Connie Willis,
Inside Job
(Subterranean Press, 2005)

Connie Willis has an excellent sort of offbeat humor paired with an unerring sense of timing. It seems impossible for her to write a bad story, and in keeping with that tradition, Inside Job is a fun and entertaining read.

Depending on when you started reading Willis, you'll judge the value of this book differently. If you've read recent books like Passage or especially The Doomsday Book, a complex, detailed and consuming storyline with a serious issue at its core is what you'll expect from her. This is not that style at all.

I have come to regard Willis's writings as falling into two categories (oversimplifying though that is). There's the serious and the downright silly. Inside Job is pure silly.

Rob, a professional skeptic and magazine publisher, operating on a lead from his beautiful ex-movie star sidekick Kildy, sets out to investigate and take down a suspicious new "channeler." Although at first Ariaura Keller's act seems standard fare, things begin to go awry when she develops a surprise second spirit guide, one who berates her audiences for listening to her "confounded claptrap." Rob and Kildy, torn between natural skepticism and an act too good to be false, now find themselves tempted to prove Keller might be the real deal after all.

I sat down to read this the very minute it arrived, and by the end of the afternoon had read straight through. On the one hand it was a nice IV infusion of concentrated Willis, but I always hate to see it end. This one's just too short, I hope she hurries up and writes another!

- Rambles
written by Katie Knapp
published 21 May 2005

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