The Stone Murders

Matti Yrjana Joensuu, Author St. Martin's Press $13.95 (185p) ISBN 978-0-312-00689-1
Taylor's able translation of this haunting novel introduces noted Finnish author Joensuu to American readers. Harassed by rioting teenage gangs on the Helsinki streets, detective Harjunpaa and his officers are already strained to the limits on the night they find a murdered man. The reader knows he's the victim of two young boys, Mikael and Leo, pals because they have no one else. Abused by their parents, the adolescents get drunk and play vicious tricks in retaliation. The games result in a second killing, after which fear drives Mikael and Leo into a cave where they hide while trying to plan an escape. As Harjunpaa learns gradually about the loners' ""home'' lives, he concentrates on salvaging them, when they have paid for their crimes. The author invests his characters with humanity so that the reader grieves for the teenagers and their victims, crushed by the same juggernaut. At the story's unforgettable end, it's good to share Harjunpaa's hopes for a kinder future. (August 19)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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