super cold, police do things that we would consider ultra corrupt, poor chain of evidence controls and the most gruesome killer only faces a maximum of 12 years in prison.
Kari Vaara is a Finnish detective told to solve quickly a grisly murder of a Somalian actress. The woman was murdered in the style of the Black Dalhia of the United States. To top things off the main suspect is Seppo, the man who took Kari's wife Heli away from him several years ago (a conflict of interest that would cause a mistrial in the US).
All this happens around the Christmas holidays and Kari is further pressured by his American wife who has had enough of the Finnish way of doing things and the long dark winters. She wants Kari to leave the Finnish police and move back to Colorado with her.
As the book progresses we feel Kari's torment from all ends, including the haunting memories of Kari's sister, who perished in a skating accident while she was with Kari. As the case progresses Kari can't figure out if the killer was one or different combinations of multiple individuals. On top of it all, the darkness seems to set off more murders and a suicide.
I never read a novel quite like this one and found it both fascinating and unsettling at the same time. The book cover calls the tale a Kari Vaara story so that implies that Kari will be back to do it again. I will look for future tales.
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