Friday, January 01, 2010

Finnish Crime Fiction

Very few Finnish crime authors have been translated into English. The most famous perhaps being Matti Joensuu. German author Jan Costin Wagner spends half the year in Finland and his haunting Finland set Ice Moon was translated into English in 2006.

News comes via Mystery Book News of a novel written by an American author who has been living in Finland for ten years.

Snow Angels by James Thompson, is published in the US on 7 January and marks the first of a new series featuring Finnish police officer Inspector Kari Vaara. The cover has quotes from Michael Connelly and Peter Hoeg:

The first thriller in a new series featuring Inspector Kari Vaara: the haunted, hardened detective who must delve into Finland's dark and violent underbelly.

Kaamos: Just before Christmas, the bleakest time of the year in Lapland. The unrelenting darkness and extreme cold above the Arctic Circle drive everyone just a little insane . . . perhaps enough to kill.

A beautiful Somali immigrant is found dead in a snowfield, her body gruesomely mutilated, a racial slur carved into her chest. Heading the murder investigation is Inspector Kari Vaara, the lead detective of the small-town police force. The vicious killing may have been a hate crime, a sex crime-or one and the same. Vaara knows he must keep this potentially ex­plosive case out of the national headlines or else it will send shock waves across Finland, an insular nation afraid to face its own xenophobia.

The demands of the investigation begin to take their toll on Vaara and his marriage. His young American wife, Kate, newly pregnant with their first child, is struggling to adapt to both the unforgiving Arctic climate and the Finnish culture of silence and isolation. Meanwhile Vaara himself, haunted by his rough childhood and failed first marriage, discovers that the past keeps biting at his heels: He suspects that the rich man for whom his ex-wife left him years ago may be the killer.

Endless night can drive anyone to murder.

1 comment:

Maxine Clarke said...

This one is definitely going on my list to read!
I loved Ice Moon, by the way. It's a short book but extremely good. I hope the author writes another (and that it is translated into English).