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Snow Angels [Kindle Edition]

James Thompson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
Kindle Price: £1.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


‘Kept me captivated from first to last page. James Thompson has done a masterful job!’
Michael Connelly

‘Taut and Mesmerizing’
Lisa Gardner

‘Fast, brutal, yet told with a sort of laid-back calm’
Peter Hoeg

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 535 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (25 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BA54HE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,653 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book 12 Jun. 2011
Kari Vaara is a detective in a small Finnish town where he lives with his American, pregnant wife Kate. A famous actress is found dead and there is much pressure on Vaara to find the killer but very quickly he finds himself in a position where he has more likely suspects than is helpful especially when his ex wife and her new partner are caught up in it. Vaara faces problems from the media as well as personally as his wife is struggling to adapt to the Finnish culture.

This book is well written and tackles issues of racism, prostitution and religion. It appears to be written for a non-Finnish audience as there are frequent explanations of things that are specific to Finland.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The long, darknights into day. 26 May 2013
By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
An excellent debut for Inspector Kari Vaara by this English author who has become one of Finland's best selling authors ever. The author's understanding of both lifestyles enables him to bring his protagomist and family into the spotlight allowing the reader a view of the Finnish day-to-life as no other so far.

The story is filled with the situations which we take for granted, regrettably - racism against immigrants, serial murder both of which did not really exist in Finland until recently.

A Somali-born girl is brutally murdered and left on a reindeer farm for someone to find. So begins the hunt for the killer.

The author sets his story in a cold, very cold winter when there is no daylight, the perpetual darkness frazzling the nerves of just about everybody. Vaara's own personal life impinges on the investigation as the chief suspect is none other than the lover of his ex-wife. For the Inspector, it only goes downhill from here as most believe he has a personal score to settle. The second murder doesn't help his case!

I liked this book, the characters and the way the author is able to explain how the mind of the Finn works. The story is set just before Christmas, so we have information of how it's celebrated without any of this intruding on the main storyline. Where I was a little disappointed was with the finale. It didn't - to me - ring true but then I'm not Nordic so that might explain it. Too cut and dried and rather too convenient but, even so, there is a great finale and a deft ending which leaves us scope for book 2 now available. I shall be reading it for sure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finland's Finest 7 April 2012
Masterfully written that captures well this part of Finland, its peoples and the endless darkness.

A horrific murder, a stretched police force and political pressures and place our "hero" Kari Vaara in an increasingly difficult situation. It threatens to undermine his marriage, family and wider friendships as he struggles to make sense of a case that refuses to crack open for him and his team.

The back story is seamlessly woven into the present day and each element is made significant while making us understand better our flawed detective. It is a compelling read that is hard to put down and as you rush to the complicated "solution" you are left wanting more.

A new author to me; this is a fine introduction to his work and I look forward to reading more about our central characters, crime in Finland and being thoroughly swept along by such wonderful writing.

I recommend this book without any reservation
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping crime novel 2 Feb. 2010
By Nova
Snow Angels is a gripping thriller, I warmly recommend it. Thompson's characters and story line are credible, his language is simple but beautiful. Thompson definitely knows how to keep the reader wondering what is going to happen next. As a Finn, I am especially impressed with his knowledge of Finns and the common characteristics of the people.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Scandinavian Atmosphere 2 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and read it quite quickly--always a good sign. The icy land was painted well by the author, and I enjoyed the details that made me feel the atmosphere, plus the characters were well drawn. I read this first and then went on to read a book by Henning Mankell. I enjoyed this book much more, and it made Mankell's book seem dry and unatmospheric with wooden characters. Not this book--this was much more enjoyable!
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By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
First Sentence: I am in Hullu Poro, the Crazy Reindeer, the biggest bar and restaurant in this part of the Arctic Circle.

Inspector Kari Vaara has brought his pregnant American wife to Finnish Lapland; above the Arctic Circle where the two weeks before Christmas are spent in perpetual darkness. That darkness has overtaken the humans as well with the discovery of a body. The victim is Sufia, a beautiful Somali woman and famous actress. Her body has been brutalized, both before and after death. Kari's investigation leads to one death after another before the killer is identified.

I always worry when a protagonist is married for fear the author will kill off the spouse. In this case, I'm pleased that they have a good relationship and both, so far, survive. Unfortunately, they are they are the only characters about whom we really care. The protagonist has a strong sense of duty yet his methods are not always the best or most effective.

The author does create a very strong sense of place, establishing the climate and environs as factors in the investigation. The information on Finland its culture, the makeup of the population--I particularly appreciated the information on Muslim burials--the structure of the police department, and the impact living there has on its people is fascinating. It did, however, put me off any thought of ever going there.

"Snow Angles" is an interesting book. It is also very violent, quite depressing and frustrating for the poor investigative method of the protagonist. As an insight into the region and culture, I found it interesting. As a police procedural, I can't particularly recommend it.

SNOW ANGELS (Pol Proc-Insp. Kari Vaara-Finland-Contemporary) - Okay
Thompson, James
Berkeley Prime Crime, ©2009
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very gruesome in places but an excellent crime novel
Very gruesome in places but an excellent crime novel . I've already started on his 2nd one and ordered another two, altho I have read he died last year which is such a shame. Read more
Published 14 days ago by D McLaughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Snow angels
First book I've read by this author and thoroughly enjoyed it that is why I gave four stars looking forward to next book
Published 15 days ago by Janice robertson
3.0 out of 5 stars what the F*** i'm I reading
This book is a murder mystery that is set in Finland. This book intertwined gruesome crime with domestic drama where family members (past, present and departed) play pivotal roles... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual police procedural, set in the night of a Finnish winter
An intriguing police procedural set in the 24-hour darkness of snow-bound, icy northern Finland. It seems to be written by a non-Finnish author, who feels the need to explain... Read more
Published 27 days ago by avid reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, full of suspense
This book is all the more fascinating because it's set in northern Finland and gives a lot of insight into life - both physical and social - in that part of Finland. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Hague
2.0 out of 5 stars Too American in it's style..
I bought this book as I am currently enjoying European fiction, but they way it is written it's obvious the author is American and if it wasn't for the place names it could easily... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Henrietta's mum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read - check out the author's other books in the series
Published 2 months ago by Mr. G. Bonner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good plot lines and the plot develops at a good ...
First Finnish novel I have read - and will now be seeking out more. Creates character and atmoosphere with clarity and detail - and ensures that charcters are likeable or not. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bob H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Snow Angles
Very - very good book really enjoyable well worth anyones time to read
Published 2 months ago by David Mee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This book kept me on the edge of my seat with lots of twists & turns
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Irene Leech
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