Europe in Winter by Dave Hutchinson. Book review.
Europe has become fractured into hundreds of small states, some more permanent than others. Across this complicated map of political allegiances runs a railway which has become a state in its own right. It is a world of uncertainty and running in parallel to the familiar is the even more complex and hidden realm of the Community which has now developed into a brief sojourn for the curious. But a massive terrorist attack threatens to put the tenuous political alliances in jeopardy. Rudi and his team must try and create some stability. But only after Rudi confronts his past.
Given the recent political events, Europe in Winter makes uncomfortable reading at times. It is essentially a spy novel, but think le Carré’s cold war thrillers set in alternate realities and parallel worlds. The best spy novels are about making you hold your breath as you turn page after page to see what happens next. With the episodic Europe in Winter this exercise becomes something of an obsession.
It does help if you read the previous novels of ‘The Fractured Europe Sequence’ because there is a lot going on in the story arc of this book. You need to pay attention or you will miss something and is probably best read in as few readings as possible to keep a handle on things. This is a book which challenges a reader as it moves rapidly around countries and characters and at times becomes very surreal.
Dave Hutchinson also does something very interesting by continually introducing characters to the plot. These characters may only be needed for a short time as the complex plot progresses, or they will become a key part of the story. It is a brave thing to do, but works really well in terms of a baton handing on activity and fits well with all the twists and turns of the plot centering largely around Rudi.
Europe in Winter is definitely a keeper because it has the potential for a reader to see something new when they delve into the book again.
Europe in Winter was courtesy of Solaris via NetGalley