The Swedish author offers sequel stories to Handling the Undead (2010) and Let the Right One In (aka Let Me In, 2007; adapted for film in Sweden and in the U.S.).
“Final Processing” adds an intense, moving coda to Handling the Undead; the psychically gifted Flora, aided by musician/hauler Kalle, seeks final peace for the zombies imprisoned in a government facility. The title story is a quiet little tale that may confuse people who haven’t read Let the Right One In and may not entirely satisfy readers hoping to learn more about Oskar and his vampire friend Eli. But the collection provides other treasures, particularly the perversely sweet “The Border,” in which an ugly, lonely customs agent who can literally smell deceit finally discovers where she fits, and “Equinox,” concerning a compulsively nosy crossword writer with low self-esteem who makes a gruesomely attractive discovery in a deserted house. The spare, poetic quality of Lindqvist’s translated prose and the inexplicable dream logic that drives so many of his stories recall the work of Jonathan Carroll or Ray Bradbury in his less baroque moments. Even at its darkest, the collection affirms the importance of love: Its presence and its lack cause people to do strange things, terrible things, heroic things, with horrible and/or exultantly beautiful consequences.
Gripping, cerebral, intriguing, enigmatic—like a puzzle you enjoy working on but may never solve.