Review of ‘In Kinder's Mists’, by Pat Cunningham

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by Pat Cunningham
ISBN 978-0-9556325-0-1 (2007)

Following on from his definitive series of books on Peakland Air Crashes, Pat Cunningham has published his first work of fiction, written with an assurance that hints at autobiographical inspiration for this, literally, haunting story.

In Kinder's Mists centres on an experience that severely tests the hero, Mark Johnston, both physically and emotionally, at a time when he is struggling to come to terms with one particular demon.

Pat Cunningham displays a gift for expressive words and an imaginative turn of phrase, such as the trig pillar with gum erosion ... 'the exposed root standing in a good two feet proud of the pond besieging it.' He has also taken care to ensure that the reader can make sense of the rarified vocabulary of an airplane captain and thus able to understand the significance of 'red and blue', which was his original working title.

The factual detail in this fictional work comes from the author's 40 years with the RAF and British Midland Airways. Similarly, the setting of Kinderscout is recreated with an awareness that comes only with extensive experience of fell walking. Kinder is more than just a place of gritstone sheep, gulleys and cloughs, peat moss and cotton grass. There is something else - the scattered wreckage of numerous aircraft. Each crash site 'in Kinder's mists' is familiar to the author in real life, one of which he chosen to involve Mark Johnston.

In Kinder's Mists was in fact written as a Christmas present for Pat's partner Wies in 2001, no doubt a factor in providing Mark Johnston with a strong but discreet love interest. Pat, who is distributing the book himself, says : 'I've had great good fortune in finding many more outlets than I might have hoped for ... Initial feedback from purchasers too is proving very gratifying.'

The author is keen to trace any wartime operational aircrew living in the area in connection with a book now at an advanced stage of preparation entitled Peakland Operation Aircrew.

Review by Julie Bunting

Editor's Note:
At the time of writing this review (2007), an email address was provided. However for reasons of privacy (GDPR), these contact details have now been withdrawn. (Updated 24 Dec 2018)

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