Regards books, Igor Pavlov & Teodora Hadjiyska - 1079 is up next, I've saved the best 'till last!
Interesting book, I was quite relieved when I saw it's only 200 pages, I was expecting an encyclopedia, but it's very dense and not an easy read. I'm normally quite good at taking stuff in but I will have to go back and re-read a lot of it.
I really like the route maps, it's the only book I've read so far which looks at the whole hike and where they were planning to go next; which is key to understanding where the tent and labaz were, and why. The diagrams are great but I find the descriptions confusing, always talking about moving from one river valley to another, never bearings and landmarks.
I like the idea of the tree falling on the tent, it's a clever original idea but obviously it depends on you first buying into the tent being in the trees. Very unlucky it fell lengthways along the tent and I'm not convinced it explains all the injuries, in fact it was odd the book glossed over the autopsy findings, which are reliable facts. But maybe the truth is that boring.
I can believe there was a cover-up, but there's a confusing web of similar sounding names, incredibly long job titles, committees, meetings, radiograms etc, it's not always clear what point the author is trying to make. After several sections I was left thinking "so what? what does it mean?". There's too little commentary so it's hard work to understand, and some of the details could be put in an appendix.
And when you think about it, it's an extraordinary amount of effort to cover up an accidental death. It would have been simpler just to collect up the tent and bodies and bring them to the town, and remove everything from the scene. Then you could be vague about where they were found and just say it was an accident. The book even mentions a cook's body being retrieved on a sledge and there was no investigation.
The book is not clear about certain details of the scenario, e.g. where precisely was the tent? where were the bodies? how did those with minor injuries die? why didn't they grab clothes and tools from the tent? how did 4 die in the tent and end up with extra clothes? The final chapter needs fleshing out a bit, imo.
Overall I think I'd put it in the lower half of my list, well worth reading, lots of good data, love the maps, but a bit impenetrable and the final timeline of events is not quite resolved. I might revisit that after re-reading it. It's interesting every book has different information, and comes at it from a different angle.
I'll pop onto the book comments thread later and ask some questions.