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Archive for September, 2012

Sam Eastland investigates Stalinist Russia in several novels featuring Inspector Pekkala, a Finnish soldier chosen by Tsar Nicholas Romanov to become his personal detective. However, with the overthrow of the old regime, Pekkala finds himself dispatched to the Siberian gulag, there to barely survive until Stalin brings him back to duty, eager to discover the truth about what really happened to the Romanav clan, in the first installment in the series, The Eye of the Red Tsar. “The stoic Pekkala is a bit enigmatic but is shown to be intelligent, courageous, and dogged; Eastland will no doubt reveal more about him in future books,” wrote a Booklist critic of this series opener. A reviewer for the London Independent had similar praise for The Eye of the Red Tsar, noting, “The see-saw narrative is a perfect ploy for a thriller, taking in both the dying embers of the Romanov era and the wake-up call that would follow with the purges and the famines, the assassinations and torture chambers.” (more…)

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Bartender, bouncer, construction worker, photographer, rare coin dealer, soldier and wrestling announcer–add to these the title of AUTHOR. Jim Thompson has led a varied career, one taking him from his native Kentucky to Finland where he has lived for over a decade, and a publishing contract with northern Europe’s largest publisher, WSOY, for a series of political thrillers and crime stories. His first novel, Across the Green Line, appeared in 2008, in Finnish, under the title Jerusalemin veri. His second book, the crime novel Snow Angels (Lumienkelit), was released in spring 2009. Another thriller, The True Name of God (Jumalan nimeen), was published in March 2010.

With Snow Angels, Thompson introduces Inspector Vaara, the focus of this interview. Of Snow Angels, a contributor to Booklist declared it an “outstanding series debut,” and Publishers Weekly found it a “noirish thriller” that “offers a bleak look at the ravages of [Finland’s] long, dark winter as well as intriguing glimpses of Finnish culture.” (more…)

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