HELSINKI WHITE by James Thompson


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Finland’s top cop gets to run his very own black-ops unit—and rue the day he ever took what looked like a dream job.

Desperate to hide the ultra-compromising video Inspector Kari Vaara has of him, Jyri Ivalo, Finland’s national chief of police, offers him a free hand assembling a dream team, financed by whatever it can steal from the bad guys, to go after international traffickers in human flesh. Determined “to help people” now that he’s a new father, Kari (Lucifer’s Tears, 2011, etc.) brings in his loose-cannon partner Milo Nieminien and his protégé Sulo (Sweetness) Polvinen and hits the bricks. Their first few forays, informed by intel from Ivalo, net them some fast cash, some sweet bonuses and the opportunity to mingle with some highly placed politicians and financiers. Despite the sweet smell of success, however, Kari and his mates, dirty cops in all but name, are already getting sucked into a cesspool of corruption. Ironically, the tipping point comes with the order to close a pair of high-profile cases that even the cleanest cops would be proud to investigate: the recent beheading of pro-immigration activist Lisbet Söderlund and the year-old kidnapping of Antti and Kaarina Saukko, son and daughter of megalomaniac industrialist Veikko Saukko, and Kaarina's murder three days after she was ransomed and returned unharmed. Joining forces with highly questionable French police officer Adrien Moreau to turn over the appropriate rocks, Kari finds himself swiftly borne into the heart of anti-immigration darkness and unable to recognize or accept the person he’s turning into.

Enough violent felonies for a Sunday newspaper—and, as a depressingly informative epilogue intimates, that’s exactly where they’ve come from.
Pub Date: March 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-15832-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2012


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