"An engrossing and well managed piece of writing, chronicling a fascinating and turbulent period of Russian and Latvian history while never once losing sight of the need to drive the narrative through the personal tale of its hero, Wiktor Rooks."
--Martyn Bedford, Costa shortlisted author of Flip
“Born to an aristocratic life of wealth and privilege, but driven from the family home by resentful Latvian peasants, a young German struggles to survive and protect his love from the brutalities of a domineering brother, class struggle, war, and communist rule. The attention to historical detail and depth of introspection are worthy of Pasternak or Solzhenitsyn. Enthralling, reads as true as my grandfather’s letters.”
--Daniel Wagner, former Dean of the CIA’s Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis
"William Burton McCormick vividly depicts the tragedies of the 20th century through eyes of a single Latvian Rifleman. With Wiktor Rooks, we witness the destruction of traditional society and its seemingly conservative values, to be replaced with new social, political and national ideas, innovations all ultimately perverted to hell by their adherents. The novel considers the eternal problems of humanity as cast through the dark prism of actual historical events."
--Professor Kaspars Klavins, Riga Technical University and Fellow, Royal Society of Arts (UK)
"William Burton McCormick takes us right inside lives that would otherwise be not simply invisible to us but unimaginable."
--Suzannah Dunn, author of The Confession of Katherine Howard