Friday, February 5, 2016

Snow Angels by James Thompson (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"It is called kaamos--two weeks of unrelenting darkness and soul-numbing cold that falls upon Finnish Lapland, a hundred miles into the Arctic Circle, just before Christmas. Some get through it with the help of cheap Russian alcohol; some sink into depression.

This year, it may have driven someone mad enough to commit murder. The brutalized body of a beautiful Somali woman has been found in the snow, and Inspector Kari Vaara must find her killer. It will be a challenge in a place where ugly things lurk under frozen surfaces, and silence is a way of life."

My Thoughts:

Best way to describe this book:  both dark and chilling!  I picked this as my first read of 2016 because I felt like the cold snowy setting would be great for this time of year.  Add in the fact that this was a beginning to a new mystery series and I was basically set.  All I can tell you is that this book was way darker than I expected it to be and utterly compelling.  The quote on the front of this book from Michael Connelly is so completely true!  This is a world so different from anything I've ever experienced....I just could not seem to get enough of it.  This author pulled me into this book with such ease and before long I was just so completely immersed in this story.  The idea of constant darkness and the cold, wintery setting all combined to create one of the most chilling settings that I have read about in a long time.  The cold and darkness almost felt like a living, breathing thing and it was unsettling to read about at times.  Reading this book curled up under a warm blanket in the evening definitely added to my reading experience with this novel.

The mystery portion of this book was done very well and I found myself guessing until the very end.  Even when I thought that I had portions of it figured out, the author managed to take me by surprise with the ending.  The last fifty pages or so found me reading without stopping because I just could not wait to see how it was all going to end.  I was left very excited about this series and eager to get my hands on book two.  While I really enjoyed this book for the most part, there was a trigger warning that I feel like readers should know about ahead of time.  There was a part of the book that made me uncomfortable and that was the use of a certain racist word.  The author didn't use it to be racist but instead included it because this was possibly a race crime.  That being said- not my favorite thing at all so I couldn't not mention it.  This book is very violent and dark at times so it won't be for all readers.  For me it really fit with the setting of this book and the constant darkness that was present in this book.  When the winter days feel like they will last forever, I am going to remember this book and be grateful that at least the sun is shining where I'm at.  This is a thriller that I am going to remember for a long time!

Overall, this book was a really great way to start off my reading year in 2016.  I couldn't have chosen a better read to utterly creep myself out than this one!  It wasn't always easy to read about but it was so completely compelling.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series!  If the next book in this series is as creepy as this one....I will be in for a treat!  I will recommend this one to other mystery and thriller fans but with a bit of caution- this might not be for everyone as it is so dark and has difficult subject matter.  Recommended but with those warnings!

Bottom Line:  Creepy, horrifying, and yet such a great way to begin my reading this year!

Disclosure:  This was a copy from my own shelves.  I can't quite remember where I bought it from: either used book store or local thrift store are my guesses but paid for with my own money.


  1. I've read several reviews of this book over time and remember many commenting on the darkness. I do have it on my TBR and hopefully will read it at some point. Maybe in mid-summer with the sun shining and the temperatures above 100! LOL

  2. As always, I enjoyed your enthusiastic review; thank you for the warning, Sam! I read thrillers sporadically.

  3. Can you imagine living in a place like that? As much as I'm sure there is a lot of beauty in Finland I cannot imagine living with the winters and short sun light hours. I think I'll be like Kay, add this one for a summer read when here in Texas I'm burning up and would gladly imagine living in a cold country :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate each and every one of them :)