An extraordinary thriller set at the frozen edge of the world, perfect for fans of Dan Simmons, Michael Crichton and Dan Brown.
In the Arctic Ocean, the US Coast Guard icebreaker Terra Nova batters its way through the pack ice. There shouldn't be anyone near them for hundreds of miles. But then a lone skier, half-dead with cold, emerges out of the snow.
His name is Tom Anderson, and he is the only survivor of a disaster at Zodiac Station, a scientific research base deep in the Arctic Circle. He tells an incredible story of scientists and spies, of lust and greed, of jealousy, mayhem and murder. But his tale simply doesn't add up. Whose blood is smeared across his clothes? Why is there a bullet hole through the jacket he's wearing, and why is that jacket labelled with someone else's name?
It's clear that more was going on at Zodiac Station than Anderson is telling. And someone else may have survived the disaster, as well... someone who has killed before, and who is willing to kill again.
Harper (The Orpheus Descent) brilliantly uses a framing device straight out of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in crafting an utterly compelling, sophisticated page-turner set in the Arctic. Capt. Carl Franklin and his crew aboard the U.S. Coast Guard ice-breaker Terra Nova face a baffling mystery when they rescue a man named Thomas Anderson from an ice floe in the middle of nowhere. Anderson, who's in bad shape from hypothermia and frostbite, tells Franklin that he's a researcher from Zodiac Station, a scientific base on the island of Utgard. Martin Hagger, a biologist who believes that life on Earth originated at the poles, recruited Anderson, but when Anderson arrived at Zodiac, Hagger was gone. This was but the first of many puzzles Anderson encountered. After the base was devastated by an explosion, Anderson traveled more than 100 miles in just four days in search of help. Franklin, who finds aspects of Anderson's narrative questionable, probes relentlessly for the truth about what happened at the research outpost on Utgard. The plotting is complex but logical, with a fairly clued and stunning payoff.