Victim of the Aurora

Written by Thomas Keneally
Review by Kathy King

Expeditions to the South Pole were the rage at the beginning of the twentieth century. Men braved extreme conditions to conquer the unknown and uncovered new scientific discoveries. Thomas Keneally, the renowned author of Schindler’s List, has written a thrilling novel of adventure and murder in Victim of the Aurora.

Anthony Piers, the main character and artist, is asked to become a member of the New British South Pole Expedition. He believes his only contribution to the group is to paint pictures of the Artic landscape, but he soon becomes involved with solving a crime. Piers finds himself in isolated living conditions with a murderer. The victim is a journalist who knows a secret about every man in the group and has left the secrets in a journal. Anthony discovers who the murderer is, but is faced with a decision that will change his life forever.

Keneally vividly writes about the endurance of the extreme polar environment and how individuals cope with the conditions. This book was worth reading even though the murder-mystery aspect was not complex. The book reveals the darker side of human nature and man’s fight for survival.