Review of Commissar by BookViral

Award: 5 Stars

A bitter, bloody tour de force

A superb mix of well-researched historical fact and pure fiction, “Commissar” proves a smart and entertaining historical thriller with all the hallmarks of a bestseller. A novel that’s entirely aware of its genre’s conventions and transcends them as it surpasses the simplistic moralities that inform far too many genre offerings, to take the high, morally haunting ground.

A bitter, bloody tour de force Chernov unflinchingly explores the random horror, grisly spectacle and the ugliness of war and ideology with a narrative that has an intoxicating, classic feel about it and instantly submerges its readers in the period.

Underpinned by meticulous historical recreation that is frighteningly real its light on sentimentality but high on human drama with one of “Commissar’s” greatest strengths being Chernov’s extraordinary characterization that reaches from lead characters Anna Sokolova and William Arden  (both tantalizingly believable and involving) right down to the smallest supporting roles with adrenalized emotions and vividly conveyed imagery,

Saying things about war that are as complex and difficult as any essayist could possibly express, Chernov does this with broad, powerful descriptions, violence, profanity and action that beautifully articulates the uniqueness of camaraderie experienced by those who wholly believe in that for which they fight and are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

On this level “Commissar” looks at Civil War Russia in 1918 with unflinching honesty. Exploring the fear and pain of Chernov’s main characters in addition to the fortitude and bravery in his extended cast in a war where the fallen and survivors are often separated by nothing more than the thin wedge of luck as he puts his readers right in the moment at every stage.

Wrenchingly emotive, deftly written and tremendously powerful “Commissar” is an unreservedly recommended 5-star read.

[read review here]

MORE NEWS

Cold Trace Audiobook is Now Live!

The sequel to the award-winning Severed Echoes is now available in audio. Narrated by 5-time Emmy Award winner Rob Reider, Cold Trace takes the...

Cold Trace Audiobook Launches Next Week!

I am excited to announce that Cold Trace will hit the airwaves on June 14, 2024! Narrated by 5-time Emmy Winner Rob Reider, Cold...

Cold Trace Receives Literary Titan’s Gold Award

Literary Titan awarded Cold Trace its prestigious Gold Award, calling the novel "masterful, refined and compelling."

Interview with Literary Titan about Severed Echoes

After awarding Severed Echoes the prestigious Gold Award, Literary Titan sat down with me for a quick interview. : In Severed Echoes, a rookie detective...

Severed Echoes Receives Literary Titan Gold Award

Literary Titan awarded Severed Echoes the prestigious Gold Award, calling it "an intricately crafted narrative that masterfully balances suspense and character-driven storytelling."

BookViral awards Cold Trace the coveted Golden Quill

BookViral gave Cold Trace five stars and awarded it the Golden Quill, calling the second installment of Nick Severs Mysteries "suspenseful, gripping,...