James Thompson's incomparable Inspector Vaara is back in a new chilling Nordic mystery.
An Estonian woman begs Inspector Kari Vaara 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.
Edgar-finalist Thompson s compelling fourth Insp. Kari Vaara thriller (after 2012 s Helsinki White) shows the Finnish homicide detective to be not so much hard-boiled as deep-frozen, after suffering the loss of his emotions during brain tumor surgery and receiving bullet wounds to the knee and the jaw. His beloved wife, Kate, has left, taking their infant daughter, Anu, with her, while Kari self-medicates with a combination of painkillers and booze. Hoping to win Kate back by proving himself a latter-day knight errant, Kari undertakes a private missing-person investigation and limps into Helsinki s murky white-slave trade with his assistants, Sweetness and Milo. Kentuckian Thompson draws on his long residence in Finland to convincingly portray a grungy northern underworld filled with neo-Nazis, intelligence spooks, and Russian mobsters, though the stomach-wrenching threats and violence from both bad and good guys culminate in a messy finale.