This review is from: Finishing School (The MacKay series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
David Bruce has written a novel which reads like he was actually there. Every sight, sound and terror experienced by the bomber crews is here in vivid detail, along with the camaraderie, quiet courage and wry humour of the RAF. Of course, I say this as someone who has never served or even been close to a Lancaster, but that is the point - I feel like I have, having read this novel! I imagine it would give Bomber veterans flashbacks if they were to read it.
By the final pages, the reader feels like any of the crew could 'buy it' at any moment, because the unflinching realism of the author almost dictates it. I shan't ruin the ending but it is as heart-pounding as the fiery Prelude which shows just how perilous the lives of these air crew really was.
My only two criticisms are that 1) the sometimes overwhelming technical detail is going to appeal more to pilots, historians and special-interest enthusiasts than the general public - a reader without a particular technical interest in flying instruments could be forgiven for skipping a few pages - and 2) the character development of the main character isn't particularly an important part of the story; he is pretty much the same decent chap throughout. This isn't at all a big problem; it would have been nice if more had been made of his personal demons so that he could overcome them.
For these reasons, I give it four stars. It is not perfect; 'merely' excellent.