Kari Vaara is a cop in Finland whose wife, Kate, just had a baby girl and he is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor The operation has left him with a loss of emotion, something his brother assures him will pass Now that he is back at work, his boss wants him to run a rogue unit and he is allowed to pick his own team Sweetness is the muscle of the group while Milo is the computer expert They fall easily into their job of stealing drugs, guns and money from thugs, putting trackers on the cars of drug dealers so they can rob them again Kari had thought he would be doing something good rescuing young girls who are being forced into prostitution but convinces himself that cutting the legs out from under criminals is just as good Kari has a lot of dirt on the higher ups but realizes that he and his team are also under surveillance There is an unsolved kidnapping case invol POSSIBLE SPOILERSPOSSIBLE SPOILERSPOSSIBLE SPOILERSI must say that I have had a really rough time with reviewing this book This is my second review I have even gone outside to others to seek feedback Here is whyI, on average, read over 400 books per year In those 400 books, I would say that 90% of the time after I have read them, they are out of sight out of mind with the ability to pull up a very basic synopsis, if needed However, I have a couple of characters and authors whom I have grown particularly fond of Really for the most part, these are limited to Alex McKnight by Steve Hamilton Louis Kincaid by P J Parrish and Tony Hill by Val McDermid and, of course, Kari Vaara by Jim Now, why did I have such a hard time with it Is it that it is a poorly written novel Absolutely not, I have never seen Jim put out anything other than high quality, a Sigh, I didn t like it.
The thing that made me come back to the Kari Vaara books was Kari Vaara himself He wasn t in this book, not the Kari Vaara I liked.
Sadly, I think this wasn t a thriller at all It was a political book with an agenda Very, very Americanized It s clearly aimed at American public A Finn like me just gaped at the interpretation of our country and its people Okay, I know it s fiction but I was insulted by the picture painted of some thinly disguised politicians It just wasn t believable.
It wasn t a book about the country where I live Nor about the Helsinki I love It was well, Chicago, New York, whatever, moved to Finland The things described in the book can very well happen over there, set here they just sound ridiculous I found the picture of my country oversimplified and seen through malevolent eyes.
First a recommendation for anyone new to Jim s books read the Inspector Vaara series in order Snow Angels, Lucifer s Tears, then Helsinki White And then hopefully a lot books to follow The characters grow and change a lot in each book Even if the book and the story would work a standalone, each book will show you a different Finland A wild, very exotic Lapland which was very exotic to someone who grew up in Helsinki too , then a classic Kallio Helsinki with modern issues, and now Helsinki White which not only is a crime story, but it also captures the political feel of Finland for the past few years Corruption, racism, Real Finns party all 300 pages reflect some of the reasons why I ll never have desire to live in that country again The political atmosphere and so many people s attitudes are captured well They are also things that no one is suppo Book Info Genre Mystery NoirReading Level AdultRecommended for Fans of dark mysteries, well told stories, surprises galore, good charactersTrigger Warnings murder, vigilantism, hate speech n word , hate crimes, torture, drug use and abuse, drug dealingAnimal Abuse cat murder x4 I liked Arvid, but I don t think I can forgive him for murdering four grieving cats A dog, a Fila Brasileiro, attacks the group and is hit with a razor tipped cane and Tasered, its leg put in a tourniquet, and they then threaten to amputate its leg There is no follow up as to how badly injured the dog is.
My Thoughts This book takes place about 5 months after the end of the previous one, or at least the bulk of it does There is a long flashback segment that covers most of those five months Despite the overall ugliness of this story and ha
Having read, and loved, the first two books in the Inspector Vaara series, by James Thompson, I was excited to receive a copy of the latest book, Helsinki White Inspector Vaara is a complex, fascinating character a stoic man of principle, married to an American ex pat, living and working in the harsh winter environment of Finland The political atmosphere rivals that of the elements Finland is experiencing an onslaught of immigrants from Somalia, the Arab nations, and muslims And this predominantly insular nation finds itself needing police enforcement to curb the angry, sometimes violent, manifests against these immigrants.
And that is why I liked the character of Inspector Vaara In the first 2 books he solved the heinous murders of Somalians and saved a school of children from a psycho with a gun He s a national hero not an angel, by no means, but a de ¼ Helsinki White ¼ American author James Thompson s Helsinki White G.
P Putnam Sons 2012 is as much about Finnish politics as it is about heroine, crime, and catching the bad guys with unorthodox methods What caught my attention when I selected the novel was that it s based in Finland, a country that isn t often the setting for detective stories, and it s told from the first person present tense of Inspector Kari Vaara, a Finnish law enforcement officer I know nothing about what drives Finland s government, economics or culture, so was fascinated by this peek behind the curtains Since Vaara is married to an American, I got explanations throughout the story of what was Finnish and how it differed from America.
Briefly, Vaara is asked to lead a black ops group tasked with turning the tide of a crime wave sweeping the country Funding for this endeavor comes from money they st Four and half star Pleasantly surprised after Lucifer s Tears, expectations after that were a little tuned down An half Star is missing only for certain plot points that went too far I don t want go to a politics, but making True Finns Perus Suomalaiset just an anti immigrant assholes and bad guys was bit too much, but i can forgive that because National Coalition Party Kokoomus gets some of the blame, and they are the true Evil Ones who probably worship the Great Cthulhu.
All the racism war going on and a snooping on politicians went to James Ellroy territory in a good way A book structure is not conventional, main plot starts somewhere after hundred pages or so and there is not much of an investigation work going on The main bulk consist of the Vaara s black op team work and it s most enjoyable part to