In Cold Pursuit by Sarah Andrews

In Cold Pursuit Sarah Andrews. In Cold Pursuit. 2007. St. Martin’s Press Paperbacks edition July 2008.  368 pages. ISBN: 978-0-312-94596-1.

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. Globus 2

You can visit Sarah Andrews web site here, and read chapter one here.

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.

7 thoughts on “In Cold Pursuit by Sarah Andrews”

  1. >Jose Ignacio – Thanks for this thoughtful review. When I read Bernadette's review of this one, I thought it might be interesting to read it because of my father's experience in Antarctica. I still would like to see how Andrews portrays life there and compare it to my father's stories…

  2. >I admire your tenacity, Jose Ignacio! Well done, this must mean that you are now at supehero status (as you already reviewed that not good Antactica one). I still have not started on that continent yet, though I did end up in Patagonia recently – did not make it as far south as Tierra del Fluego…..

  3. >At least you're finished Antarctica now and never need return! I agree that the plot isn't as good as the aspects of the book that deal with the setting though I think I was so relieved to find a book set there that didn't involve teams of gun-wielding commandos and/or alien landings (which is what featured in the several books I started and never finished for that continent) that I was more forgiving than I otherwise might have been 🙂

  4. >Shame that you found the book a bit middling Jose. Nice balanced review. It would be nice to find a good murder mystery set in Antarctica – certainly seems a rich settings that would be ripe for a good murder story. I enjoyed WHITE FOR DANGER by David Stevens, but that was more of an Alistair MacLean/Desmond Bagley-ish 70s style thriller (so probably a bit of an enjoyable nostalgia there in my enjoyment of the book), even though it involved some crime.

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