I picked this up because I saw it on a list of the CWA Ian Fleming Award candidates (along with the Robatham author I had read recently…). I went in blind not knowing anything about the characters or even that the author’s name was a pseudonym – although I found that part out pretty quickly after adding it to Goodreads. But I was trying to avoid spoilers so I tried to avoid seeing anything about the story online.
I usually don’t start at #5 of a series of previously established characters- but that didn’t matter here. Good character depth and really well written.
I was a bit impatient in the middle – it’s a long book – but that’s because a lot of mysteries I read are pulp and I was thinking that this case would be solved quickly. I also read this as an e-book that’s why I wasn’t grasping that this would be that a long tale. But it was worth sticking out.
A relatively quick read and very interesting even though I was worried I wouldn’t like the book’s story (it was a gift). The afterword was a welcome addition which helps provide some historical context and insight after the tale had ended.
I think it was interesting timing that I read this given what is going on in the world right now with Covid-19. In particular, this account of the author being alone in the Antarctic had a few passages that seemed very relevant to today.
eg: being solo and trapped inside and keeping to a schedule -the author was to be taking weather readings at regular times and had to maintain his hut/base- extreme WFH? Even Scott Kelly (astronaut) wrote about this recently in the NY Times.
Another example was a passage about a previous expedition with a healthy crew in isolation, but one day they opened a crate of old clothes and all of them got sick.
I’m a sucker for Ross Thomas books. I was reading this while suffering from a cold/flu and I was getting lost at the start juggling a number of characters but held on. Seemed to be more clever for the genre with the writing style and characters and a complicated plot.
I read this on the recommendation of a friend who dives. This is a really intense book that explains the perils of deep diving. Mostly the story about the discovery of a U Boat and the men who explored it, but a good overview of this type of diving and about the teams’ work above water too. It made me feel claustrophobic when describing the insides of wrecks.
Certain parts were interesting. Overall it’s predictable. I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone unless they’re really interested in the plight of adventure junkies who return to sedate lives and try to adjust.
The book is also really uneven. It could have used more editing. As other commenters on Goodreads have posted, the “redacted” sections are a nuisance. They’re cute at first an then just get more and more annoying.
I hadn’t looked at a synopsis before reading and assumed it would be like a McCorkle/Padillo story, and it was totally different. I enjoyed the story and the unfolding of the character arches/backgrounds- more so in the first half of the book- but it kept me engaged.