Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Michael Marshall: The Straw Men

the Finnish translation
I'd been looking for the Finnish translation of Michael Marshall's The Straw Men (translated literally as Olkimiehet) for some years. It seems to be rare (though there are several copies for sale online), but I located a copy a month ago and read it last week. True enough, the book passed by in Finland without making much impact here and no one ever talks about it, even though it's a very good book, rising above many Scandinavian thrillers everyone seems to be reading now.

The Straw Men is a very clever and frightening take on the serial killer genre - genre that I'm not very interested in. Michael Marshall gives the phenomenon a nice historical and even mythical explanation and creates a conspiracy thriller that one won't easily forget. There's not much a reader will guess beforehand, and the climax is very exciting.

The only bad thing about the book is that it was written in the early 2000's and there's just too much talk about the internet, ADSL cables, IP addresses and such. It's dated already - probably was dated even five years ago. Marshall should've seen it coming, though the plot points about the internet must've been quite original in 2001 when the book came out.

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