Antarctica proves the perfect location for a classic locked-room puzzle.
Pursuing her Master’s degree under the guidance of storied glaciologist Dr. Emmett Vanderzee, Valena Walker is about to fulfill her dream of visiting the coldest continent. Upon arrival, though, she’s dismayed to hear that Emmett has been shipped out, arrested for the murder of a reporter from a neocon newspaper who was thought to have died from altitude sickness earlier in the year. In fact, Valena herself is about to be sent back to the States. Devastated but undaunted, she turns detective, attempting to figure out what really happened at the remote camp where the reporter’s death was attributed to the untimely disappearance of vital medical equipment. Some of Emmett’s colleagues help her chart a course among the scientists, technicians and military personnel at the main base at McMurdo; others warn her to back off. Valena learns that the reporter, ostensibly sent to attack the scientific evidence for global warming, seemed more intent on finding a former serviceman accused of an Iraqi theft that caused the death of his brother. Against the breathtakingly beautiful and perilous backdrop of Antarctica, Valena keeps up her dangerous search for the truth, hoping to save Emmett’s career and her own.
Andrews (Dead Dry, 2005, etc.) sets a satisfying combination of mystery, politics, science and history in a land of stark beauty and ever-present danger.