Thursday 24 March 2022

Read in 2022 - 6: Varga's Passage

Forgive me for being lazy today - I am not going to write a full-length review about this ebook which (you knew it!) I found for free at Amazon's Kindle shop. Instead, I am going to quote from the description on Amazon and just add a few thoughts of my own.

The full title of this book by Tom David reads "Varga's passage: What has 17th century to do with late 20th century? Why are the KGB in Yorkshire?".
I obviously downloaded it because it showed up when I used "Yorkshire" as a key word in search of reading material.

Here is part of what Amazon says about it:

Thriller set in the 1980’s. The Cold War, people trafficking and murder become fatally entwined. From ancient city to wild moorland and rugged coast. The mystery unfolds when a cynical CIA agent and a museum curator are thrown together. Suffused with historical narrative from Eric Bloodaxe to Guy Fawkes and Rasputin. All within the time-line of that classic England/Australia cricket match at Headingley.

Now, I must say I still don't know the answer to the first question in the title. Throughout the book, place names and bits of background history are explained, which is largely why I stuck to it - not because I was so gripped by the story itself (I wasn't).
More than once, I thought of giving up, as the writing style is really not very good. The book reads like the first work of a person who has decided to write a book, with no background or practise in writing other than what they did at school decades ago. Also, I was not fond of any of the main characters (or the lesser important ones, for that matter). 

But apart from the obvious Yorkshire factor, the book also had its charms because the 1980s setting came across in many small references to what people wear, songs played on the radio and other detail. That was quite well done.
And the author obviously knows the places he writes about very well, even the ones in Russia, Afghanistan or elsewhere.

So: Definitely not a must read. I was trying to find out more about the author, but  information is sparse and my search directed me to several writers whose names are similar, but no exact matches. 


  1. Doesn't sound my kind of book. This month it is my book for Book Group which mean two or three readings so that I can really discuss it, so everything else goes by the board.

    1. I can't really recommend this one and am not surprised it does not sound your kind of book.
      What is your choice for Book Group?

  2. Hmm, some books just aren't up to it. Shame because I am Yorkshire person too.

    1. Yes, it could have been so much better had it been placed in the hands of a capable editor. But I know editing is hard work and does not come for free, so I should really not complain about a book that was a free download.