Blood & Ice

Written by Robert Masello
Review by Nancy Henshaw

Photo-journalist Michael Wilde, tormented by guilt and grief, takes on an assignment in the Antarctic, a chance to abandon the intolerable circumstances of his life in the USA.

His first dive into dangerous waters beneath the ice cap leads him to a discovery so dauntingly bizarre that only his colleagues, the hardened, experienced scientists and service personnel there at the furthest reach of existence, would believe him. They have learned that nothing can be discounted in this region “at pole” where humanity has such a fragile toe-hold. A second dive brings two ice-shrouded treasures into the laboratory. Terror and tragedy ensue, the grisly events vividly detailed and horribly convincing. Then a discovery by dedicated marine biologist Darryl Hirsch brings hope to the beleaguered survivors; a hope that may allow Michael a strange chance of happiness in an ending that can never be more than bittersweet. To disclose anything more would spoil the story for readers.

There is some excellent characterisation of clever, inquisitive and occasionally eccentric people, each one sharply individualised, plus exciting scenes of intense physical action. The verses from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” are a nice touch. This is an unusual and admirably researched book mainly set in a place where men and women live at the limit of human endurance and the smallest mistake may prove deadly.