10 Aug 2012



Craig was a young lifeguard in Germany when two children died on his watch. It should never have happened. He was an expert swimmer. His grandfather, Gordon, was on board a ship torpedoed during World War II. He survived by clinging to the floating body of a colleague. Years later, he met one of the men who attacked his ship. Gerd is a refugee of the Cold War. Recruited by the Stasi as a teenager, he escaped to the West after his mission went terribly wrong. He never went back.
..... Inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Part 1): It was my grandfather who taught me to swim.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 173): Because regardless of whether they'd succumbed to years of propaganda and convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, or whether they were simply scared, the end result was the same. Betrayal.

MY THOUGHTS: Much as I enjoyed this debut novel, with it's almost exclusive male cast, its at times overuse of crude language and the rather graphic nature of 'Gerd's story' I can't help but think that this might be a novel more enjoyed by men.

The story of three men all with their own harrowing story to tell, ultimately, all three stories tell of how one moment in time can change a life forever. 

A bit disappointing that so little attention was paid to 'The Incident' whilst so much was given over to minute detail, I did feel that at times the author went into over-drive with his descriptions. 

Character wise:- Though I didn't at the beginning like Craig and his friend/ colleague, Gerd, I thought them well-written and, all credit to the author, by the end of the book I had some empathy with Craig and a certain amount of respect for Gerd whose story I felt to be the most compelling even if it didn't somehow fit in as cohesively as Craig's grandfather's story.

In many ways quite philosophical in nature, though I didn't always find this an easy read, I did find it an interesting, compelling and original one. 

Published in issue number 74 of NewBooks magazine.

DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of NEWBOOKS magazine I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given. 


Arti said...

It certainly sounds quite interesting with the characters and the plot etc but I prefer simple language rather than crude. Your review's are a joy to read as well.
Have a wonderful weekend Tracy :)

dr.antony said...

I wish I had time to read some books.Most of the books I had picked up during travel were crap.I don't know how to choose from among the new writers.

Nina said...

It does sounds interesting! Happy friday!

DMS said...

I really like the cover and the book does sound unique. I am glad that is a book that will make me think- though I sometimes like easier reads. :) Great review!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Sounds like the right book for the right reader :-)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sometimes I do like a philosophical novel... so perhaps when I'm in the mood, this one might be for me. I haven't heard of it before.

ashok said...

good review.

naida said...

Nice review Tracy, I know what you mean about it being a 'guys' kind of book with the male cast.

Mamakucingbooks said...

as good as it may sound, I think i would give this a miss. Not really my genre