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Helsinki Blood (An Inspector Vaara Novel) Hardcover


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Helsinki Blood (An Inspector Vaara Novel) + Helsinki White (An Inspector Vaara Novel) + Lucifer's Tears (An Inspector Vaara Novel)
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Product Details

  • Series: An Inspector Vaara Novel (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 1St Edition edition (March 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039915888X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158889
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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. --Connie Fletcher

Review

Praise for HELSINKI BLOOD
 
“James Thompson's prose blend of chilly Scandinavian atmosphere and dark Southern Gothic is unique and jolting, like an ice-cold straight razor slashed across sweaty flesh.  In Helsinki Blood there are equal measures of violence, detection, pathos, blood . . . and finally, sweet redemption.”—C.J. Box, New York Times Bestselling Author of Force of Nature and Breaking Point
 
“Finnish noir is the current tone of Thompson’s series . . . 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.”—Library Journal
 
Helsinki Blood is as dark and bracing as a Nordic winter . . . Kari Vaara blasts other maverick cops out of the (icy) water.”—M. J. McGrath, author of White Heat and The Boy in the Snow
 
“I can’t get enough of this author. No one writes noir better, Nordic or otherwise.”—Leighton Gage, author of Blood of the Wicked
 
“Inspector Kari Vaara’s latest nightmare barrels along at a breakneck pace as he faces enemies on his doorstep as well as his own demons within. James Thompson’s spare, no-frills action is straight to the point. Helsinki Blood as raw as it gets, it doesn’t pause for breath and it and takes no prisoners.”—Quentin Bates, author of Frozen Assets and Cold Comfort

"Compelling...Thompson draws on his long residence in Finland to convincingly portray a grungy northern underworld."—Publishers Weekly
 
"Kentucky native Thompson has created in Kari a hero as dyspeptic as Kurt Wallender and as prone to vigilante justice as Harry Hole"—Kirkus

Praise for JAMES THOMPSON:

“In his dozen years of living in Finland, Kentucky born and-bred Thompson has absorbed enough cold, dark atmosphere for a spot on the roster of top Nordic crime writers—Mankell, Nesbø, Indriðason and the like.”—New York Post

“A must-read for fans of Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell.” —Booklist (starred review)

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Customer Reviews

The whole thing was boring and preposterous.
Christa Charter
A good read, however, I would recommend reading the previous novel first.
SuperGrit
We're just not too sure where its pointed right now.
Luanne Ollivier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Leighton D. Gage on March 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you have yet to read any of James Thompson's first-rate novels featuring the exploits of Finnish cop Kari Vaara, please take this advice from me:
Tackle them in order of their publication.
First read Snow Angels, (Booklist called it "one of the best debut crime novels of 2010"). The book takes place in Finland's far north and sets the stage for the three that follow.
Lucifer's Tears (a Kirkus pick for one of the Best Ten Crime Novels of 2011) brings Vaara to Helsinki and involves him in a sequence of events that continue seamlessly throughout the course of the next two books, Helsinki White and Helsinki Blood.
The cost of those events, in psychological and physical terms, is great, not only to Vaara, but also to his much-beloved American wife, Kate. And the changes they bring about are as much a part of the story as the thoroughly-engrossing plot.
I doubt that any reader would seek a friendship with a man like Vaara.
But Thompson has a genius for making us to care about what happens to him.
And what happens to him in Helsinki Blood is a hell of a lot.
The book begins with Vaara's life being threatened by powerful enemies and with his marriage on the rocks. Could things get any worse?
You bet they do! This is Thompson.
I can't get enough of this author. No one writes noir better, Nordic or otherwise.
Read him!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By QueenKatieMae VINE VOICE on April 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
James Thompson's latest addition to the Inspector Vaara series, Helsinki Blood, starts the story only a few weeks following the end of his last novel, Helsinki White. While that last novel left Vaara and his team financially wealthy, they are physically and psychologically bankrupt: Vaara has sustained two crippling gunshot wounds, Detective Sargent Milo Nieminen has lost the use of his right hand, Vaara's wife, Kate, while suffering from PTSD as a result of shooting a man with a sawed-off has abandoned Vaara and their daughter. Only the ironically named sociopath and thug, Sweetness, appears unaffected. Vaara, former police hero at the beginning of the series had become nothing more than a dispassionate and violent dirty cop lacking a moral compass.

And where Helsinki White showed how far Vaara had plummeted with his unscrupulous strategies to bring criminals to justice, Helsinki Blood illustrates his tortuous climb towards redemption. He wants back his dignity and integrity, but most of all he wants his wife to come back home so they can be a family again. Obviously it will not be easy. After a brick comes crashing through his window, a message referring to the money he stole penned upon it, Vaara realizes he, his friends, and family are still in danger.

Up against corrupt members of the Finnish government and untouchable Russian diplomats, Vaara and his team are forced to continue using their illegal black ops methods. Despite the team's earlier efforts, women are still being kidnapped and forced into prostitution. And when an Estonian woman asks him to find her missing daughter with Down Syndrome, Vaara recognizes an opportunity to "become a white knight" and salvage his reputation, as well as his marriage.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By solange on April 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not like Thompson's other exciting books. It is slow-moving, unexciting, and depressing. There are no twists and turns. It has an inevitable conclusion and is boring, to say the least.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Moore on May 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
An insult to Finnish law enforcement. Barely able to walk following a shooting, the central character wages a war against evil-doers of all stripes, including the highest levels of his own agency. Apparently, this all-but-indestructible rogue cop has the goods on anyone who could obstruct his vigilante thuggery. When I quit reading, he had just used his priceless cane with a lion's head with razor-sharp teeth to tear a chunk out of one of the opposition. He had earlier stated that he had thrown away his crutches. Thank God. They were were probably equipped with concealed rocket launchers. And no wonder he has a limp. Wearing a Colt .45 in an ankle holster can do that to a fellow. But I guess that's why they call it fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Virginia A. Schultz on May 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Helsinki Blood was too gritty and violent for me. I didn't finish it. It was hard to care much about the characters because of their violent thoughts and actions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandra D. Tooley on April 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Inspector Kari Vaara is having a bad year. Still recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor and injuries from his last case, he now has to deal with corrupt higher-ups, relatives of some of the deceased Kari and his cohorts eliminated, his wife's trauma from her part in the last case which caused her to leave their baby with Kari and return to the U.S., and now person or persons unknown have targeted his family and friends. In hopes of proving to his wife that he can do more than mindless murder, Kari takes a missing person case. The mother of a young woman with Down syndrome has been kidnapped by men involved in the sex trade. Kari's investigation leads to the Russian Embassy and again he is stepping on more toes than a stumbling ball room dancer. Names and events from the previous book may make it difficult for the reader to follow so it might be best to read HELSINKI WHITE first. As in previous books, Sweetness and Milo provide extra muscle and technical savvy to deal with the unsavory who will stop at nothing to wreak havoc and vengeance. Kari is one cop who walks a thin tightrope, but readers will cheer the outcome. Another great installment in the Kari Vaara series.
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