Snow Angels

Thompson, James. Snow Angels. Read by T. Ryder Smith. New York: Recorded Books, 2009.

Reason read: There is a folk festival that takes place in Finland every July.

Meet Kari Vaara. He is the inspector for a small town outside of Finland’s capital of Helsinki. Just before Christmas, during the darkest time of the year in Lapland, he is confronted with the brutal (and I do mean brutal) murder of a semi-famous immigrant Somali actress. She has been viciously sexually assaulted and a racial slur has been carved into her stomach. Sex crime? Hate crime? Both? As lead investigator Vaara must sort through the clues; clues that dredge up his own haunted past. My only complaint was as lead detective Vaara should never have been allowed to stay on the case once it looked like his ex-wife’s boyfriend was good for the crime. In my culture Vaara would have recused himself and left the investigation, especially since his ex-wife left him devastated. His fingering the boyfriend for the murder could be a revenge accusation. SPOILER ALERT: if not after the first murder, but certainly when his ex-wife is also murdered he should have handed over every part of the investigation and stepped as far back as possible. Just my two…
Okay, and I have another complaint albeit a small one. This is definitely an adult book. The themes, the language, the sex and violence…well, the violence was especially over the top and so many deaths (six in all) seemed unnecessary.

As an aside, I just watched a documentary about living in Antarctica and can’t imagine living in a region where, for a quarter of a year, there is semi-darkness 24/7. I can’t imagine being without the sun for that length of time. The nights must seem endless and I think I would experience seasonal insanity.

Quote I loved. So, here’s an odd situation. There was this laugh-out-loud moment I want to relate only since I listened to it on audio I can’t quote it. I can paraphrase – Kari is speaking to someone unpleasant and he say “he didn’t say thank you, goodbye or even fuck you.” Those weren’t the exact words, but they made me giggle.
EDITED TO UPDATE: I borrowed a copy of the print just so I could quote my favorite line, “He gives me the time and place and hangs up without saying thank you, fuck you or good-bye” (p 221). It’s still funny.

Author fact: Snow Angels is Thompson’s first novel.

Book trivia: Snow Angels starts the series starring Inspector Kari Vaara.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Frolicking in Finland” (p 86).

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