A group of scientists about to leave Antarctica is overtaken by horrifying events.
Dr. Andrew Berrister is the cautious leader of a small research group that includes scientists Mortimer and Dan Wells; Sarah Henshaw and her graduate student Lisa White; Ajay Joshi, another graduate student; field hand John Graham; and Freddy, the cook. Their serenity is disturbed by sounds that could be gunshots or cracking ice followed by the signs of a boat having landed and the removal of all their stores from their camp on Livingston Island. The trashing of their radio and their generators leaves them in a precarious position. Offshore lurks Lena, a large fishing boat with a decidedly mixed crew. Capt. Garik is often drunk, and some of the crew of simple fishermen are willing to illegally hunt whales for big money. The man paying the bills is the sinister Imad Hasim, whose hidden agenda also requires the crew to drop a large number of unidentified barrels overboard. The scientists off searching for the missing Freddy and Dan watch in horror when a boat party from the ship comes ashore, burns the camp, and shoots up the tents before coming after them, apparently unwilling to leave anyone alive who could report their misdeeds. The scientists struggle to survive in the harsh conditions, and Berrister must fight his own fears and overwhelming odds to save his friends and stay alive in Antarctica’s unforgiving conditions, made worse by the path of death and destruction Hasim has left behind.
Beaufort leaves both 12th-century and modern England (The Murder House, 2014, etc.) far behind in a breathtaking tale of intrigue and fortitude reminiscent of the vintage adventure tales of Alistair MacLean.