The Bottom Line: A masterfully paced action thriller that takes readers to unexplored depths. Highly recommended.
The first novel in J. F. Kirwan’s Nadia Laksheva series introduces a heroine that readers are bound to fall hard for. “The only thing worth killing for is family,” reads the book’s telling dedication, and as readers meet Nadia and her family, they’re led down a seedy storyline involving government corruption, a labyrinth of dead ends and lost leads.
66 Metres brings readers along for a rollicking and fast-paced ride that includes undersea interludes (66 meters is the depth at which air begins to become toxic to deep-water divers), as well as to Russia, London, and other exotic locales. Those looking for a cinematic and action-packed read will find it here, especially when Nadia’s swimming away from a downed helicopter in the Thames, or dodging spears fired from Navy SEALS. Kirwan’s pacing is masterful, blending Michael Bay-worthy action sequences with the tranquility and isolation of Nadia’s deep dives. In a genre filled with planes, trains and automobiles, the book’s literary aquatics are decidedly refreshing.
To Kirwan’s credit, the book isn’t all action. Each encounter brings many of Nadia’s personal demons to the surface, including her relationship with her father. Jumping from Nadia’s own conflict to the larger issues at hand will keep readers barreling forward. Overall, the book is a fantastic introduction to Nadia that will have readers following her to the ends of the earth.