I – Chernobyl or Chornobyl?

I had no burning desire to visit the site of the worst known nuclear accident. Not for fear of radiation – few places have better controls in place for visitors—and certainly not for lack of curiosity; I have researched the 1986 accident in detail, written about it in summary and pored over the texts, films and photographs of others.

But visiting nuclear power plants – functioning or dormant — is always disappointing. Everything of interest is hidden away. The containment shields the visitor both from harm and illumination.

However, Dr Jaq Silver–the protagonist in my first novel The Chemical Detective—is a wilful individual and, despite my best efforts to keep her safe, chose to spend time poking around in the Polissia near Chornobyl (the Ukrainian name which replaces the Russian Chernobyl).

So when my day job presented an opportunity to visit eastern Europe, I decided to transit via Kiev and extend the visit into a weekend.

I’m so glad I did.


Continue reading?  II – Kiev

Fiona Erskine’s debut thriller “The Chemical Detective” will be published by the Oneworld imprint, Point Blank Books in April 2019.