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At the US base at the South Pole, 26 scientific researchers and staff members complete the yearly ritual of waving goodbye to the last plane out, and then summon their energies for the rigors of the winter ahead. Little does the group know that they'll be tested not just by the weather, but by a murderer.
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William Dietrich, a science and environment journalist who's used his Antarctic experience in previously published fiction (Ice Reich) as well as features for the Seattle Times, heads south again in this thriller whose beautifully limned landscapes and detailed description of "wintering over" at the South Pole are almost too good for such pedestrian plotting.
Geologist Jed Lewis joins the Antarctic Support Team at the last minute, and his position as an outsider in a group of 26 "beakers" (scientists) and support personnel is clear even before the first in a series of mysterious and macabre deaths occurs. The senior beaker, a famed astrophysicist named Mickey Moss, has discovered a meteorite that may be worth millions, and when his body is discovered and the meteorite goes missing, suspicion falls on Jed, for no good reason other than his late arrival at the base. Jed becomes the scapegoat for everyone's suspicions, fears, and paranoia, and the pot is stirred by the team psychologist, ostensibly sent to the pole to learn how people behave (or don't) in the isolated, dangerous environment, as close a simulacrum of the conditions humans will face in outer space as science can devise. Unfortunately, Dietrich's series of asides to the reader give the rest of the story away, leaving his beautiful descriptions of the polar dark and nuts-and-bolts explanations of living and working in the world's most rigorous climate the only reasons to finish this ultimately unsatisfying novel. --Jane AdamsAbout the Author:
William Dietrich is a 1990 Pulitzer Prize winner for his coverage on the Exxon Valdez. He lives in Anacortes, Washington
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2001. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0732270510-2-4