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Snow Angels (An Inspector Vaara Novel Book 1) by [James Thompson]
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Snow Angels (An Inspector Vaara Novel Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 179 ratings
Book 1 of 5: An Inspector Vaara Novel

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

American-born Thompson, who's lived in Finland for the past decade, offers a bleak look at the ravages of that country's long, dark winter as well as intriguing glimpses of Finnish culture in his solid U.S. debut, the first in a new crime series. Shortly before Christmas, Kari Vaara, the police chief of the Lapland town of Kittilä, gets a phone call informing him that the body of Sufia Elmi, a Somali refugee and minor film star, has been found in a snowfield on a reindeer farm. The victim has also been mutilated, perhaps raped, and a racial slur carved into her flesh. When Kari's ex-wife's lover becomes the prime suspect, Kari spurns the chance to recuse himself and presses on. The winter hazards of alcoholism, suicide and murder all play a part as Kari uncovers more suspects. Sufia's imperious father, Abdi Barre, who was a doctor in his native country and now runs a cleaning service, puts added pressure on Kari. Tangled smalltown relationships and lust also fuel this noirish thriller. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* American born Finnish resident Thompson’s first novel is set in northern Finland during kaamos, the country’s two weeks of complete darkness. Inspector Vaara is newly married and about to become a father, but his American wife finds northern Finland depressing and lonely, especially after a young Somali movie star is brutally murdered, and the case consumes Vaara’s days and nights. Vaara has been chief of police in his small hometown ever since being injured as a young beat cop in Helsinki, and the few murders that have come his way have been easily solved domestic disputes or drunken bar fights. That’s not the case this time, but Vaara refuses to give up, even after finding out that his ex-wife might be involved. Thompson’s portrait of Lapland in the depths of winter is starkly and realistically drawn; as an American who lives in Finland, he is able to make an insular society and a forbidding landscape comprehensible for readers who have never been in such an extreme climate. Vaara will remind readers of Hakan Nesser’s Inspector Van Veeteren (with less shouting); like Snow Angels, the Van Veeteren mysteries (Borkmann’s Point, 2006) feature the same tightly plotted and twisty story lines involving both personal and professional lives. The setting should appeal to readers of Asa Larsson’s Rebecka Martinsson series, set in the far north of Sweden. An outstanding series debut. --Jessica Moyer --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B0030CVQ4O
  • Publisher : Berkley; 1st edition (December 17, 2009)
  • Publication date : December 17, 2009
  • Language : English
  • File size : 550 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 274 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 179 ratings

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
179 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2011
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars Nordic Noir at its nearly-best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 22, 2016
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Sarah Hague
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, full of suspense
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2014
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Margaret weston
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good read , moves on a pace
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quite enjoyable, but a bleak view of Finland and Finns.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2012
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Compelling Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 21, 2012
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