January 25th, 2020


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train, tintin, leuven

Demon in Leuven, by Guido Eekhaut

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Lisa had al eerder lijken gezien. Een paar keer in het labo van een patholoog, een paar keer bij een verkeersongeval waar ze als aspirant naartoe was gestuurd. Om de smaak en de geur te pakken te krijgen, zeiden de instructeurs. Je eerste dode is het ergst, omdat je een instantverrijzenis verwacht. Daarna ben je genezen van dat soort onzin. Lisa had seen corpses before. A few times in the pathologist’s lab, a few times in a traffic accident to which she had been sent as a trainee. To get the taste and the smell, the instructors said. Your first dead body is the worst because you expect an instant resurrection. Then you are cured of that kind of nonsense.
Guido Eekhaut is a well-known figure in the Belgian sf scene, who has also written a couple of dozen books, most of them speculative fiction but also some thrillers. This particular book was commissioned a few years back by Belgian railways as part of a set of six novels for commuters. (What a good idea!!!) It's set inand around Leuven, the city where we both live (well, I'm a bit outside it), and concerns an occult police detective (named Solomon) with a newly acquired sidekick (Lisa Noman, who is a woman) investigating the demonic deaths of a couple of senior university officials on top of the university library. There's lots of fun exploration of the city, both parts I know and parts I don't, and some interesting speculation on how magic actually works. I did feel the ending was a little rushed, and wondered if it might have been more satisfactory without the rather severe length restriction imposed by the sponsor. You can get it here.

This was the shortest of the unread books acquired in 2013 on my pile. Next up is Strategic Europe, by Jan Techau. (If I can find it.)