Sunday, January 5, 2014
Snow Angels by James Thompson
When a beautiful and high profile Somali immigrant is found dead - her body gruesomely mutilated - small town detective Kari Vaara fears that exposure to the media will send shockwaves through Finland, an insular nation afraid to face its demons.
Haunted by his past, the investigation begins to take its toil on Veera and his American wife, Kate. Pregnant with their first child, she is struggling with the Finnish culture of silence and isolation.
Things get too close for comfort when the chief suspect turns out to be someone Vaara would rather forget. But nothing is as it seems and Vaara knows that the unrelenting darkness and extreme cold above the Arctic Circle could drive anyone just a little insane - perhaps enough to kill.
I don't think I will ever find this book in the local bookstore as I feel European literature is not well represented in the mainstream bookstore in my country.
I enjoyed Snow Angels for the differences that it brought me. Coming from a country that's bathed in sunlight the whole year from morning to evening (current weather situation exempted!), it's quite difficult to understand and to relate to the feelings and emotions of the characters in the book where sunlight made it's grand entry only once in a while and for short period of time and the rest of the time are subzero cold.
Detective Vaara is different but yet the same as any detective anywhere else in other books. His wife Kate was quite secondary in the whole scheme of plot and everything and his dysfunctional relationship with his father is something that makes him very human. The introduction to some of the culture and social culture in Finland makes the experience of reading this book different from others.
Overall, the book is quite engrossing and the ending was quite unexpected. It's quite a good read if you have time to kill :)