This is a (rough) transcript of Bert’s review on The Bert’s Books Podcast. You can find The Bert’s Books Podcast wherever you get your podcasts from or online here
In the most inhospitable environment – cut off from the rest of the world – there’s a killer on the loose.
A&E doctor Kate North has been knocked out of her orbit by a personal tragedy. So when she’s offered the opportunity to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica, she jumps at the chance. The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident while out on the ice.
The move seems an ideal solution for Kate: no one knows about her past; no one is checking up on her. But as total darkness descends for the winter, she begins to suspect that Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t accidental at all. And the more questions she asks, the more dangerous it becomes …
Kate heads out to the Antarctic to become a replacement doctor at the UN station. Winter is coming and this is a point where the Antarctic doesn’t receive any light for several months.
It’s a horrible place to be, but they need a doctor and Kate is parachuted in just at the last possible minute.
Some of the other bases shut down over winter and the staff leave – this means there’s just thirteen of them at this base.
Kate is immediately struck by the death of Jean-Luc – she becomes obsessed by it. And I think that’s fair. It happened a few weeks previously – so it’s not just happened.
I really enjoyed it – it’s a very claustrophohic thriller, very filmic. I can see it all unfolding in my mind.
There are a lot of characters in this book, some of them are important, some of them not. This is the problem with lots of who-dun-it type books.
The blurb says one dead body twelve suspects, right at the top so you know someone is going to die, and this is in the back of your mind as you’re getting to know these characters.
Some of them are just in the periphery, some of them move in and out of the main thrust of the narrative, and then one of them suddenly dies.
I always find it a little tricky to keep track of – so in books like this, a character precis at the front would have been helpful.
But, if you go in with Kate as your main window into this world, it’s fine, although as the days and weeks go on, Kate becomes more familiar with the characters and leaves you behind a little.
The environment and setting is a huge part of this book, and Haughton does a brilliant job of making you feel as if you’re there in this cold and lonely place.
I can’t say too much without giving much away – that’s the problem with mystery novels!
I enjoyed it a lot, very claustrophobic – I found it a bit odd that it’s released over the summer, as it would be perfect for an early January read.
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