Antarctica is the coldest, most isolated place on earth. Luke Searle, maverick glaciologist, has made it his home. But soon his survival skills will be tested to the limit by a ruthless mercenary who must win at any cost.
The white continent is under attack. The Australian team is being hunted down. Can Luke stay alive long enough to raise the alarm? Can he avert a global catastrophe?
The countdown has begun. T minus 5 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes …
by Fiona Hardy
It’s frankly cruel of Pier 9 to release a book as vividly written as LA Larkin’s Thirst during our winter—though it will make you feel more grateful next time you intend to complain about the temperature not going over ten degrees.
In the near future, Luke Searle has snuck off temporarily from the Australian Antarctic base Hope Station to investigate volcanic ash in Antarctica’s pristine blue ice, abseiling down a dark crevasse to hunt for his prize in the eerie quiet. It’s a peaceful and happy moment for him, but not far away, two of his fellow trekkers have come against something completely unexpected in the southern continent—violence at the hand of other, less scientifically-minded humans.
Wealthy and ruthless businessman Robert Zhao Sheng has come up with one of the most earth-changing ideas out there, harvesting from Antarctica something that will make him even richer and, hopefully, less incompetent in the eyes of his cruel and high-ranking father, General Zhao. Those at Hope Station are in the path of his success, and are about to find themselves in a cruel tangle of lies and death. He only needs five days to pull this off, but Robert is very aware of his greatest threat: Luke himself, who has spent years on the icy continent and would do anything in his power to protect his friends and those he loves.
Throwing itself straight into the thick of the plot, this book is like watching an action movie play out on the page. With a narrative landscape as beautiful and changeable as Antarctica, you never know if the next roadblock will come from the bad guys or from the land itself.
Robert is truly vile, and Luke is a loose cannon, prone to doing exactly what he wants—much to the eternal angst of station leader Maddie—and he’s a frustrating but ultimately endearing hero, especially when up against something so very terrifying that the notion that this could happen will make you crawl under your doona.
In a story like this, you never know who has the upper hand at any time, so strap on your ice goggles, hike up your thermals and don’t make any plans for the weekend.
Fiona Hardy sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton, and puts together Dead Write for the Readings Monthly. She blogs haphazardly about movies and books (and sometimes music) and you can follow her on twitter - @readwatchtweet.
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