August 23, 2010 5:46 am

Finch

Finch, by Jeff VanderMeer, Corvus Books RRP£12.99, 352 pages

 

The discovery of two bodies in a room propels detective John Finch on a journey – not only through his decaying hometown, Ambergris, but into his past. He was once part of a network of rebels bent on thwarting the rise of the “gray caps”, mushroom-like entities who now control the city. The solution to the crime could mean liberation from mildewy tyranny.

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IN Fiction

Finch is the third volume in Jeff VanderMeer’s Ambergris cycle, following on from City Of Saints And Madmen and Shriek: An Afterword. It’s easily the most accessible of the three novels, lacking the metatextual trickiness of the others and driven along by its murder-investigation plotline. It’s also, as we’ve come to expect from VanderMeer, brimful of extraordinary imagery. Terse, noirish prose punches up the paranoid mood. In this police-state parable, fungal growths and spores are used to subjugate and spy on people, and Finch’s pages exude an appropriately mouldering strangeness.

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