Thursday, 16 November 2017

JONAH by Carl Rackman @CarlRackman

5 GOLD stars

On Amazon UK
On Amazon.com
On Goodreads


How I discovered this book:  I read the author's debut novel, Irex, after chatting to him on Twitter, and thought it was very good indeed, hence the purchase of this one!

Genre: WW2 Naval Thriller 

This book is stunningly good.  I finished it in the early hours of this morning when my eyes were tired and I wanted to go to sleep, because I had to know what happened. 

The blurb (extract):

The North Atlantic, 1940. A British destroyer pounces on a seemingly abandoned U-boat, leading to a spine-chilling encounter.  Five years later, the US Navy destroyer Brownlee grimly prepares to battle a swarm of Japanese kamikazes at Okinawa.

Mitch “Lucky” Kirkham, a young gunner on the Brownlee, wakes up miraculously unscathed after his crewmates are killed in a fearsome kamikaze strike.

Bullied and resented amid accusations of cowardice and worse, Mitch re-boards his patched-up ship for the long voyage back to San Francisco. All he wants is to go home.

But far out in the boundless emptiness of the Pacific, a strange madness begins to seize the sailors on the Brownlee. Terror, hysteria and suicide torment the men amid sightings of ghosts and a terrifying monster that stalks the ship by night.

Jonah ticks every single box.  It's exceptionally well written, interspersed with tales from members of the crew from before the war, relevant to the plot (love little flashbacks like this!).  It's meticulously researched, completely convincing, but Rackman hasn't fallen into the amateur's trap of explaining naval terms to the layman; it is assumed that the reader will gather what they mean, sooner or later, and I did.  There's a glossary at the back, if you need it.

The story is utterly gripping and unpredictable, the sense of menace builds up at just the right pace, and even by the last chapter I had no idea of the outcome (and, indeed, thought it would go another way).  The characterisation is well defined, the dialogue spot on, and it's edited, proofread and formatted to the best of traditional publishing standards.

It's really, really, really good.  You should download it.  Immediately.  Definitely one of the best five books I've read this year.  



9 comments:

  1. After reading you review I'll be downloading it later today!

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    1. Oh good, I love it when that happens!

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  2. My copy is winging its way to me :)

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    1. I look forward to seeing what you think!

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  3. I don't read many thrillers, but this sounds really good.

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    1. I am not sure if you would like it, Rosie; I think it might be a bit too military-orientated for you. Not sure!

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  4. Terry, we both liked Irex. I then read his other book Voyager - liked it almost as much as Irex, so I'm looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Loved Irex, couldn't get on with Voyager so much because I wasn't interested in the subject matter, but I'd say this is definitely his best!

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  5. Cracking book, I couldn't agree more.

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