Saturday, March 7, 2015

Review: Snow Angels

Snow Angels
Snow Angels by James Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although it's only 265 pages, this novel is packed full of everything I like in my noir. It's got graphic violence, great dialogue, a few red herrings, and a setting that is as much a part of the story as Inspector Kari Vaara. I don't want to go into any detail about the plot. It's tight, and the book starts with a bang.

James Thompson really made Finland come alive to me, and that was a critical part of the story. By the end of the book, I believed anything was possible during the Dark Season in Lapland; round the clock darkness and sub-zero temperatures would certainly make me crazy. The setting somehow managed to feel desolate, despite being a tourist town. I didn't just feel the cold, I could smell the cold.

Thompson's characters are very rich. If there was anyone for whom I didn't have any feelings, it would have to be his wife. She's the only character that felt flat to me, but perhaps I just didn't connect with her.

It's not impossible to guess the identity of the killer, but this book is about a lot more than just whodunnit. He sets up the foundation for the series in the book as well.

With James Thompson's premature death last year leaving us with so few of his novels, I'll have to pace myself carefully. No marathon reading session of the four Kari Vaara novels.

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