. Ugh, it's Killov. He's thin, he... wait, what?
"My medicines, my goddamned medicines. Where are they?"
...he has run out of drugs
!!! My god, after 8 books, at last the guy is doing something very slightly different from usual! In this case, he is ripping apart various items of furniture with his "skinny pale arms", hunting for his special manganese-plated suitcase in which he transports his multifarious narcotics. The baggage handlers appear to have lost it somewhere between DC and Fort Minsk - no mention is made of the fact that the entire military HQ got blown up, Killov included, it's all the fault of the transportation guys. Just can't get the staff.
Unfortunately, this minor departure from the norm gets old extremely quickly, as Killov rants and raves about the TERRIBLE TORTURES he will inflict once he finds the guilty party, and about how much he REALLY LOVES DRUGS and how he misses them so, for the next three sodding pages. There's some dreadful withdrawal symptoms including "thick yellow sputum" and him feeling like an amoeba. At long fucking last his doctor turns up with some pills and he starts feeling better again.
The doctor, being an eeevil commie, is naturally a dubious-looking fellow - he's "obese, with jowls pushing out around his stiff collar and hanging down like red , swollen turkey wattles". It's almost not even worth pointing out how lazy it is to always (always!) show your bad guys as having some kind of physical imperfection, but this is all just so egregious that it jumps off the page by itself. It's about as subtle as those WW1 propaganda postcards about the Terrible Hun, which makes me sad for humanity.
Aaand another fucking page of Killov feeling better now he has drugs. That's literally five pages now of clumsily rubbing in the fact that our least-favourite not-really-colonel is a drug addict. WE KNOW.
Oh, no, and then the next page is him demanding to know which of his officers handled the baggage transfer. It's Kraskow. Poor Kraskow. Next page, Killov harangues Kraskow, interspersed with mentions of how much he's enjoying being on drugs again. Page after that, more of the same; and now Kraskow is tied to a chair with some belts by the other officers. The effects of the drugs in Killov's bloodstream is getting even more airtime than what he's actually doing here.
Finally, on the tenth page of the chapter, Killov starts actually torturing the guy. It takes a whole page to chop his hand off (and describe in anatomically dubious detail the various veins and bits of bone that are thereby exposed), then he does some amateur electronic surgery on a lamp cable and uses it to electrocute the inept baggage handler (another page and a half, including boiling eyeballs and an exploding brain). And one more page about how horrified all the other officers were. And the chapter is over.
FFS. /bang.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bang:' />
What the bloody shit was even the point of that? I mean seriously? Over 5% of the book's entire pagecount on THAT? It advanced the story not one iota, it showed us not a thing about Killov's character that we hadn't already been told a zillion times in almost exactly the same words, it provided no backstory beyond further confirmation that all commies are a) evil b ) ugly and c) incompetent... I despair.