Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Author: James Thompson
Genre: Police Procedural, Series #1
Published: 2010
Personal Rating: 3.75/5 (better than good)
Yearly Count: 2

Please Note: While being thankful for the opportunity to receive and listen to this audiobook, I feel the need to post the blurb from its cover. However, in my opinion there is usually too much disclosed. Read at your own discretion.

From the cover:

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 s*x crime - or one and the same. Vaara knows he must keep this potentially explosive case out of the national headlines or 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 a 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 year ago may be the killer.

This is James Thompson's debut novel and first in the series featuring Inspector Kari Vaara. Even though I have had virtually no time to read, I was always happy to pick up where I left off when time allowed.

The setting was ominous just by the sheer darkness, but then Thompson adds the narrator Kari. Kari invites us into his world, and we are able to experience his thoughts and perspective of life as a Finnish detective. I enjoyed learning more about Finland and getting to know Kari. Overall, there were some little things that bothered me, but my only real complaint was the gratuitous repetition of the murder. However, when the second in the series comes out, I'll still be sure to snatch it up.

Many, many thanks to LibraryThing and Putnam Books for providing this ARC. Snow Angels was released on January 7, 2010.


  1. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Joy, good to see a post from you pop up on my reader. I've missed you. I'm planning on reading this book soon. I'm seeing good reviews of it all over the place.

  2. I won this from Librarything as well. Glad you enjoyed it, I think I'll read it next as I've been looking forward to it. Seems like a great book to read in January.

    I want to let you know that I enjoy your Match Up game on the side bar, and get sucked into playing it everytime I come by.:)

  3. This sounds like a good one. I'd love to know more about Finland. We met some Finns on the train in France and they were delightful!

  4. Anonymous11:03 AM

    I have this one on my reading list, so skipped reading the blurb.

  5. I haven't heard of this one yet. It sounds like just the thing to read on a hot July afternoon. I'd like to learn more about Finland as well.

  6. This one sounds really good and definitely like something that I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!

  7. Kay ~ Thank you. I've missed being a blogger! I hope you enjoy it when you do.

    Raidergirl3 ~ Yep - January is a great time to read this one. Glad you enjoy the Match Up game. I play it whenever I'm on too.

    Bermudaonion ~ I enjoyed learning from Kari what Finns are like. I don't know how true they are, but nonetheless interesting.

    Stacybuckeye ~ Hope you like it, Stacy!

    Framed ~ I like to read a book that is in the same season, so I can visualize/empathize more, but I can see how this might be refreshing on a hot day. :)

    Samantha.1020 ~ I hope you get a chance to read it.


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