Helsinki Noir Part I

Jenkem by Pekka Hiltunen
My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The opening story of this anthology collection features a gang of juvenile delinquents led by a 33-year old who lies about his age, who narrates. The narration is a bit off putting, especially if one has no clue about huffing “culture”. However the ending is blatantly foreshadowed just a few pages before the story’s conclusion thus rendering most of the story as elaborate window dressing. When I started this book, a story like this wasn’t what I expected.

Kiss of Santa by Leena Lehtolainen
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This story was what I thought the collection was going to be like. The main character a female private detective, who can convincingly mimic a man especially in a Santa suit. A department store is getting robbed from the inside and the detective is hired to find the culprits. The detective’s investigation is well crafted and the resolution to the not-so-nefarious crime wave is unfortunately ruined by the titular kiss.

The Hand of Ai by James Thompson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The contribution by the anthology’s editor, like the first story focuses on the crime but with better narrative flow. Some interesting details at the beginning of the story come into full focus by the end, a feature of a fantastically structured short story. The adolescent titular Ai, narrates the story giving a horrifying autobiography of his life up to when the reader first meetings him.

St. Peter’s Street by Riika Ala-Harja
My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

This story follows a young woman having a hard time with a break up, unfortunately this very short story really didn’t make any sense except for the woman being delusional.

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