In September, we gave four readers a chance to review Lucifer’s Tears by James Thompson, a new name on the scandi-crime scene.
So what did our readers think? Read on to find out…
Helen Lowry writes:
This is a novel featuring Inspector Kari Vaara, set in the freezing snow of Finland. A woman’s body is found tortured and brutally murdered, with her lover lying next to her covered in blood. On the face of it, it looks straightforward, but Vaara isn’t convinced he lover is the murderer, if only due to the fact that both parties had been tasered.
The woman’s arrogant husband, Ivan Filippov, shows very little emotion at his wife’s death and becomes a suspect in Vaara’s eyes. The problem being, he is very well connected in the city and proves to be a more than worthy adversary of the detective. As the story moves on, Vaara discovers that Filippov is heavily into S & M and there are links with many of the city’s great and good, and wealthy. Always good for a potential cover-up and lack of discretion. Be warned, the book does have its share of a brutality, not just with the murder, but with equally brutal sex. The descriptions of S & M are fairly graphic and not for the faint hearted or timid.
As if one brutal murder isn’t enough to solve, Vaara’s boss asks him to investigate allegations regarding one of Finland’s war heroes as a possible war criminal. The problem being that the man in question was in the war with Vaara’s beloved grandfather, who might also have played a part in this. At the same time, his heavily pregnant wife’s brother and sister are over from the States. John, her brother, being a problem all of his own. His new detective partner is also a bit on the reckless side, adding to his problems.
Vaara suffers from excruciating migraines, controlled by pills and drink, and he doesn’t know whether this is down to all the stress he is under or something more sinister. His neurologist brother makes him a swift appointment for an MRI scan.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and can quite readily state it has that page turning quality. Apart from the main murder plot, there are plenty of sub-stories to keep the reader’s interest, and to wonder if they all tie in as the book draws to a conclusion. Plus, an interesting aside is an all too brief history of Finland, told as part of the narration.