A fun Finn
Bagge's short story "The Face in the Concrete" is full of sharp description, endearing characters, clever twists on perennial P.I. motifs, and the intimate humor of a small town where everyone knows everyone else and where the possibility of tragedy always lurks. Best of all, the story has been available online for two years at the Thrilling Detective Web site.
Among my favorite snippets is this, from an exchange between Syrjänen and his two luckless cousins, Jampaa and Make, concerning a burglary that did not go as planned:
"The old man started boohooing right in the middle of cracking the safe, starting blubbering about how Granny used to send him Christmas trees we made outta paper."Finnish author and blogger Juri Nummelin reported earlier this year that he was working on a translation of one of Bagge's novels for publication by Point Blank Press. Here's hoping the project comes to a timely fruition.
"It was you?”
Jamppa nodded eagerly
“Granny did help Make a bit, he was only three, but I – ”
“I mean, was it you that broke into Riipinen's?” I specified.
“Ya think I'm lying?” Jamppa got upset.
“I didn't mean it like that. I was just wondering what you're still doing here, then.”
“Should we be off to the Canary Islands, then?” Make seemed exasperated. “Two fellas with nuthin' but stinkin' holes in our pockets?”
"I would think that a couple of million would fix just about any hole."
"Ya would, wouldn't ya?" Jamppa grumbled and swallowed what was left in his mug. “That's 'cactly why we gave ya a holler."
“Or I did," Make corrected. “Jamppa just gave me a fiver.”
“It was my last fiver," Jamppa said and looked at me gloomily, like a landlady who'd just served a sixth useless eviction notice. “We didn't get a friggin' penny outta that friggin' job.”
© Peter Rozovsky 2007
Finnish crime fiction