Valena Walker is about to fulfil her dreams. For sixteen years she has wanted to go to Antarctica, now with twenty-four years and a bachelor degree in geology she has arrived to McMurdo station to work on her master thesis with Professor Emmett Vanderzee. She had worked hard and had moved heaven and earth to get into that programme. However upon arrival she finds out that Dr. Vanderzee was taken into custody and charged with first degree murder on an incident that happened a year ago. A journalist from the New York Financial News, without the proper acclimatization, developed altitude sickness at Emmett’s camp and died. They could not get him out on time due to bad weather conditions. Now Valena will have to leave Antarctica in less than a week but there are too many questions to be answer and she needs to find out the truth to clear Vanderzee name, prevent her grant from being cancelled and stay there.
Sarah Andrews received a prestigious grant from the National Science Foundation to spend two months on Antarctica to research In Cold Pursuit and therefore she has been able to offer an excellent and truthful description of life in Antarctica. I’d lie if I said I did not like this novel, but having said that there are other aspects of the book that do not fulfil my expectations. There are at least two novels within this book. One is excellent and focuses with great detail on life at McMurdo station. Another one is about a possible murder investigation by an amateur sleuth in an incredible setting, Antarctica. However this second story gets diluted within the first one, it has far too many characters, it is easy to lose concentration and interest on the development of the plot, and I’ve been somewhat disappointed with the end result.
Sarah Andrews is well known for her popular mystery series featuring forensic geologist Em Hansen, which I have not read. With In Cold Pursuit, she introduces a new lead character Valena Walker. Sarah Andrews is also a professional geologist and licensed pilot. She has received four awards for her writing, including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Journalism Award and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Shea Award.
Sarah Andrews at Wikipedia.
Read another review at Reactions to Reading.
This was the second novel set in Antarctica that I read for my participation in the 2010 Global Reading Challenge hosted by Dorte at DJs krimiblog with the technical assistance of Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise.