From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Thompson's stellar second thriller featuring Insp. Kari Vaara (after Snow Angels) finds Vaara working as a homicide detective in Helsinki, where he investigates the torture murder of Iisa Filippov. While Vaara suspects the victim's Russian husband, Ivan, he can't touch Ivan because the Russian is well connected within the police department. Vaara also looks into international accusations of war crimes against a Finnish national hero, 90-year-old Arvid Lahtinen, who allegedly executed Jews and other POWs at a secret Finnish stalag during WWII. But he soon learns that not only did his own grandfather serve in the same unit but the stalag is just one of the wartime secrets Lahtinen is hiding that are potentially embarrassing to the Finnish government. The arrival of Vaara's pregnant wife's brother and sister from the States doesn't make his home life easy. Thompson elegantly threads Finland's compelling national history with Vaara's own demons in this taut, emotionally wrought novel. (Mar.)
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*Starred Review* One year after the traumatic events of Snow Angels (2010), Inspector Kari Vaara is now living in Helsinki with his heavily pregnant American wife. While Kate has adjusted well to their new life, Vaara still struggles; returning to Helsinki is not easy for him, and now Kate�s pregnancy is causing him such extreme stress that he has barely slept for months and has headaches that last for weeks. Disliked by the rest of the homicide department, Vaara is partnered with Milo, the other department pariah, an enthusiastic, lonely, and eccentric detective with unusual hobbies. When they are assigned to investigate the death of a wealthy married woman, found in another man�s bed, the seemingly cut-and-dried case soon becomes a tangled web that Vaara is determined to unweave, no matter the preferences of his superiors. Meanwhile, he is also given an off-the-record job of investigating a national hero who is currently wanted for war crimes from WWII and who may very well have known Vaara�s beloved grandfather. Together these plots form an impossible-to-put-down read. Thompson�s second book, even better than the first, will surely be one of the best Nordic mysteries published in 2011. Essential reading for all fans of Arnaldur Indridason, Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, and Jo Nesb�. --Jessica Moyer