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AS SEEN ON THE TODAY SHOW • A high-altitude thriller that will take your breath away—Cecily Wong is on her most dangerous climb yet, miles above sea level. But the elements are nothing compared to one chilling truth: There's a killer on the mountain.
"A vertigo-inducing page-turner by an author who brings the high-stakes world of expert mountain-climbing to life on the page." —Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid
Journalist Cecily Wong is in over her head. She’s come to Manaslu, the eighth-highest peak in the world, to interview internationally famous mountaineer Charles McVeigh on the last leg of a record-breaking series of summits. She’s given up everything for this story—her boyfriend, her life savings, the peace she’s made with her climbing failures in the past—but it’s a career-making opportunity. It could finally put her life back on track.
But when one climber dies in what everyone else assumes is a freak accident, she fears their expedition is in danger. And by the time a second climber dies, it’s too late to turn back. Stranded on a mountain in one of the most remote regions of the world, she’ll have to battle more than the elements in a harrowing fight for survival against a killer who is picking them off one by one.
Set in the Himalayas, McCulloch's promising debut gets off to a slow start with too much exposition, but the pace soon picks up. Budding outdoors writer Cecily Wong has landed a chance to interview famed climber Charles McVeigh, but there's a big catch. Cecily, a novice climber, must climb the Nepalese peak Manaslu, the world's eighth-highest mountain, one of 14 summits above 26,000 feet, the altitude known as the "death zone." McVeigh is trying to summit all 14 mountains in a year, without ropes or supplemental oxygen, an unprecedented feat. Cecily's expedition runs into trouble early on, as two members of her team die under suspicious circumstances, and the challenges of extreme climbing test her own strength and resolve. As Cecily chases a killer story on a killer mountain, she realizes there's a killer among the mountaineers. The action on Manaslu is gripping and scary, and readers will feel as if they're breathing the same thin air as the young writer, who's in over her head well above the clouds. Thriller fans will eagerly await McCulloch's next.