Helsinki White

James Thompson. Putnam, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-15832-2
Racial hatred drives Thompson’s explosive third thriller featuring Insp. Kari Vaara (after 2011’s Lucifer’s Tears). When Finland’s national chief of police asks Kari to head a covert team to fight organized crime by hijacking buys and planting drugs and guns on rival dealers, all allegedly to help clean up Helsinki, Kari realizes that he’d be complicit in corruption, as the money collected would not only fund the operation but also funnel back up the chain of command. Kari’s American wife, Kate, understands the implicit risks, but doesn’t immediately object. Flawed team members include his eager-beaver partner, Milo Nieminien, and the imposing but naïve Sulo “Sweetness” Polvinen. The murder of the minister of immigration, Lisbet Söderlund, whose head is sent by mail to the Finnish Somalia Network with a note denouncing her pro-immigration stance, raises the ante. A race war threatens, with the right-wing Real Finns Party fanning the flames. Thompson deftly explores moral gray areas in this all too topical novel. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/16/2012
Release date: 03/15/2012
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Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-101-56098-3
Paperback - 451 pages - 978-1-4104-5017-3
Paperback - 355 pages - 978-0-425-25344-1
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