Jim Coughenour's Reviews > Snow Angels

Snow Angels by James Thompson
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's review
Mar 18, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: crime4connoisseurs
Read in March, 2011

** spoiler alert ** I was happy to find a new Scandinavian crime series – this one's set in Lapland (Finland) during kaamos, the two sunless weeks before Christmas. Given the setting and the echo of the author's name, I was hoping for something hard-boiled, juicy and joyless.

I got the joyless. The book's received high praise (it's a Booklist best crime novel debut, and it sports fulsome blurbs from Michael Connelly and Peter Høeg). But I won't be coming back for any more of Inspector Vaara. The crimes are so lurid as to be laughable, and Vaara's interminable monologue (even after being shot in the mouth) about love, family, justice and Finland parodies Jim Thompson's logorrheaic lunatics. Top this off with his pulsing paean to marital bliss, and you have a couple approaching the obnoxious acme of Spenser and Susan Silverman:

I look around and see all I have to be grateful for. I'm surrounded by family. My wife loves me, has her arms around me. Our babies are growing inside her. I look up at her. It hurts but I force a smile. "Merry Christmas, Kate."

Pass me the vodka and Percocet, Inspector.
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07/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim "Jim Thompson's logorrheaic lunatics" is perfect!

message 2: by Trish (new)

Trish Ah, I adore your crushing criticism. "pulsing paean," indeed.

It is infuriating when the blurbs are just sales techniques, but we then get our chance to call a spade a shovel...

message 3: by Jim (last edited Mar 20, 2011 12:51PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim Coughenour yeah, I had to jazz it up so I didn't sound like a sourpuss. Happily I'm reading a really good thriller now – which, if it ends as well as it starts, will be one of my recent favorites: Mischa Hiller's Shake Off.

message 4: by Trish (new)

Trish Hey, Mischa Hiller's Shake Off looks great. A Palestinian protagonist, eh? That really is new in the history of spy thrillers.

Danielle I have to agree. I was very disappointed by this book. Won't be reading anymore in the series.

Denise Author has potential just wrote in a dust ball all in first book. I personally did not care for the book but I felt Thompson will write in future a great page turner.

message 7: by Jim (new) - rated it 1 star

Jim Coughenour He did write 3 more in the series, so maybe you're right. But he won't be writing any more, or if he does it will be really interesting.


message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Lebo-topper short review version. It sucked. Lisbeth Salander scoffs.

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