Posted 20 hours ago

Kolymsky Heights

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The book didn't quite suit my purposes at the time -- I was about to board a plane, so I wanted a relatively mindless airport novel -- but it generates its own peculiar level of excitement. Tanya Komarov--picks up the information and in a hail of bullets dashes home across the Bering Straits.

Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson | Waterstones

That, alongside his linguistic skills – he also has to pass himself off as a Korean at one point – makes him the only spy able to get anywhere near the base without arousing suspicion. I’d been meaning to reread KH ever since - and although I admit that I no longer have that same stamina of youth (and although the central scientific puzzle out of Tcherny Vodi holds up less well after 25 years) it is the magnificence of the plot on either side of the secret station that still makes this book such a pleasure.

The way Porter literally conjures a getaway car out of nothing when his enemies get too close, for example, is brilliant. How he is able to gain entry to Siberia how he survives and completes his mission is pure adventure while his potential escape is the thriller how he has to keep in front of the Russian Security Service. Instead of one's eyes glazing over and feeling forced to skip the next few pages, Davidson educates and informs so that you cannot finish the book without having a much better understanding of the world in which it is set - the Canadian and Siberian frozen backlands. The wild adventures of Kolya Khodyan in remotest Siberia, a chase through the Arctic wastes like none other. In a friend’s father’s bookshelf in Dhanmondi, I had found Davidson’s first novel - The Night of Wenceslas, published back in the 60s and immediately announcing the arrival of a brilliant new talent in the genre.

A book for the beach: Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson

This has been the biggest literary disappointment I’ve had in a while, because I was genuinely expecting to like this.Waterstones Exclusive The book that came in from the cold; this much celebrated spy thriller on the Faber backlist is repackaged and reissued Num Pages: 496 pages. Flames are visible on the ground, along with a man holding something in his hand while his head goes up and down. It’s all in the context of the racism of the Russians, who never liked or seem to have respected the people of the Arctic, or even the Arctic itself, except as something to exploit.

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