Unknown.jpegSet your level of disbelief suspension to Sky High and you might enjoy this thriller. Published by Hachette, it was sent to me at no cost (RRP$29.99 pb, $16.99 eb); it comes out in July.

Olivia Wolfe is an investigative journalist (of course) who gets into some hot water trying to get a story in Afghanistan (of course). To give her some time away from pushy police and terrorists who might want to harm her, her newspaper sends her to Antarctica where a British science team is trying to drill down to Lake Ellsworth (which really happened a few years ago) in an effort to discover whether there’s life in the ancient, ice-locked lake. While there, she discovers possible murder and possible sabotage. There’s also Russians involved (which surprised me a bit because I thought we were beyond Russians as Generic Bad Guys).

There’s intrigue, there’s action, there’s death and some destruction; as the title suggests there’s something dangerous that might be unleashed that would be bad for the whole world. It’s fast-paced… in fact, sometimes too fast-paced, in that I nearly got whip-lash as people’s motives changed or allegiances swapped. And there’s a fairly explicit and unexpected sex scene that seemed quite out of place.

This is probably good airplane-fodder. It doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking, and in fact I’ll admit that I started skimming the exposition in the last third because I was only interested in the action, not the details. (Larking seems very intent of giving minute details about equipment and such – I’m not sure whether she thinks it makes the story more grounded, or well-researched, or what. I just found it boring.) I still managed to follow the story without paying too much attention.

One thing to be aware of: if stalkers squick you out, avoid this book. There’s a stalker who gets the occasional point-of-view section (which also felt out of place) that was generally unpleasant to read.

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