Review : Inspector Kari Vaara's life has been shattered, both physically and emotionally.
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And now, a stranger has shown up on his doorstep asking for his help in finding her missing daughter Loviise in Helsinki Blood , the fourth crime novel in this series by James Thompson. Though in constant pain, Vaara agrees, and enlists the help of his buddies and their girlfriends to assist. One he sends to Florida to bring back his wife, Kate. Another accompanies him on his quest to find the missing young woman. It doesn't take them long to learn that she has most likely been abducted by Russian diplomats to be sold into prostitution.
Finnish Crime: “Helsinki White” By James Thompson
Escaping, Vaara vows to do whatever is necessary to get Loviise back no matter what the cost. About the Author James Thompson , eastern Kentucky-born and —raised, has lived in Finland for more than a dozen years; he now resides in Helsinki with his wife. Before becoming a full-time writer, Thompson studied Finnish—in which he is fluent—and Swedish, and worked as a bartender, bouncer, construction worker and soldier.
James Thompson (crime writer)
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Putnam New York, Helsinki Blood begins with Inspector Kari Vaara recovering from severe injuries that occurred in his previous case in Helsinki White, and recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumour. Avoiding company, he has a haircut that:. The ugly gunshot wound on my face was no longer bandaged but not healed. There is an implicit narrative sense of factors weighing against the protagonist, suitably so, since this is a Nordic novel. He also struggles to deal with his abandonment by his wife, who is suffering from PTSD, as he is left to care for their infant.
Vaara embodies the paradox that the best detectives have strong criminal shadows.
Many decisions he makes are a way of ensuring he stays on the right side of a criminal world in which he is an unwanted and belongs. There is nothing safe about the depiction of crime here.
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And while the first person narrative delivers an intimate portrait, at the same time Thompson delves into the wider picture, exploring the political and economic factors that may aid and abet criminal syndicates. He is a wealthy man.
He is also a target for criminals who want his money. Thompson has written his protagonist into a tight squeeze.
All Points Bulletin
He takes on a missing-persons case. As he hunts for a 19 year old girl who has Down syndrome and who may have been kidnapped and sold into a sexual underworld, Vaara finds himself at the centre of a political web. He has absorbed Helsinki, he has digested it, and he has expressed it as a microcosm in his fictions. He adeptly balances the feel of Finland with a tight muscular American style of storytelling.
He is an author who conveys the private lives of his characters while allowing them to reflect on the wider political implications of the dilemmas they face. Girls working their way through the university, seasoned pros, sex slaves, and everything in between…. Vaara explores a world in which young women go to capitals promised jobs and end up being raped by the clients of criminal syndicates playing the political odds.