Chaotic Finns

>> Thursday, August 23, 2012

TITLE: Chaos in Death (in The Unquiet anthology)
AUTHOR: JD Robb

This is the Eve Dallas short story in an anthology which also includes stories by Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Ruth Ryan Langan, and Mary Kay McComas. I haven't read the other stories.

When Eve and her team are called in to investigate the brutal murder of three young recovering addicts, they finds themselves on the hunt for a monster. The killer, captured on a surveillance camera, has clearly gleefully enjoyed the murders. He's also wearing what Eve immediately assumes is a costume... green face, bulging eyes, hideously deformed jaw. But then it turns out all her experts tell her they just couldn't make a disguise as extreme as that one...

I enjoyed the investigation. The three victims are connected to an institute that both helps recovering addicts and carries out research to cure addiction medically, and this provides plenty of interesting potential suspects for Eve to investigate. And Eve's insistence on carrying on as usual, with her normal investigation, in spite of the increasing evidence that there's something really weird going on is well done. Unfortunately, I had the same issue as I did in the previous short story I read: I'm very disturbed by how clearly paranormal this is, and how this awareness of Eve's (no way to pretend this was something non-supernatural) is not carried over to the main books.

MY GRADE: A B-.



TITLE: The Xenophobe's Guide to the Finns
AUTHOR: Tarja Moles

I might have to go to Finland at some point soon, and I realised I knew nothing at all about the country. My sister, who works with quite a few Finnish people back in Uruguay, suggested I buy this book, which she'd been given as a gift by one of her Finnish colleagues.

It's basically a "guide to understanding the Finns", a cross between a guidebook and social analysis. It's very tongue-in-cheek, and written in a gently humorous style that I found very enjoyable. And if this is right, then there's a surprising amount in common between Finns and Uruguayans. Reading the section on the obsession about how they are perceived was uncanny. So true. Maybe because both have such small populations?

So, useful for the purposes I wanted it (although obviously, I'll take it all with a pinch of salt) and entertaining. What more could I ask?

MY GRADE: A B.

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