Thompson is an American who’s spent the past decade in Finland, and this is the sequel to his superb debut thriller Snow Angels last year.
Once again the hero is Inspector Kari Vaara, whose life was all but destroyed in the first book. Now he has moved into Helsinki and finds himself on the graveyard shift in homicide, while worrying about his heavily pregnant new wife Kate.
Varra is called to the torture and murder of the philandering wife of a Russian businessman, which looks open and shut but clearly isn’t, while at the same time he’s asked to investigate a 90-year-old war hero for war crimes committed when Finland collaborated with the Gestapo, an investigation made all the more poignant by the fact that his grandfather might have been involved.
Brutal, intricate and haunting, it’s also told with a surprising delicacy.
Thompson’s debut was good, but this is better. There is no need for Nordic comparisons with The Killing, or Steig Larson, this is just thriller writing of the very highest quality.