In 1959, ten friends set out on an ill fated trip into the Ural mountains. Bates provides a fictionalized account of a real life tragic mystery.
Almost 60 years later, an American true crime writer and his movie star best friend attempt to retrace the fateful Dyatlov excursion and perhaps find out what happened to them.
I first learned about the tragedy of the Dyatlov Pass incident on a cryptozoology site describing the hairy hominid theory for what happened to those poor people in 1959. My interest was immediately piqued, and I’ve read a lot about the doomed hiking expedition since.
Fresh from watching Liam Le Guillou’s documentary, An Unknown Compelling Force, I started reading Mountain of the Dead. After the documentary, the ten hikers of the Dyatlov party were fresh in my mind, so I loved that Bates included photographs of their trip and even some real excerpts from their journal. I found their chapters the most compelling in the book and I was interested in how he explained their deaths.
While I loved the denouement of the modern day expedition- it gave me exactly what I was looking for – I found the characters hard to like. Author Corey, movie star Disco, and circus performer Olivia seemed like grotesque caricatures rather than real people, and even Corey’s tragic backstory rang hollow. However, I really enjoyed what happened to them in the Urals and I loved the world building around their experiences.
I award Mountain of the Dead…