Author bio

James Thompson

James Thompson - book author

Jim has suddenly passed away on August 1, 2014.

With his first internationally published novel, Snow Angels, James Thompson proved himself Finland’s best and most popular representative in the rise of Nordic noir. It was selected as one of Booklist’ s Best Crime Novel Debuts of the Year and nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, and a Strand Critics Award. His novel, Lucifer’s Tears, has received critical acclaim from all quarters, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus, and was selected as one of the best novels of the year by Kirkus. Helsinki White was released to critical acclaim in 2012. The fourth book in the series, Helsinki Blood, was published in March, 2013 to rave reviews. He was also a reviewer for The New York Journal of Books and held a Master’s degree from The University of Helsinki. The first three books in his Inspector Vaara series have been optioned for film.

James Thompson is the author of books: Snow Angels (Inspector Kari Vaara, #1), Lucifer's Tears (Inspector Kari Vaara, #2), Helsinki White (Inspector Kari Vaara, #3), Helsinki Blood (Inspector Kari Vaara, #4), Helsinki Noir, Helsinki Dead (Inspector Kari Vaara, #5), Extreme Budget Backpacker: Remove Money As The Barrier To Living Your Dream, Jumalan nimeen, Tranen van Lucifer, Become Financially Free Selling on eBay: Step by Step Guide to Setting Up a Successful eBay Store, Save Time Money and Learn Tips and Tricks to Beat Off Competition!

Author books

SNOW ANGELS is a chilling and resonant debut from author James Thompson.

Kaamos: Just before Christmas, the darkest time of the year in Lapland, above the Arctic Circle. The unrelenting darkness and extreme cold cause everyone to go just a little bit insane, whether or not they’ve just killed someone…

A beautiful Somalian refugee-turned-actress is found murdered on a reindeer farm, gruesomely mutilated, a racial slur carved into her chest. Inspector Kari Vaara, head of the rural police force, is under great pressure not only to solve this crime himself, without the help of the big-city cops from Helsinki, but also to keep the potentially explosive case out of the news. Sufia Elmi had become a tabloid fixture, and her death—not to mention the awful way she met it—is sure to send shock waves across this insular, secretly racist country. Was this murder a hate crime, a sex crime—or both?

Kari is dealing with culture shock at home, too. His wife, Kate, is a young American woman, newly pregnant with their first child. She doesn’t understand much about Finnish customs or the Finns themselves and is struggling to come to terms with her new home. Kari himself is haunted by his rough childhood and his past, and even as he tries to shape a new life with Kate, the past keeps biting at his heels: the rich man his ex-wife left him for years ago may be Sufia’s killer.
Inspector Kari Vaara returns, more haunted than ever, in the follow- up to Snow Angels, "a must for fans of the international crime novel." (Booklist)

The Sufia Elmi case left Kari Vaara with a scarred face, chronic insomnia, a constant migraine, and a full body count's worth of ghosts. Now it's a year later, in Helsinki, and Kari is working the graveyard shift in the homicide unit, terrified that his heavily pregnant wife will miscarry again after she lost the twins just after Christmas.

Kari is pushed into investigating a ninety-year-old national hero for war crimes committed during World War II. The Interior Minister demands a conclusion of innocence, preserving Finland's heroic perception about itself and its role in the war, but Germany wants extradition.

In a seeming coincidence, Kari is drawn into the murder-by-torture case of Iisa Filippov, the philandering wife of a Russian businessman. Her lover is clearly being framed for the crime-and Ivan Filippov's arrogance and nonchalance point the finger at him. But he's being protected from above, leading Kari to the corrupt corridors of power. Soon the past and present collide in ways no one could have anticipated.
Two days after their daughter is born, Kari Vaara drops a bombshell on his American wife, Kate: He has a brain tumor . . . and he's been handpicked to run a rogue black-ops unit, using crime to fight crime.After recovering from surgery, he gets to work. The black-ops unit is small, and reports directly to Finland's national chief of police. They have secrecy, autonomy, and the cash to buy all the high-tech gear. Soon the unit is cleaning house, robbing Helsinki's mobsters blind of their cash, dope, and illegal firearms. But Kari's team is too good, and their actions have unintended consequences. . . .

Meanwhile, Finland roils with hatred as its most extreme right political party gains popularity despite having no agenda besides xenophobia. When the country's leading immigrants' rights advocate is assassinated and her head sent by mail to the Finnish Somalia Network, the president assigns Kari to the murder. Cracking this case will involve the unsolved kidnapping of a billionaire's children, a Faustian bargain with a former French legionnaire-and Kate.
The exceptional fourth thriller in the Edgar–nominated Kari Vaara series.

Kari Vaara is recovering from the physical and emotional toll of solving the Lisbet Söderlund case when he’s approached with a plea: an Estonian woman begs him 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.
"Readers should be prepared to keep the lights on at night after finishing this unnerving collection."
-- Publishers Weekly

"A gripping collection...Whether you are already a fan of the gloomy Finns or are new to the uniquely sinister aspect of Scandinavian literature, this book will provide steady entertainment."
--Reviewing the Evidence

"This is a good collection of all kinds of stories."
--Journey of a Bookseller

"Mystery and true crime readers will appreciate the styles from all over the world, and embrace the darkness that every culture shares--no matter how hard they try to hide it."
--Mom Read It

Launched with the summer '04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Featuring brand-new stories by: Leena Lehtolainen, Johanna Holmström, James Thompson, Antti Tuomainen, Jesse Itkonen, Joe L. Murr, Jukka Petäjä, Tapani Bagge, Pekka Hiltunen, Teemu Käskinen, Tuomas Lius, Riikka Ala-Harja, Karo Hämäläinen, and Jarkko Sipila.

From the introduction by James Thompson:

"Finland, the myths and truths. Internationally, it has a reputation as perhaps the best place in the world to live. A great economy. A low crime rate. Good and nearly cost-free health care. The needy are provided for by the state and live in reasonable comfort. Finns: peaceful and quiet people, living in the perfect example of a social democracy functioning as it should. A tourist, or even a person who has lived here for a length of time, might well view Finland as such. There is some truth to this, but like every country, Finland has many truths...

Finland is, like the theme so often explored in Star Trek, a parallel universe in which, on the surface, all seems normal, but under that shell lie vast differences...As this book demonstrates, Finland is a noir nation [and] this anthology is, I believe, the best representation of Finnish noir ever offered to the international community. Every word rings true. It holds Finland up in a way that not only exposes this wonderful and fascinating country to the world, but acts as a mirror that reflects its people and culture in a way every Finn will recognize, vocalizing those truths that are so seldom spoken here amongst ourselves."
In the stunning new thriller from the Edgar Award –nominated author, Inspector Kari Vaara has gained the top position in the Finnish police, and all the power it entails. . . .

As the new national police commissioner of Finland, Kari Vaara, along with his team Milo and Sweetness, now has the keys to the kingdom. With his vast collection of dirt, Kari purges the police ranks of the corrupt and undesirable, and he assigns the newly open job of commissioner of SUPO, Finland’s secret police, to Milo. Milo goes to work with the SUPO archives, having them scanned and organized for his analysis. As he digs deeper into the immense body of records, the evidence points to alarming conclusions. It’s a commonly held belief that there are no serial killers in Finland. Milo is about to prove that theory to be disturbingly wrong.

Meanwhile, Kari is called to the scene of a bizarre and gruesome murder. A man is found hanging upside down from his left foot, his right leg bent at the knee and tied to the left. His hands are tied behind his back. There is no forensic evidence in the house. And the only clues at the crime scene include an odd assortment of goods: robes, a wand, a dull dagger, and a deck of tarot cards . . .
Tietokonesabotaasi uhkaa tuhota Venäjän horjuvan talouden. Amerikkalainen Timothy ”Lurija” Mason yrittää selvittää sabotaasin syitä, mutta entinen KGB-upseeri ja sittemmin vallanhimoinen liikemies Vlad Tsernjajev yrittää vaientaa hänet. Tappoyritys epäonnistuu, mutta hänen onnistuu tuhota Lurijan rakkaimmat.

Vlad on Stalinin salaisen poliisin johtajan, Berijan, pojanpoika, ja Vladin vaimo Nadja on on Anastasia Romanovan tyttärentytär. Heidän pojassaan, Alekseissa, Neuvostoliitto ja keisarikunta yhdistyvät Venäjän kiistattomana perillisenä. Jos Lurija ei pysty estämään Vladia, tämä onnistuu unelmassaan: Tsaari palaa valtaan ja historia korjautuu. Venäjän kansa tulee kannattelemaan tsaariaan tietämättä kauhuista mitä tulevaisuus heille toisikaan...