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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 26 March 2016
Dont bother. It's ineptly written with glaringly obvious plot holes, (overly long) incorrect technical details of military hardware ((duh.. this is what a glossary is for)) and very obviously padded out to cash in on a trilorgy where in fact there is barely enough real content to make a single paperback.

However if you have fantasize about being an armchair tank commander then you will love this.
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on 8 March 2016
An outstanding read, capturing the age perfectly. The author weaves familiarity of the cold war politics with the believable detail of army and civilian life across all the involved countries with a great amount of empathy. By focusing on individuals, families and military teams, the narrative increases in tempo up to the point of the devastating Soviet Army's attack on Western Germany. The best book of its type in the genre.
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on 12 January 2014
This is the second title in the Red Effect trilogy, telling the fictional story of a Warsaw Pact invasion of West Germany in the 1980's. The book very much delves headlong into the conflict which just erupted at the very end of the first book and details in a knowledgeable & realistically harsh fashion how such a war would have been experienced by those waging it. The action scenes are dramatic and well structured and all link in well to the overall chronology of the conflict being played out. The characters introduced in the first novel are once again present in this one and its fascinating to see how they individually cope with fighting their respective war's and the effect it has on them and those around them. It will certainly be interesting to see how they all fare in the final book. The book sets things up nicely for the concluding, final volume, with NATO very much having their backs against the wall of the Soviet Juggernaut.

Overall, this book is just as good as the first and moves the overall story forward in a dramatic way that is easy and enjoyable to read and i very much look forward to the final book.
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on 16 October 2013
This is the second in Harvey Black's trilogy about the alternative history of 1984. His first 'Effect' book closely followed historic events based on personal experience and well researched facts, but with a twist. The Red Effect gently diverged from what did happen to what nearly happened and this is done in such a way as to send a chill down the spine. In Black's novel, rather than crumbling under the weight of financial restraints and a shored up economy, the Soviet Block decided to attack the West. Yet it is not that straight forward. The author covers all aspects of such an endeavour: the uneasiness of the Soviet high command; the hawks and doves debate; the thin line of NATO defenders; the skills of British Army Intelligence. The shock of the attack at the end of The Red Effect demanded another book as soon as possible!

The Black Effect does not disappoint. It continues the momentum to even greater effect. The close parallels with actual history have gone but Black's knowledge of NATO's abilities, strategies and probable responses are mined to the full. The Soviet war machine in conventional form was terrifyingly powerful and the events in The Black Effect unfold at a rapid pace. Fiction is once more driven by weapons and armies that existed and the strategies by both sides are so close to the realms of possibility it gives one pause for thought. The other tool used by Black is his insistence of focussing on the British army for the core of the story. The Americans are there, and play the huge part they would have, but it is a pleasure to see the British portrayed as we know ourselves to be - the best trained forces on the planet - and I say that without embarrassment, it is a simple fact. Yet the weaknesses are not glossed over. It is all there.

The Black Effect, being the second of three books, tells the story of an unrelenting Soviet invasion. Fast and rapid conquest was everything and by the end of this well written account I was left with the need for the next book! This series has a growing number of fans and they will not be disappointed. Black's technical knowledge, research and his ability to weave a tale makes this his best book yet.
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on 25 November 2013
I have read both books in the series and enjoyed them. It was good to read about the mainly British side of things for a change even though we are dealing with Northern Germany and NATO troops being invaded by Soviet Union. Good characters and story line. Deals with the ups and downs of conflict. Eagerly waiting for the final volume.
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on 15 November 2013
Black effect follows the earlier novel Red effect about a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe in the summer of 1984.
The Novel mainly covers the battle between BAOR{British Army of the Rhine}and. the Soviet 3rd Shock Army, But US and German forces are also covered in passing.
I thoroughly enjoyed both books and am eagerly waiting the forthcoming novel in the trilogy "The Blue Effect" I did notice two error's in "Black Effect", The M109 Self-propelled Artillery Gun was 155mm, not 152mm mentioned in the book and the RAF where using Harrier GR3's not GR1's in 1984.
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on 16 November 2013
The book, and "The Red Effect" were advertised as being, amongst other things, technically correct and realistic. The author has obviously never been inside or even talked to the crew of a Chieftain Tank, nor has he a sound grip on the various types of Soviet command vehicles; and as for confusing a truck-mounted TMM Bridge for a tank mounted MT-55 or an MTU, basic mistakes!! Both books have many glaring errors and omissions. The authour's knowledge has hugh gaps, and whilst his knowledge of covert operations may be sound and deep (I don't know, as I wasn't involved in that side of the business) his knowledge of both NATO and the Soviet Military's Tactics and Operations is frankly risable. On the plus side, outside of the technicalities, his characters had some depth and reality. Shame about the rest
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on 31 March 2016
Great facts, terrible writing and hard to follow along. Don't care about the characters
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on 11 April 2016
Second of three, very realistic, not for the faint hearted.
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on 3 March 2016
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