Saturday, May 4, 2013

Review: Lucifer's Tears

Lucifer's Tears
Lucifer's Tears by James Thompson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Mystery/Noir
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of dark mysteries, stories set in Nordic countries, well-developed characters, well-done mysteries
Trigger Warnings: murder, torture, war crimes, Holocaust

My Thoughts: About a year has passed since the events in Snow Angels, and a number of things have changed. In order to avoid spoilers I won't go into details. I will say, however, that you can actually read the book without having read the previous book and be able to keep up, because there are enough recaps and mentions of former events to avoid confusion. I would still say read it, of course; the best way to really have a good feel for a character in a series is to read the whole series, in my opinion, but in this case, the author has done well by making it so you do not necessarily have to. In my opinion, walking this sort of line is a tricky thing, where providing too much info can end up backfiring and ruining the new story, so I'm always impressed when an author is able to do this. I also need to point out that the synopses for this book, and for the next book, Helsinki White, provide spoilers for the previous books, so if you don't want to be spoiled on minor plot points, take care.

I do wish to apologize. It was my misunderstanding that Finland was considered to be part of Scandinavia, and it is not. It is considered to be a Nordic country. I always thought Nordic countries were also Scandinavian, but I guess there is a difference. Unfortunately my Internet connection won't stay up more than a few minutes so I have no way to really check into this at the moment, to find the difference. I meant no disrespect in the comments on my previous review for Snow Angels.

Like Snow Angels, the denouement completely blew me away. I had no idea how things would turn out. I really enjoyed some of the new characters introduced in this book, like Arvid and Ritva (about whom I am absolutely heartbroken), and Milo. I even sort of like Iisa, just because she was so incredibly self-absorbed. I couldn't help but sort of appreciate that. The ending of this book is sort of bittersweet, but I'll leave the discovery as to why up to you. I will say that if you enjoy a really well-done mystery, you won't want to miss this terrific series by James Thompson. Highly recommended.

Series Information: Lucifer's Tears is the second book in the Inspector Vaara series.
Book 1: Snow Angels, review linked here where formatting allowed.
Book 3: Helsinki White, to be read next, provided by Amazon Vine for an honest review
Book 4: Helsinki Blood, I do not have, but it is on my wishlist

Disclosure: The publisher provided me a reviewer's copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: 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.

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  1. Great review, Katy. I loved this book, my favourite of the first three books of James's wonderful series.

    Glad that he has found a fan in you :)

    1. I liked the third one best, despite the ugliness of it, because his emotional flatness lent the thing a dispassionate air that just appealed to me. I really want the 4th book now!


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