This book is one of great depth; it not only approaches the disaster of Kursk from a fictional stand point, but also attempts to capture the atmosphere of Russia – something that is prodigiously hard to do in western literature.
The plot develops well, providing a lot of background to the disaster that most people will be unaware of and presenting it in an enjoyable fashion. To say this book is easy to read is not an eloquent enough description of the prose, there is an intelligence that is displayed in the writing style of Clinchandhill that is often missing from modern novels, and was truly refreshing to read.
The characters in this book provide a relatable platform for the story of the tragedy of Kursk to be told without imposing judgement on the facts of what occurred. The opening is particularly engaging as the atmosphere for the majority of the rest of the book is quickly well established and, at least from my point of view, the speech of the characters clearly denoted the accents that each character had.
It’s much easier to visualize and understand not only Kursk but the mentality of those that were involved and affected by the disaster having read this book. Though I do remember it happening, there were lots of details that this book brings to light that I was unaware of.
There are a lot of missing punctuation points and times when the wrong punctuation is used – something that will infuriate grammar Nazis when they are reading, which will distract and detract from the overall quality of the writing. This is a shame as there is so much about this book that is good.
On the whole this is a thoroughly enjoyable book, not only for those who are interested in the Kursk disaster, but those who love to read something that is filled with suspense, though we already, sadly, know the outcome.
C.s. Woolley. Author, United Kingdom