Wednesday, November 01, 2006

From the 'Hiroshima Gate' to 'Confusion'......


O.k....I decided to start putting reviews of currently read books into the blog. The very first one is 'The Hiroshima Gate' by Ilkka Remes. I don't think it is already available in the U.S....I guess the reason for this is that the book originally is written in Finnish, and the stories told by Ilkka Remes put a Finnish executive of the European Community - Timo Nortamo - in the focus. Timo Nortamo is occupied by solving a strange case of murder that happend in Paris. While delivering a disk with secret KGB data (old but seemingly important data from the times of the cold war), a women jumps from a bridge into the river Seine...and is found with her throat being cut. But, besides the KGB data - which might put Finnlands current prime minister under suspect of having conspired with the KGB - the disk contains additional data that attracts secret agencies from around the world...you have to listen to a lot of conspiracy theories ranging from aliens from outer space (Erich von Däniken revisited...), ancient superior civilizations, up to anti-mater bombs....
Well...in the end, everything turns out to be rather down-to-earth (without giving away the story...). An interesting (well...not really. I don't like theese very short chapters...just cliff hangers and cliff hangers again...) mixture of Dan Brown and Michael Crichton, but less mystical and less scientific (if you can say so). Remes introduces you into a Europe-centered world with the USA and China acting as the villaina. The characters remain pretty flat, although you are reading a lot about our hero's family problems (marriage and cheating, father-son conflicts, alcohol problems, or Nortamo loosing his temper... ). I wouldn't read the book for a second time...thus, I guess, this means at most 2-3 stars out of 5.
Yesterday, I began to read 'Confusion', the second book of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Unfortunately, it is much too heavy (almost 1.5 kg) for taking it with me on the flight to ISWC (International Semantic Web Conference) at Athens (GA, USA) on Saturday....

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