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** stars. This Finnish police procedural gives equal time to the crooks and the cops and more time to plot than to character development. There is an ensemble cast of police, with an undercover officer who plays both sides of the law taking a lead role, and criminals ranging from a low-level junkie who runs errands and tries unsuccessfully to avoid getting in over his head, to a businessman who lives in expensive luxury paid for by arranging deals with Russian partners to fudge shipping manifests. The story begins with a man being lured to an isolated garage where he is executed in cold blood; a second man is similarly lured to the site, where he is told to dispose of both the weapon and the body. He doesn’t have the stomach for this kind of violence, panics, tries to get out of trouble by tipping off the undercover cop, but instead becomes their prime suspect. The first sentence explains why I cannot recommend this book. One of the reasons that I love Scandinavian mystery writers like Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson is their strong psychological analyses of characters. I would rather understand the fears and motives of the people than read about crime after crime. In this book, most of the characters are so minimally drawn that I lost track of who was who until I actually did not care. New author for me - afraid I will not meet him again.
posted Sep 4, 2013 at 3:13AM
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