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The Ice

by Laline Paull

This eco-thriller is set in the near future when the melting polar ice caps are attracting unwelcome tourism and commercial exploitation to the Arctic. Not just a polemic about global warming, but like the melting ice, this is a chilling, multilayered tale where hidden agenda, greed and betrayal are gradually revealed to show there is far more happening below the surface than is at first apparent.

Extract

They were in a huge cavern, like some ice giant’s baronial hall ...
Parts of the structure glowed to life under their double gaze. Slowly, amazed, grinning at each other, they went a few steps deeper, nudging each other to point out the blue ribs and rafters of ice above them, a cathedral crossed with the inside of a whale. They gazed on a massive slab resting on smaller blocks, like a chieftain’s table. Below it, softer-shaped extrusions formed huge sleeping dogs. Here and there were stalactites spreading like candelabra, and other strange forms twisted into ropes hung with ice tassels ...
'Tell me now,' Tom said, 'While the cat's away.'
It took a few seconds for Sean to remember what he meant. Kingsmith. That whole mess above the ice ...
Tom stopped suddenly. He turned away, his beam flashing over the blue-and-white ice walls. Then back to one spot, where the blue ice gleamed more vividly.
'Shit. Look -'
They stopped arguing, hearing the tearing sound. Only a second, then it stopped. Then came another sound – the high-pitched moan of ice squeezing ice.

Parallels

Tilt by Max Oberon
The Killing Ship by Simon Beaufort
The North Water by Ian McGuire
 

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