LUCIFER’S TEARS by James Thompson

Book Quote:

“My home, Finland. The ninth and innermost circle of hell. A frozen lake of blood and guilt formed from Lucifer’s tears, turned to ice by the flapping of his leathery wings. I limp back inside. This kind of cold makes my bad knee go so stiff that I drag my left leg more than I walk on it.”

Book Review:

Review by Bonnie Brody (MAR 17, 2011)

Kari Vaara is back on the job. After taking a bullet to the face in his last book, Snow Angels, he is back to working on new cases as a police detective with his partner Milo. As Lucifer’s Tears opens, Kari is assigned two investigations. One involves a murder and the other is bringing an alleged war criminal from World War II to justice. Meanwhile, Kari’s wife, Kate, is eight and a half months pregnant with a baby girl. After losing twins in her last pregnancy, both Kate and Kari are very apprehensive and nervous that everything goes right this time. Both of them feel responsible for their prior loss. Kate has invited her brother and sister over to Finland from the United States to be there for the birth and this creates a whole new set of problems for Kari.

The murder victim is named Iisa Filippov, wife of Ivan Filippov. Ivan is twenty-four years Iisa’s senior. She was found tortured to death, lashed and whipped, covered with cigarette burns. She and her friend Linda are known for playing kinky sex games with videos and sex toys. Iisa and Linda also liked to dress up the same with the intent of looking like the retro sex symbol Betti Page. It is uncanny how much they looked alike. There is a lot of pressure on Kari to pin the murder on a man named Rein Saar but Kari does not believe that he is the murderer. Investigating this case opens a can of worms. People all the way at the top of the food chain are involved. Kari needs to watch his back and he is not very good with politics like this. On top of that, his partner Milo is a loose canon. He likes to play with guns and weapons and doesn’t always use them judiciously.

Arvid is a very elderly man who is being accused of war crimes in Finland during World War II. The Finnish people have been taught that they are not guilty of any war crimes, that they withstood the German pressures and did not participate in any anti-semitic activities. It appears that Arvid and Kari’s grandfather served together in the same unit and Kari learns a whole new history of Finland, one that shocks him and changes how he views his grandfather.

Meanwhile, Kate’s brother John is getting into all kinds of trouble. He is a terrible alcoholic and drug user and Kari has to rescue him at the most inopportune times. Kate’s sister Mary is a bible thumper and the whole family has to be careful about everything they talk about in front of her. Additionally, Kari is suffering from unrelenting, acute migraines that leave him drained and in agony. He finally visits his brother, a physician, to get some medical help for this problem.

Kari is an insular man who likes to keep to himself. He sees a therapist for his post-traumatic stress following his last case but basically trusts no one but Kate. He has had a nasty childhood that has left him scarred and angry and he has chosen to tell no one about what occurred. He comes to realize that this is not the best route to take and he wants to open up to Kate.

This is a multi-dimensional book – a thriller, murder mystery, family saga and history book all in one. It is a fascinating and thrilling roller coaster ride of a read and James Thompson does not disappoint. He knows Finland and its people. Though he lives in the United States, he spent many years living in Finland. It seems like the Scandinavians are going through a renaissance in crime novels, and this is a wonderful addition to the genre.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-4-0from 20 readers
PUBLISHER: Putnam Adult (March 17, 2011)
REVIEWER: Bonnie Brody
AUTHOR WEBSITE: James Thompson
EXTRAS: Reading Guide and Excerpt
MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION: Read our review of:

Snow Angels


March 17, 2011 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags:  · Posted in: Family Matters, Iceland, Sleuths Series, Thriller/Spy/Caper, World Lit

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.