Thursday, January 14, 2010


by Dave White

Got an ARC of this book in the mail a few weeks ago, and after I was done with Charlie Huston's SLEEPLESS, I decided to pick it up.

I didn't know what to expect when I started the book.

The book is about a Finnish Investigator who stumbles on the case of a murdered Somali actress. With nothing but a Swierczy recommendation, I opened to the first page.

I haven't been able to not sleep because of a book in a long time. What works about this novel is the voice. The narrator, Investigator Vaara, tells the story in present tense first person. The delivery is very matter of fact. Despite all that is going on in the first few chapters, the narration feels emotionless. Vaara tells you about his wife, his past, his family without flinching. He goes deep into Finland's culture and even though there is tragedy all around, you still feel that Vaara is apart from it all.

Until the novel keeps building. It took me over a hundred pages to realize what was going on. It wasn't that there was no emotion in the voice. It was that the voice was doing it's best to hold the emotion back. Much like all the Finns in the novel Vaara doesn't talk about his emotions. He tries his best not to even show them.

And when it all boils over... Man, that scene is fantastic.

The mystery is spot on too. There are plenty of red herrings and plots so fantastical, you want to believe them, but know better. Even Vaara gets sucked into the POSSIBILITY of what's going on.

There are incredible moments of violence. The book never shies away from what's going on.

I read it in two days. While revising and working.

It's a fantastic book and I can't wait to see what happens next in the series.

Highly, highly recommended. This book rocks.


Anonymous said...

I agree with your thoughts. It truly is a page-turner. The protagonist's name is not Vaarda, though, but Vaara (danger in Finnish). :)

Dave White said...

Oh, that's right. Whoops. I'll edit.