Sunday, August 15

In Cold Pursuit - Sarah Andrews

Valena Walker has wanted for as long as she can remember to go to Antarctica. Her lifelong devotion is finally paying off – after much hard work, and more than a little wheedling, Valena is doing her geology master’s fieldwork under glaciologist Dr Emmett Vanderzee. But on her arrival at McMurdo base she discovers that Dr Vanderzee has been arrested for murder – the year-old death, formerly believed to be due to altitude sickness, of a journalist and Vanderzee critic. The only way Valena can avoid being returned to the US on the next ship is to turn her talents to investigation, and clear the name of her esteemed supervisor.

I came across Andrews by chance walking along the library shelves, and was interested in the number of hardback volumes in a series I’d not heard of. Apparently *In Cold Pursuit is something of a spinoff from her well known (though not to me) Em Hansen series, about a forensic geologist. Always up for a new twist on forensic science, and interested in learning more about disciplies I know little about, I found the idea intriguing. Sadly the first Hansen novel wasn’t available, so I picked up the first Walker one instead.

Which I sadly found drier than the continent on which it’s set. I didn’t care about Valena, Emmett, the random folk at McMurdo, the project, the journalist or the murderer. In fact, I didn’t even make it past page 50, which, considering the book goes for another three hundred odd pages, is something of a record. Perhaps I just wasn’t in the right head space, or perhaps I got off on the wrong foot with In Cold Pursuit, but whatever the reason I suspect the next Andrews mystery I pick up will be by Donna rather than Sarah. – Alex

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