‘Coming Home,’ Howard Kirkpatrick’s debut novel is inspired by his own military experience and the stories told to him by his brother, a former NAVY Commander pilot. Kirkpatrick also drew upon his several trips to the Soviet Union.
This novel takes place in the midst of the Cold War, during the 1970s. Lieutenant Kevin Nicholas, while flying a spy mission for the US Navy along the east coast of Russia, is forced to eject. Using the skills taught by his grandfather he assumes the identity of a translator for the Russian government. He is constantly promoted, climbing up the ladder, as he navigates the Russian language taught to him by his grandfather, the Russian culture, and his new identity.
The plot’s premise is very interesting. Kirkpatrick has potential as a writer but must change his writing style. There are not enough descriptive adjectives, too much repeated needless detail, and too many unanswered questions. For example, are the Russians that stupid not to question Nicholas’ identity; whatever happened to the co-pilot Sam who also ejected; why wasn’t Nicholas considered a traitor by the US government; and what happens to Nicholas and his family after returning to America?
Yet, anyone that wants a very short read and can focus solely on the plot should consider this book.