(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Edgar-finalist Thompson's compelling fourth Insp. Kari Vaara thriller (after 2012's Helsinki White) shows the Finnish homicide detective to be not so much hard-boiled as deep-frozen, after suffering the loss of his emotions during brain tumor surgery and receiving bullet wounds to the knee and the jaw. His beloved wife, Kate, has left, taking their infant daughter, Anu, with her, while Kari self-medicates with a combination of painkillers and booze. Hoping to win Kate back by proving himself a latter-day knight errant, Kari undertakes a private missing-person investigation and limps into Helsinki's murky white-slave trade with his assistants, Sweetness and Milo. Kentuckian Thompson draws on his long residence in Finland to convincingly portray a grungy northern underworld filled with neo-Nazis, intelligence spooks, and Russian mobsters, though the stomach-wrenching threats and violence from both bad and good guys culminate in a messy finale. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Finnish inspector Kari Vaara has been beaten down so thoroughly (after Helsinki White) that all bets are off as to his integrity or ability to handle the black-ops work his team has taken on. His wife has left him, but their baby is in Kari's care. Meanwhile, thugs are targeting him because of his last case, reminding him of his vulnerability. Once that problem is addressed, Kari agrees to help an Estonian woman find her kidnapped daughter, who has Down syndrome. Wading into the dismal morass of human trafficking, Kari's team goes vigilante. Clearly, there is no turning back. VERDICT Finnish noir is the current tone of Thompson's series, and his bleak and crushingly violent opening will put off some readers; I still miss the Kari of Snow Angels. But readers who are already invested in this character ache to see him succeed. Just the fact that Thompson can make the situation believable and make us care is evidence of his talent. [See Prepub Alert, 9/17/12.] (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Kossu vodka, muscle relaxants, cortisone shots it takes an arsenal of painkillers to move Finnish cop Kari Vaara out of his depression over his last case and off the couch in this, the fourth in the Inspector Vaara series. But what really galvanizes Vaara is a brick bearing the message, There are ten million ways you could die, thrown through the window near where his infant daughter sleeps. Meanwhile, an Estonian widow whose 19-year-old daughter with Down syndrome has vanished contacts Vaara, hoping he can find her daughter and also live up to his reputation for forcibly punishing bad guys. The action throttles from Vaara's besieged home life through all the places that a kidnapped woman might end up, from high-end nightclubs to the bottom of the human-trafficking barrel. Nonstop action, with a hero whom readers will view as either heroic or faintly ridiculous in his never-ceasing awareness of pain, make this one read fans of Scandia noir will especially like. Thompson's first Inspector Vaara mystery, Snow Angels (2010), was nominated for both the Edgar and the Anthony awards.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist