It is still Summertime and are you looking for a good book to read? Well, look no further as I just finished "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson, a 2004 best-seller, and I have to tell you, it is a real "page turner." If you like adventures, true stories, danger mixed with a mystery, this book has it all. And, the prose is well executed by Kurson which keeps and holds your attention as you are waiting for what is going to happen next. I definitely recommend this book!

In a nutshell, two americans, John Chatterton, and Richie Kohler, accidentally discover a mysterious German World War II U-boat wreck only 60 miles off the Coast of New Jersey. There was no Naval archival evidence in either the United States or Germany as to why it was there which makes its discovery all the while more mysterious. The divers that dive on the U-boat wreck start calling it the "U-Who." Also, the ability to even reach the wreckage is challenging because it is situated 230 feet on the ocean floor which means you have to be a heck of an experienced deep-sea diver to even reach the wreckage to explore it. Hence the title, "Shadow Divers" are deep-sea divers that dive so deep, there is no more sunlight penetrating the water, so you are in a real sense, "diving in the shadows."

The plot is centered on this mysterious German World War II U-boat and how it takes 6 years to properly idenitfy it, and why it was sunk in the first place. Sadly, the endeavor to do this cost the lives of 4 men, 3 of them while diving on the U-boat, and one who drank himself to death. As you read, you will learn more about the sport of deep-sea diving and how these elite group of divers love diving on other shipwrecks to explore them. For example, another famous ship wreck that all deep-sea divers are familiar with is the luxurious Italian oceanliner called the "Andrea Doria" that sank in 1956 just off the coast of Nantucket island. 

In order to reach the U-boat at 230 feet below the surface of the ocean, you have to tie an "anchor line" from your boat to the wreck itself. You then have to be prepared with oxygen tanks to descend to the wreck, where you can only have 20-30 minutes to explore the wreck before you have to start your ascent back to your boat on the anchor line. The ascent can take 1.5 - 2 hours depending on much time you spent on the wreck. You have to ascend slowly to help get the nitrogen, which has built up in your blood stream, out of your system; otherwise, you risk "Nitrogen Narcosis" or decompression sickenss known as "the bends," which can be deadly. So, as you read the book, you are given a crash course on the intricacies of deep-sea diving and its dangers. 

The dive team travel to Washington DC, and Germany to research this mysterious World War II German U-boat. In the end, the U-boat is eventually identified, and it changes history. Not bad for a couple of New Jersey guys who love to deep-sea dive. You get see the adventure of it all through the eyes of these divers, and you get to understand why they do this dangerous sport in the first place. So, if your looking for a good book, go ahead and pick up a copy of this book!

Stay strong, Attorney Mark 

Mark Blane
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