Snow Angels

Snow Angels

Book - 2010
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The first thriller in a new series featuring Inspector Kari Vaara: the haunted, hardened detective who must delve into Finland's dark and violent underbelly.

Kaamos : Just before Christmas, the bleakest time of the year in Lapland. The unrelenting darkness and extreme cold above the Arctic Circle drive everyone just a little insane . . . perhaps enough to kill.

A beautiful Somali immigrant is found dead in a snowfield, her body gruesomely mutilated, a racial slur carved into her chest. Heading the murder investigation is Inspector Kari Vaara, the lead detective of the small-town police force. The vicious killing may have been a hate crime, a sex crime-or one and the same. Vaara knows he must keep this potentially ex­plosive case out of the national headlines or else it will send shock waves across Finland, an insular nation afraid to face its own xenophobia.

The demands of the investigation begin to take their toll on Vaara and his marriage. His young American wife, Kate, newly pregnant with their first child, is struggling to adapt to both the unforgiving Arctic climate and the Finnish culture of silence and isolation. Meanwhile Vaara himself, haunted by his rough childhood and failed first marriage, discovers that the past keeps biting at his heels: He suspects that the rich man for whom his ex-wife left him years ago may be the killer.

Endless night can drive anyone to murder.

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Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780399156175
0399156178
Characteristics: 264 p. ; 24 cm.

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m
maipenrai
Nov 06, 2016

The first book in the Inspector Vaara series

g
giax
Dec 29, 2012

Fantastic. The only Finnish crime series available in English where you don't have to have grown up in Finland to understand it. Thompson is an American who's lived in Finland for over 15 years, and manages to reverse the roles in the books, writing in first person as a Finnish detective who's got an American wife. (He later writes a different version of his books for the Finnish audiences, where he cuts out all the parts that would bore the Finns, but that help enjoy the book better everywhere else).
I lived in Helsinki as a kid, and I love the series. Please read in order if you can; Snow Angels -> Lucifer's Tears -> Helsinki White -> Helsinki Blood (out in 2013)

c
cheadlebeagle
Nov 19, 2011

I was looking forward to this book and the setting of Finland is very interesting. However I found it extremely gruesome and abandoned it. I thought the graphic details were over the top and I am not particularly faint-hearted. I may try another by this author as hopefully it won't be so gruesome.

l
lpreston214
Jun 01, 2011

Engrossing murder mystery set in Finland. Inspector Vaara must find the killer in an especially brutal murder of a Somali immigrant. Great characters and a fascinating insight into Finnish culture and legal/justice system. A must for the burgeoning group of Scandinavian mystery lovers hungry for more Stieg Larsson-esque fare.

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Ms_Fitz Mar 15, 2011

Violence: graphic forensic detail

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