James Thompson was the author of the Inspector Vaara novels, including Helsinki Blood, Helsinki White, Lucifer's Tears, Snow Angels. His novel Snow Angels, the first book in his acclaimed Kari Vaara series, was one of Booklist’s Best Crime Novel Debuts of the Year and was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Strand Critics awards. Kirkus selected Lucifer’s Tears, the second book in the series, as one of the best books of 2011.
Born in eastern Kentucky in 1964, he died unexpectedly a few days ago. He was an American-Finnish crime writer based in Lahti. He had a Master's degree in English philology from The University of Helsinki, where he also studied Finnish,
in which he was fluent. American by birth, Thompson lived in Finland for
fifteen years. He resided in Helsinki with his Finnish wife. In
the past, Thompson worked as a bartender, bouncer, construction
worker, and soldier.
Helsinki Noir will be published by Akashic Books November 2014. It is an anthology edited by Thompson and it includes one story he wrote. Helsinki Dead was scheduled for release later in 2014, but was unfinished at the time of his death.
Read Gareth Rice's moving tribute here.
Read an interview here.
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