Reading Journal Entry: Sinister Barrier by Erik Frank Russell
The last novel collected in Entities, Sinister Barrier, was less interesting than the others. It's less humorous and mostly a straightforward adventure story. Our hero is a puckish investigator who begins by making connections between seemingly unrelated suddent deaths of scientists worldwide and ends by saving the human race. The idea that we're being manipulated by mysterious unseen forces is creepy but now seems a bit dated, and Graham the narrator is annoyingly brilliant; A 'lady scientist' makes an appearance, which is nice, but mostly as a foil for Graham to display his ardor/inappropriately sexual conversation skills. Russell's characters often had a paper feel to them. In his previous works the unusual nature of their occupation (professional terrorist/telepath/extraterrestrial being) made their extraordinary competence less jarring. Since Graham is a 'regular guy', hecomes out sounding more like an automaton.