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Helsinki Blood by James Thompson
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Unlike the other Inspector Varra Novels, this one seemed hurried and confused. Very disappointing. ( )
  CLStern | Apr 3, 2014 |
If you are a fan of Thompson's Inspector Kari Vaara, you will not be disappointed with this latest in the series. Policeman Vaara has been badly wounded in the last installment and his wife Kate has had a nervous breakdown in response to her part in this confrontation that severely injured her husband. Vaara and his friends can be vicious and violent in their attempts to mete out justice and seek out criminals to punish. Fast paced intense Finnish noir. ( )
  Hanneri | Mar 28, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I am a fan of the Inspector Vaara series and this Chicago winter has been the perfect to drop into it. However, Helsinki Blood is only loosely a mystery. The majority of the story is a dysfunctional family drama revolving around the drinking and drugging of Vaara, his wife and immediate circle of friends. I enjoy Vaara and his circle of friends, but there is not much happening here. There is no detecting. Problems are solved through sheer thuggery. I understand that Vaara is a cop gone "bad," but even if he is given to evil, there has to be something that elevates him from other thugs even if its is sinister intellect. That is not present here. We are simply supposed to believe that Vaara wins because he is more of a thug than the other thugs. In past novels, I enjoyed the fringe characters even if the plot did not hold up. Even that element is missing here, we are supposed to believe that a sixteen (16) year old ward of the state is running a well organized crime syndicate, while maintaining good grades and pristine professionalism. The only thing that keeps my rating from falling further is my affection for the setting and rest of the series. I will probably still read the next. ( )
  RDHawk6886 | Feb 8, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
More or less a blood and guts action type of crime thriller. There's a bit of Harrison Ford (Raiders)--Bruce Willis (Die Hard)--William Shatner (Star Trek) survive against all the odds vibe going on throughout and very much a black hats vs. white hats scenario even if the white hats use extralegal measures to make sure that justice is done. To be honest I'd heard Thompson was very good and I expected more than this. Entertainment wise it will probably keep some happy but I found it to be rather puerile. ( )
  lriley | Oct 13, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It seems like I've been waiting for this book for a long time. After Helsinki White, I was left numb. The darkness in White chilled my soul. But I wanted more.

Helsinki Blood is the fourth book in the Inspector Vaara series. In the previous book, Kari's world has been frozen apart. His brain is broken, emotionless and damaged, after surgery to remove a brain tumor. This obviously had a huge impact on his life, work, marriage, and role as a new papa. But how it all played out was shattering. I was curious to see how the author picked up the pieces.

It may have been the break between the books, but the tone in this one was very different to me. The ice in Vaara's brain was thawing, and humanity returning. Though since his world (and face and knee) had been blown to hell and back, normality is a long way away. Yet from the start, it's evident that he is healing, as his love for his wife and daughter (and Katt), and concern for their safety become the paramount drive in his life.

The usual cast of characters are assembled, and schemes to curtail the bad guys, save the girl (for there is, indeed, a girl in peril) and keep Kari's family safe and intact unfurl. The only reason I still have all my fingernails is that I read it in less than a day. ( )
  bookczuk | Aug 6, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039915888X, Hardcover)

The exceptional fourth thriller in the Edgar-nominated series featuring Inspector Kari Vaara.

A missing woman too unimportant to raise alarms . . . criminal masterminds too powerful to pursue. And when the system fails, Inspector Kari Vaara must dispense his own brand of justice.

Kari Vaara is recovering from the physical and emotional toll of solving the Lisbet Söderlund case when he’s approached with a plea: an Estonian woman begs him to find her daughter, Loviise, a young woman with Down syndrome who was promised work and a better life in Finland . . . and has since disappeared.

One more missing girl is a drop in the barrel for a police department that is understaffed and overburdened, but for Kari, the case is personal: it’s a chance for redemption, to help the victims his failed black-ops unit was intended to save, and to prove to his estranged wife, Kate, that he’s still the man he once was. His search will lead him from the glittering world of Helsinki’s high-class clubs to the darkest circles of Finland’s underground trade in trafficked women . . . and straight into the path of Loviise’s captors, who may be some of the most untouchable people in the country.

As Kari works his new case, a past one comes back to haunt him when powerful enemies return to settle unfinished business. In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, he is propelled toward a reckoning in which the stakes are life or death . . . and only the victors will be left standing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:45 -0400)

Inspector Kari Vaara investigates the case of a young woman with Down syndrome who was promised work and a better life in Finland and has since disappeared.

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