Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Review of Lucifer's Tears by James Thompson

This is the second in James Thompson`s Finnish Inspector Vaara series and the first one I have read. 
Kari Vaara climbs an impossible mountain of trying to solve a seedy murder with hidden political ramifications with his new assistant Milo. Milo is an over- enthusiastic solver of crime with a superb knowledge of computers, is a member of Mensa and has an inflated ego as well as a morbid, if expert, interest in firearms of all kinds.

At the same time, Vaara has to deal with the requested extradition to Germany of Arvid, a 90-year-old Finnish hero accused of collaborating with the Gestapo’s extermination of Jews and Russians in a Finnish POW camp during WW11. Vaara`s American wife Kate is about to give birth and has invited her brother John and sister Mary to stay for a few weeks – family ties are not all that they seem and this puts more pressure on Kari. He, meanwhile, is suffering from crippling migraines which painkillers fail to alleviate so he visits his estranged brother, a neurosurgeon, for help. Add the accidental killing of a young man by bouncers in a bar, a difficult psychologist, lots of Finnish history and you have a very eventful read.

I found the historical background very educational and Thomson evokes the social and cultural side of life in Finland. The descriptions of the characters are vibrant but Thomson`s dialogue includes a plethora of profanity which, while illustrative in some areas, could be offensive to some readers. I would recommend this book for those who prefer lighter crime reading in the modern idiom.
The author lives and works in Finland and has a Finnish wife. 

Reviewed by Liz.

Thank you Liz for reviewing Lucifer's Tears and thanks to Avon books for sending us a copy to review. 

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