If you are a regular follower of my blog posts, you’d know that I have interviewed the author about three months ago (Meeting Mysterious, Melancholy, Multi-Published James Thompson) and enjoyed a fabulously intellectual conversation with him. If so, you have every right to believe that I am probably slightly biased. On my part, I readily accept that I am more inclined to spend my valuable but limited time in reading and reviewing books from authors who I have come to meet (both virtually and in real life), and with whom I feel like a kindred spirit. James Thompson is one of them.
Like James’ first book Snow Angels, which I read in two sittings in the summer of 2011, I devoured Lucifer’s Tears within a couple of days, ‘burning midnight oil’, so to speak. I was totally absorbed. It’s one of those books which I would categorise as un-put-downable. You get hooked quickly, and by the time you come to the last page, you want more.
In the second of the Finnish detective Kari Vaara series, the Inspector has relocated from the North of Finland to Helsinki with his American wife Kate who is going to give birth. He investigates a number of serious crimes including suspicious deaths which turned out to be murders. Kate’s siblings visit her in this Northern European country, vastly different from that of the US of A, revealing deep-rooted family secrets and interesting culture clashes. The author has the knack of showing cultural differences and how our behaviours and judgements are marred by our upbringing and social conditioning. It had me laughing out at times.
This book has combined an intriguing plot with great characterisation, and if you are like me who love a top-notch story where the protagonist not only solves murder mysteries, he is also a loving husband and enjoys a drink or two, in a typical Finnish fashion, you’d fall in love with James Thompson’s leading man. He is not Wallander (Swedish crime fiction author Henning Mankell’s creation), or Harry Hole (Detective from Norway’s Jo Nesbo). Unashamedly, Kari Vaara has become my Most Favourite Detective in this Scandinavian Crime Wave in which I’ve been subjected to in recent years, happily addicted to, I hasten to add.
If you are a fan of crime novels, you’d want to dig in Lucifer’s Tears, with its cleverly crafted plot, superbly drawn characters, a great writing style, and a fast-paced engaging read.
I highly recommend this book – James’s next book in the series, Helsinki White is to be released in March 2012, already on my To-Read list, and I CANNOT WAIT!