All posts by Kai Cohen


Litercurious Book Review

The Dive by Stephen McGinty
TitleThe Dive: The Untold Story of the World’s
Deepest Submarine Rescue
AuthorStephen McGinty
PublisherPegasus Books (June 10, 2021)
FormatKindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
GenreSubmarines / Survival Biographies & Memoirs /
Maritime History & Piracy / Survival Biographies /
Traveler & Explorer Biographies
ISBN-10/131643137468 / 978-1643137469


Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea.

William Whiting (1825-1878): Master of Winchester College Quiristers and author of the hymn “For Those in Peril on the Sea.” Source: (July 14, 2023). What are the lyrics to ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’ (‘For those in peril on the sea’)?


Stephen McGinty is an award-winning journalist, author and producer. His documentary, based on his book Fire in the Night, won several awards. It won the Audience Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and both BAFTA and RTS awards for the “best single documentary.” His documentary Dunblane: Our Story also won a BAFTA award.

He’s not only authored for London’s The Sunday Times, but he has also written several other books: This Turbulent Priest; Churchill’s Cigar; Fire in the Night; The Piper Alpha Disaster and Camp Z: How MI5 cracked Hitler’s Deputy. Stephen currently lives in Scotland.


The Dive recounts the little-known maritime accident that left two submariners, Roger Mallinson and Roger Chapman, in a life-or-death struggle. The Pisces III, a deep ocean 3 man submersible, rapidly sank 1600 feet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The men were faced with only two-days of life-giving air, one sandwich and one can of orange soda for sustenance. However, it would be three long days before the rescue ships could arrive; time was not on their side, and they knew it.

With time quickly evaporating, the entire recovery mission begins to look futile after two failed attempts to secure and raise the Pisces III. With only a few hours remaining, all looks lost. The rescuers are frantic to make another attempt to raise the sub before it’s too late; but time, the tide and the elements all seem to conspire against them.

Do they recover the Pisces lll with its fragile human cargo, or will the two men be consigned forever to a watery grave?

The whole World watches, waits and prays for the rescuers, and the two trapped crewmen.


The Dive is a three-in-one book: it is a condensed history of submarine technology, a history of submarine disasters, and a chronological account of Roger Mallinson and Roger Chapman’s quest for survival. The first third of the book covers the history and associated technology of submarines. Whilst the rest of the book is devoted to the disaster aboard the Pisces III.  

Stephen McGinty provides an uncensored account, in grim and unflinching detail, of the disaster and the men’s tribulations while trapped inside the submarine. The narrative pivots around the intimate human trails of the two trapped submariners. Those experiences forged a unique and enduring life-long bond; a bond that us mere mortals can barely comprehend. The graphic descriptions leave the reader little doubt of how odorous, tense, ugly and stressful the saga was for the two submariners.

The emotional privations, along with the psychological and physical exhaustion that the two survivors suffered were particularly emotive. Their strength of character and their solidarity in adversity were eminently admirable and inspiring in the extreme. The experiences, as described, reminded me of the Apollo 13 space mission and the diverse range of challenges experienced by that crew. Both teams showed the ‘right stuff’ in aspects such as: attitude, fortitude, fraternity, and stoic acceptance in the face of their dire situations.

The narrative is well paced and concise enough to maintain the readers attention. Some technical descriptions are overly detailed, however, not reading or understanding them is unlikely to impact your appreciation or comprehension. 

Overall, the book was well rounded, compelling and educational. I, therefore, have no hesitation in recommending this fascinating manuscript to you.

Needless to say, I won’t be volunteering to deep dive anytime soon.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.





London Explored, by Peter Dazeley and Mark Day. Functional Image
London Explored by Peter Dazeley and Mark Day
TitleLondon Explored: Secret, Surprising and
Unusual Places to Discover in the Capital
AuthorPeter Dazeley and Mark Daly
PublisherFrances Lincoln (November 30, 2021)
GenreMonument Photography, Landmarks &
Monuments, City Photography
ISBN 0711240353 / 978-0711240353


Peter Dazeley, Author and Photographer of London Explored.

Peter Dazeley BEM

Peter is the author of London Explored and several other publications. In 2017, he was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to photography and charity.  He is a life member of the Association of Photographers.

Mark Daly, co-author of London Explored

Mark Daly

Mark is the co-author of London Explored; the author of 5 Steps to Board Success and Ten Treasures Strategic Playbook: The Map to Enduring Business Success.


London Explored is a pictorial documentation of some of the diverse, hidden, and historically significant locations around the Capital of England. Peter and Mark cover a broad range of skillfully captured venues; places that include: religious and industrial sites, privately owned historical homes, as well as museums and gallerias. Some of the locations have restricted access and require special permission to enter. The authors include the access times in the accompanying guide located in the margins.

Included in the book are 213 images of the interiors and exteriors of sixty unique, occulted, lesser known London tourist locations. The catalogue includes the secret underground bunker where Churchill would reluctantly wait out the repeated air raids during the Battle for Britain. World War Two locations factor heavily with Biggin Hill being my personal favorite. Other military locations include The Old Royal Navy College, and for those who savor some images of the many Royal Air Force stations, there is the Bentley Priory Museum.

The images are accompanied by written descriptions and anecdotal stories describing the cultural and historical importance of each location. Patrons of the arts and architecture are bound to enjoy the wide variety architectural photographs; be they elitists or mundane.


London Explored provides those with enquiring minds a safe, convenient and informative means to explore Great Britains capital city. The metropolis of London is congested with tourist sites, and the major attractions are often over-subscribed. London Explored provides a large selection of alternative locations for prospective visitors. With this coffee-table book, the reader can explore the city in the comfort of their own armchair.

What sets London Explored apart from other works of its ilk, is the unique sites the author’s chose to include. Many of the most popular London tourist attractions are either historically important or elitist. It was an inspired choice to take the reader on trails less travelled but every bit as interesting and potentially more important from a cultural perspective.

The photography is faultless, and the accompanying accreditations and additional information provide an important context.

I suggest that if you want to know a little bit more about the hidden life of London, consider taking a look at my London A-Z review; where I take an irreverent look at my time spent there and some, not so well-known facts of the highways and byways of good old London Town.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


I would like to thank Peter Dazeley BEM, Mark Daly, Frances Lincoln, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review London Explored: Secret, Surprising and Unusual Places to Discover in the Capital.


MONKEYS: Apes, Gorillas and Other Primates – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

Monkeys Apes, Gorillas and other Primates by Tom Jackson
TitleMonkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates
AuthorTom Jackson
PublisherAmber Books (November 2, 2021)
Pages 224 
GenreNatural History, Zoology, Primatology
ISBN# 10/131838861009 / 978-1838861001


Tom Jackson


Monkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates by Tom Jackson is a photo illustrative catalogue of primates. This monograph contains 150 high quality full color plates of the worlds monkeys, apes and other primates. The images are presented with concise descriptions or details about the relevant primate. Perfect for all those young and old who find monkeys fascinating.


Monkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates from Amber Books, my favorite publisher of picture books in the industry, satisfies every expectation. Within its 224 image filled pages there is a plethora of different kinds of primates. Tom Jackson did an excellent job of collating the information regarding their anatomy, behaviors, family structures, and relatives. This work completes the circle and enlightens the mind and the soul. An ideal gift that will keep on giving for anyone of any age.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


I would like to thank Tom Jackson, Abrams Press, and NetGalley for affording me the opportunity to review Monkeys: Apes, Gorillas and other Primates .




Litercurious Book Review

Rivers: From Mountain Streams to City Riverbanks by Claudia Martin. A picture book.
Rivers From Mountain Streams To City Riverbanks
TITLERIVERS: From Mountain Streams to City Riverbanks
AUTHORClaudia Martin
PUBLISHERAmber Books (October 5, 2021)
GENRETravel, Reference, Adventure
ISBN 10/131838861025 / 978-1838861025


Claudia Martin has worked in book publishing for 17 years. She is the author of several books and websites for children and young people. Her favorite subjects are history, current affairs and technology.


Rivers by Claudia Martin is a visual catalogue of rivers and riverbanks across the globe. It covers such diverse locations as: North, Central, and South America; the Caribbean; Europe; Africa; the Middle East; Asia; and Oceania.

There are 225 totally immersive images in Rivers. It is a beautiful collection of plates with a perfect accompaniment of a precise but informative narrative. The images are mesmerizing and stimulating.

Images such as the commingling of the Blue Nile and the White Nile I found distinctly captivating. The Colorado River in Arizona with its adobe canyon walls and the azure blue of the river bend is an exciting image. The raging waters of the Iguazu River in Brazil with as many as 300 waterfalls surging over the Parana Plateau is especially intriguing and beautiful. The Thames in Great Britain lined with its iconic and historic riverbanks complete with Tower Bridge and shadowed by the White Tower is particularly special to me.


Martin has been a prolific writer for almost twenty years, and Rivers could be her pinnacle work. It has pages upon pages of glorious high quality, full color plates that feed the eye and fill the mind. It is a book that you can return to again and again and still enjoy it as much as you did the first time that you opened it. 

There are a number of images that are conspicuous especially because of their excellence that will remain with me long after I close the book. I highly recommend Rivers. Order a copy, but be prepared to never stop looking at it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.


I would like to thank Claudia Martin, NetGalley, Amber Books and for affording me the opportunity to review Rivers: From Mountain Streams to City Riverbanks.



COUNTRY JUMPER IN HONDURAS Claudia Dobson-Largie. Travel, adventure. #ChildrenslatinAmericanhistory


Litercurious Book Review

Killer Triggers by Joe Kenda
TitleKiller Triggers: Murder Comes Down to Sex, Drugs,
or Money
AuthorJoe Kenda
NarratorJoe Kenda
PublisherBlackstone Publishing (March 09, 2021)
FormatUnabridged Audiobook, Kindle & Hardback
Time8 hours and 30 minutes
GenreCriminology, Law Enforcement Biographies

“The magnificent 8 we made beautiful music that year from murder and mayhem.”

Joe Kenda, Killer Triggers. Narrated by Joe Kenda., Audible, 2021. Audiobook.

#CriminologyAudiobooks #LawEnforcementBiographies #TrueCrime #TrueCrimeAudiobooks


Former Police Lieutenant, Joe Kenda is the author of Killer Triggers. Read more about Kenda’s background here.


Killer Triggers by Joe Kenda is an unabridged audiobook that is a phantasmagoria of real world criminals and their motivations. Sometimes hard to stomach, Kenda delivers a phlegmatic narration that contrasts starkly from the horrors that he describes. At times, there is a slight trepidation in his voice, tone, or tremor. His varied tonation indicates a deeper emotional recollection of the crimes that still evoke unease in his soul.

One particular recollection of Kenda’s, involved the events that occurred at The Avenue in Colorado Springs. Two Fort Carson Soldiers, Army Specialist Layne Shmidtke and Sargent Joseph Reeves, were attacked on September 11, 1991. Over 700 witnesses saw the crime. Kenda explains how his 8 man team worked tirelessly to identify all those involved and discover their motivations.

Kanda details the grimness of the job that murder detectives do on a daily basis. Sometimes he punctuates it with a hint of irreverence to warm the cold horror of some of the cases he’s been involved in. The worst crimes involve small children. Those of a more delicate disposition may want to avoid those accounts.

There is a very real sense throughout that Kenda is still all cop inside, evidenced by his television presentations and his writing. He comes across as the kind of man you would want on your side in a criminal investigation. He is loyal, forensically aware and intelligent. Just as importantly, he had a dogged determination to leave no stone unturned ensuring that the criminals were brought to justice.


Killer Triggers contains a host of disturbing content. At 8 hours and 30 minutes, it is about the average length for a work of its kind. Many true crime readers out there may consider it less impactful than some other similar works due to the staccato pace. The crimes stack up quickly and contemplation comes once the book is finished.
Killer Triggers is a stark reminder to us all that Law Enforcement Officers have a most unique job. A job that requires them to be social workers one moment, traffic management personnel at another, and defenders of the population sometimes through the use of deadly force. Can we be surprised that the men and women of the Police suffer health and psychological issues? They are forced  to be Mary Poppins one moment and Judge Dredd the next. Is it really any wonder that alcoholism, domestic abuse, and suicide plague the Law  Enforcement community?  

Kenda can put a brave face on it, but the nerve shredding sights, smells, and emotional baggage created by investigating these horrific crimes, scar the individual permanently. The memories still haunt him. At other time he uses graveyard humor to deal with horrors he witnessed. Dealing with monstrous crimes, as Joe Kenda and his team did day-after-day, seems to leave little room for sentiment. The most egregious crimes are those involving children. These undercurrents of psychological turmoil were not covered, but could be felt throughout the book. Unsurprisingly, Kenda’s delivery is emotionally separate and heavily redacted in terms of police operation methods .

If you were a family member of a murder victim, Kenda is the kind of Law Enforcement Officer that you would demand. He is Intelligent, doggedly, determined, forensically and legally aware. The kind of law officer that will turn over every stone to capture the criminal that stole your loved one.


Joe Kenda’s dedication to his craft is evident in every word as he deftly reads his own prose. There is a laconic fall-off to his spoken word that leaves us in no doubt that he still carries the memories of all those unforgettable crimes that he once witnessed. He uses vocal emphasis by changing the speed of his delivery and his tonality thus adding weight to the alarming acts of violence. There is an authority to his voice that demands your undivided attention. He conversationally relays the information to the listener in a way that is both engaging and riveting.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


I will Find You, by Detective Joe Kenda True Crime


I would like to than Joe Kenda, NetGalley, and Blackstone Publishing for affording me the opportunity to review Killer Triggers.