Monday, July 25, 2005

Couple more British thrillers

I finished two British thrillers last weekend. The better one was The Sad and Tender Flesh (1966) by Stephen Frances, whom I mentioned earlier when I was talking about the Hank Janson/Jason series. This is a spy novel about one John Gail who does services for the conspiracy that the rich of the world have against all others. It's a very grim, very violent, but almost absurd novel and very taboo-breaking. They are blackmailing a British embassador with a 15-year old girl, who confesses that she likes men very much and had sex already when she was 11. There's also a shocking scene in which the French police opens up a totally innocent nun thinking that she has the blackmail photos in her belly. I don't know how the above sounds, but I liked the book very much. One of the best British paperbacks I've read so far. The Finnish title is misleading - it means "Motif for a Murder", while there's no single actual killing in the whole book!

I also read another James Hadley Chase, Shock Treatment from 1959. It was more sane than some other Chases I've read, but still nothing memorable - just another James M. Cain imitation with a surprisingly flat ending. What is it with this guy, how come he has been so popular and shadowed many better British authors? (The Chase cover in the next post.)

We are leaving for a six-day trip tomorrow, so I won't be blogging for a while. We are going to my friend Jari's parents' cabin in Hankasalmi, a small town north of Jyväskylä. Then we might visit some of my relatives in Mänttä and maybe drop by an art festival they are having there. It would be nice to be for a longer time in Mänttä, since we used to go there with my big brother and mom, when our grandfathers still lived there. It would be good to see some of the old haunts. Then, finally, on Saturday we are heading for the 110th birthday of my dad and his wife, Airi, in Nokia. It's gonna be a long trip, we'll se how Kauto manages. He's been sleeping rather on and off again and we are wondering what to do with the guy. During the day, he's an angel (well, not really, but you know what I mean), but in the night time he drives us nuts.


Jim Barker said...

110! How do you Finns do it? Is the cold? Is it the bear meat? Is it the booze?

Juri said...

All those. You can also blame having been born in sauna and swimming in the frozen lakes.

(Actually, my dad is 60 and his wife 50 this year. (Trophy wife..?))