The two things which impressed me most about Daniel Mason’s “The Winter Soldier” – in addition to the quality of the writing – were, firstly, the self-evident depth of research Mason had undertaken, and secondly the way he was able to keep the three or four possible endings in play until the last five or six pages.
Mason’s research gives his novel a tremendous degree of authenticity and authority. Not one for historic novels – and this isn’t a historic novel in the traditional sense – I never found myself questioning the honesty of his depiction, the cultural and geography of his setting. There is a gritty realism which makes some of the war scenes appropriately difficult to take in, and the emotion and passion of the protagonists is deftly handled.
As as far as the ending was concerned (no spoilers here!) I found myself at various times wanting each of them to be the outcome – which is a testament to Mason’s craft.