Tuesday, June 14, 2016
35. Lucifer's Tears by James Thompson
Listened on Audible
2011 G. P. Putnam's
Contemporary Murder Mystery
Goodreads rating: 3.84 - 1665 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting: Contemporary Helsinki
First line/s: "The baby kicks against me from my hand and rouses me from my nap."
My comments: There are three scenarios twisting and turning through this book, two investigations that Kari Vaara is working on, and a home situation that he must stay on top of. He's moved to Helsinki from the Arctic Circle with his very-pregnant wife, a move he didn't want to make. He has a brash young partner that tries him. He's having debilitating headaches that you know aren't good. He's investigating the murder of a shady Russian businessman's wife and trying to sniff out the facts about possible Nazi collaboration by his adored Finnish grandfather. The cherry on top is that his wife Kate's siblings have come to stay with them from America. Not only are they intolerant about Finnish customs and history, but one is a Bible thumper and the other's an alcoholic. Kari Vaara is smart, an honorable, likable man. Although a couple of the scenarios are wrapped up in this book, another is begun, and the possibilities at the end of the book are scintillating. Can't wait to read more! My only critical note is that there is a LOT of 20th century Finnish history mentioned, the names and situations are unfamiliar to me so they were a bit tedious and difficult to follow at times.
Goodreads synopsis: Inspector Kari Vaara returns, more haunted than ever, in the follow- up to Snow Angels, "a must for fans of the international crime novel." (Booklist)
The Sufia Elmi case left Kari Vaara with a scarred face, chronic insomnia, a constant migraine, and a full body count's worth of ghosts. Now it's a year later, in Helsinki, and Kari is working the graveyard shift in the homicide unit, terrified that his heavily pregnant wife will miscarry again after she lost the twins just after Christmas.
Kari is pushed into investigating a ninety-year-old national hero for war crimes committed during World War II. The Interior Minister demands a conclusion of innocence, preserving Finland's heroic perception about itself and its role in the war, but Germany wants extradition.
In a seeming coincidence, Kari is drawn into the murder-by-torture case of Iisa Filippov, the philandering wife of a Russian businessman. Her lover is clearly being framed for the crime-and Ivan Filippov's arrogance and nonchalance point the finger at him. But he's being protected from above, leading Kari to the corrupt corridors of power. Soon the past and present collide in ways no one could have anticipated.