Out of the Ice
by Ann Turner
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 01 Jun 2016 | Archive Date 02 May 2016
When environmental scientist Laura Alvarado is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on an abandoned whaling station, she begins to uncover more than she could ever imagine.
Despite new life thriving in the icy wilderness, the whaling station is brimming with awful reminders of its bloody, violent past, and Laura is disturbed by evidence of recent human interference. Rules have been broken, and the protected wildlife is behaving strangely.
On a diving expedition, Laura is separated from her colleague. She emerges into an ice cave where, through the blue shadows, she is shocked to see an anguished figure, crying for help.
But in this freezing, lonely landscape there are ghosts everywhere, and Laura begins to sense that her own eyes cannot be trusted. Is her mind playing tricks? Has she been in the ice too long?
Back at base, Laura’s questions about the whaling station go unanswered, blocked by unhelpful scientists, unused to questions from an outsider. And Laura just can’t shake what happened in the ice cave.
Piecing together a past and present of cruelty and vulnerability that can be traced all around the globe, from Norway, to Nantucket, Europe and Antarctica, Laura will stop at nothing to unearth the truth. As she sees the dark side of endeavour and human nature, she also discovers a legacy of love, hope and the meaning of family. If only Laura can find her way...
Out of the ice.
Praise for The Lost Swimmer
‘A vivid, suspenseful thriller’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘Reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley … In the best thriller traditions, this exciting novel’s end-game contains an unexpected twist.’ The Age
‘An expertly scripted psychological thriller … An evocative, absorbing and tense tale of trust and betrayal.’ Australian Book Review
‘The definition of a page-turner.’ Marie Claire
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 57 members
This is a fascinating book because it is three stories in one. First we have Dr.Laura Alvarado at work in the AntArctic at the Scientific Base delving into Whales and Dolphins and the background to life on the Research Bases. A lot of research and information that is interesting, but not psychologically thrilling. Then we investigate a No Entry deserted Whaling Station and wander through the lives of a community of a Whaling workers, discovering deep secrets of deceased Norwegian people. Again, a lot of research and information that is interesting, but not psychologically thrilling. And then we are off to Nantucket and Venice in pursuit of a paedophile ring! Murder most foul and the subsequent investigations involving one of Laura’s ex-husbands. At last some psychological thriller! A complicated and involved story with many twists and turns that at times left me slightly bewildered. Many characters and well developed, all with a deeper side to them.
This book was so enjoyable and easy to read. Being set in the Antarctic made this story quite unique. The Author has done an amazing job of explaining what a beautiful, but harsh and uncompromising place it is. There is plenty of suspense, and a few surprises that I wasn’t expecting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, and If I could I would give it six stars. Ann Turner has an obvious talent for writing.
Loved it - the story is at time creepy (almost like a horror novel) and the atmosphere is incredible chilling, pun intended. This is the first book i've read from this author however I will definitely be checking out more. Thank you for the chance to read early, when it come in store at Dymocks Sydney i will definitely hand sell.
There’s something about books set in the Antarctic that really appeal. I don’t know whether it’s the pristine environment, the abundant wildlife, the climatic conditions, the human isolation, desolation, horrific and courageous history and the potential all of this has as an incredible setting, but I find books that tackle all this hard to resist. My only condition, is these novels have to be really well written and maintain a pace as far from glacial as possible or, like the old huts and equipment left to rot down there, I forsake them… Fortunately, Ann Turner’s Out of the Ice is a cracker of a read. Beautifully written, suspenseful, haunting and, at times, nail-biting, it tells the story of scientist, Laura Alvarado who, when the book opens is facing the end of her term at a remote Antarctic Station, that is, until she’s given a new role. Chosen to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment on a whaling station that was abandoned in the 1950s, she travels to the nearest outpost, a very male-dominated and British-owned station from which she must conduct her study. From the moment she steps onto the British base, she finds herself marginalised and treated with hostility by the leaders. When she finally gets to the whaling station she’s to assess, something is amiss. If humans have been forbidden from this Norwegian outpost for decades, why are the penguins and seals so aggressive? And why is there evidence of both recent human habitation and interference? When, after a dive into an underwater cave, Laura bears witness to strange and impossible things, she determines to get to the bottom of the mystery. Calling upon the help of colleagues and superiors from her former station, Laura dares to both question and investigate exactly what’s going on. But there are those who will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep their secrets from emerging out of the ice… From Antarctica to Nantucket and Venice, the book is action-packed but without sacrificing lovely prose, superb descriptions of settings, or creating a wonderful back story for Laura and thus a hero that you champion. I also liked the ambivalence expressed around whaling (which I find utterly abhorrent); how we know it’s shocking, cruel and a complete travesty of which we should be ashamed, but historically, for those involved, it represented something different. Turner doesn’t steer away from presenting both sides and while some of the descriptions of what went on are gut-wrenchingly awful, that she didn’t steer away from depicting all sides is a credit to her – especially when it’s very clear on which side she stands. My only slight misgivings were I thought Laura made some decisions and took some actions that didn’t seem to fit with her intellect and previous caution, that didn’t quite sit with her scientific mind and appeared narratively convenient rather than plausible. Likewise, I thought for a brief time the plot had gone off the rails, and I had to work a bit harder than I would of liked to suspend my disbelief. To my relief, it quickly found its firm feet again and the conclusion was gripping and heartfelt. But these are simply small moments of disquiet in a book I found really hard to put down. In fact, I stayed up too late the night I started it and even read it while doing my morning exercise on a treadmill because I had to know how it ended. A terrific read that I recommend for lovers of a good mystery, those interested in the Antarctic and what drives humans to do both great and terrible things. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to enjoy such a wonderful book.
I really enjoyed this book. It held my interest from start to finish and I actually had a job putting it down at bed time! I would definitely buy this book as a gift for someone and recommend it, its a great read. Looking forward to reading more by Ann Turner.
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Thriller. Antarctica. Friendship. Women. Viruses. Laura Alvarado is an environmental scientist based in the Antarctic. When she is sent to a remote area to report whether Fredelighavn, an abandoned whaling station, could be used for tourism or stay as a pristine environment for the wildlife, she finds disturbing evidence that it is being misused and the wildlife behaving strangely. When the normally placid penguins and seals attack, Laura knows that someone has been interfering with their way of life. On a dive at the station with her friend Sara, she glimpses a young boy screaming for help through the ice and as more and more strange things begin to happen she finds herself in danger. What is going on at the Research Station? Why is she seeing eerie things and being shunned by the scientists at the base? This is a tense and engrossing thriller and the setting of the ice of Antarctica sets it apart immediately. The reader is swept into the life of people living in its cold environment, and the initial chapters describing the animal life, the penguins, seals and whales give a fabulous background to the thrilling story as the suspense unfolds. Fredelighavn, an abandoned whaling station is depicted in great detail. The Norwegian buildings, portraits of the people who lived there, the Scandavian furniture and even an abandoned cinema, are all brought to life against the background of the terrible slaughter of the whales that were the mainstay of the settlement. Although Laura could perhaps be 'toasty', a condition of seeing things after spending too much time in Antactica, she is a strong and determined woman, who rationally analyses what has happened and is convinced that she has seen a young boy screaming for help. With the assistance of her friend Sara and boss Georgia, a detective stationed nearby, they investigate Fredelighavn. Continuing the search, Laura goes to Nantucket, pursuing the elusive scientist Snow and uncovers more of the mysteries surrounding the abandoned whaling station. There are many questions for the reader to pursue, including the theme of strong women in a predominantly male environment, the strength of friendship and the preservation of wildlife. Add these to exciting action, suspense, some very unexpected twists and turns and moments of heartbreak and the reader is in for a real treat. I will certainly be picking up any more books by Ann Turner.
Thrillers set in remote or challenging places where humans are at the mercy of the elements always have extra appeal for me over the routine street- and city-scapes of many crime stories and, in this case, Antarctica is about as challenging and remote as you can get. Dr Laura Alvarado is transferred from her usual area of study with whales and ordered by her superior, law enforcement officer Georgia, to conduct an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) into an abandoned Norwegian whaling station near to one of the British bases. But as soon as Laura arrives at the base, she is met with suspicion and animosity from the men in charge who seem reluctant to help or provide the essential equipment and assistance she needs to complete her EIA. Together with Kate, her associate and penguin expert, Laura begins to discover evidence of human disturbances in the old buildings of the strictly off-limits whaling station. And the local wildlife is behaving uncharacteristically belligerent. When she goes diving and sees what she is sure is a living boy trapped in a cave under the ice, Laura begins to wonder if she’s turning “toasty” and suffering from the hallucinations often experienced by scientists who’ve been living too long in isolation. But then she discovers physical evidence, including a boy’s T-shirt manufactured decades after the station closed, and Laura consults with Georgia who eventually believes what she has to say. Before long, Laura is continuing her investigation around the world, in Massachusetts and in Venice. But it seems there are many men in powerful positions who will stop at nothing, not even murder, in keeping their secrets. The descriptions of Antarctica are cinematic and the feeling of menace hiding beneath the ice is really spine-tingling. For the most part, the narrative neatly sidesteps the inevitable contrivances or plot holes and keeps the reader on their toes, but Laura’s loathing of the whaling industry and her moral outrages tend to get a little repetitive. Also, she’s in turns pushy and dithery when it comes to some decision-making which doesn’t reflect her obvious high intellect. Ditto her attitude towards men whom she can’t decide whether to fall for, or be repulsed by, but that also seems to stem from a prior tragedy, also poor relationships with her parents and two broken marriages - and naturally the reader has to forgive her. A highly memorable read from Ann Turner that is bound to keep you reading well into the small hours! With many thanks to Simon & Schuster (Australia) and NetGalley for the advance copy.
I am becoming a fan of Ann Turner. This book looked like an Antarctic adventure, but became much more. There was exploring an uninhabited village, smuggling, medical ethics, police investigations and more. A wonderful read and well worth the effort. Keep them coming.
E-book was gifted by NetGalley for review. Laura Alvarado an environmental scientist is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on the abandoned Fredelighavn Whaling Station for an Environmental Impact Assessment. Upon arriving at Alliance Station, a scientific Antarctic outpost, she straight away gets the feeling that all is not as it seems. The head of Alliance, Connaught does not like Laura, when she starts asking questions about the station and its purpose, she is met with silence. Her suspicions of something being amiss are confirmed after her first visit to Fredelighavn Whaling Station where she finds evidence of human interference. When she questions people at Alliance they all tell her that no one has been there and that she must be imagining it. With the help of a work colleague Kate, she tries to discover the secret that Alliance station is hiding, but when the truth is finally revealed Laura realises that it is far worse than she could have ever imagined. Set in the isolation and starkness of Antarctica, "Out of the Ice" takes the reader into a world that most of us could never really imagine. I found I became totally submerged in Laura's character and at times felt suffocated at the idea of being in a place such as this and not knowing who she could or could not trust. There are enough twists in this tale, I think even Agatha Christie would have been left astounded when the ending was revealed. A sub plot that goes into detail about the history of whaling practices in Antarctica and the families involved, adds yet another lavish layer of what is already a mouth watering piece of literature. As with her first novel, Ann takes the reader on a roller coaster ride with beautiful descriptive writing. A story that takes you from the stark and barren landscape of Antarctica, to the bustling city of Venice, this tale of intrigue and mystery will have you enthralled until the last page. Out of the Ice is the second and much anticipated novel by Ann Turner.
STARS Beautiful, tense, haunting and thrilling. I was helpless to put this down and can’t believe this is Turner’s second novel. She managed to capture the loneliness and the bliss of working on the ice while causing my heart beat out of my chest and my mind to constantly question who is the hero and who is the villain. It's impossible not to appreciate Turner's love for the Antarctic wildlife and their vulnerability to human interference and of course brutality. The history of whaling was both heart-rending and humbling. I can't wait to see what Turner writes next.
Laura Alvarado is a marine biologist stationed at the Antarctic and nearing the end of her 12 month stint when she is asked to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the old Norwegian whaling station. She agrees and is accompanied by her friend Kate and is expected to be joined by a German scientist who is held up by complications from a gall bladder operation. Kate and Laura go for a dive to explore the area and Laura sees something very mysterious that becomes the basis for the mystery of the book. Furthermore, the penguins react very aggressively towards them which is uncharacteristic. The base is very modern but also filled with men who seem to have a very chauvinistic attitude towards the two women. This is a rollicking read with plenty of subplots to keep the reader on their toes. The description of the Antarctic and the old whaling station houses is evocative and the whole the story keeps the reader wondering until the end. I have also read Turner's previous book 'The lost swimmer' which I loved and although this is very engaging, it did feel like a rushed effort to me particularly in the beginning where some turns of phrases are repeated with the writing not up to her usual standard. However this doesn't last long and the reader is quickly transported by the force of the story-telling. Definitely worth a read but not quite as good as 'The lost swimmer'.
Thanks to my rep Nicola Lambert for getting me to read this book. Read it in 48 hours, it was so hard to put down. Kept me up late at night and left me dreaming of Antarctica have asked 4 of my staff to read it as well, I believe the sales of this book will be amazing. It will be on our blog in late May or early June Thank you
This was such an amazing read! I started it and couldn't put it down - part thriller, past historical fiction, and great characters to boot. I loved the locations within the story and the ending was just as I'd hoped it would be.
How can you prove what you saw when no one believes you? Laura is in Antarctica making sure that all the old building from the whaling villages are still sound. She studies whales so this is really hard for her as so many where killed and there numbers still haven't returned to what they were before. This is a scary place and she is about to uncover a secret that will have huge consquences for her & her friends. She knows what she saw and she will do whatever she has to to save the child. But who can she trust at the research station as her feelings are all over the place and she is dreaming of her lost son that dead so many years ago. The more she digs the worse things become and she puts her friends lives in danger without realizing what is happening. A great story line hard hitting, suspenseful and a happy ending filled with love. Can't wait to read Ann's other books when she releases more.
An intriguing novel, exquisitely written! The setting comes to life, along with the well-fleshed out characters.
Turner's novel explores the story of Laura, an environmental scientist who is to report on the abandoned Fredelighavn Whaling Station for an Environmental Impact Assessment. When she arrives, she starts to ask questions as things seem unusual. Connaught, the head of the Alliance, shows obvious dislike for Laura as she queries the station's purpose. Laura's concerns are realised and things soon become worse as she realises the desperate situation that she is in. Set in Antarctica, "Out of the Ice", allows the reader to feel the bleakness of the location and the situation. I became completely immersed in Laura's world. The plot kept me engaged until the end. The characters around Laura were engaging and built the story into an exciting and enthralling read.
Amazing story! absoultely loved :) will write a full review very shortly
‘There was no normal in Antarctica.’ Laura Alvarado is an environmental scientist working in Antarctica. She is sent to an outpost on a remote Antarctic island to report on an abandoned Norwegian whaling station, as part of an environmental impact assessment. But nothing is as it seems in this place. From the beginning, Laura finds she is treated as an outsider. And when she travels to the whaling station, the wildlife behaves strangely. There are signs of recent human interference around the whaling station, yet no one is supposed to have been there. What is going on? Laura and a colleague become separated while on a diving expedition. Laura enters an ice cave, and is sure that she sees a boy, crying for help. Reunited with her colleague, they can find no sign of any other human. But Laura doesn’t give up easily. ‘Someone’s tampered with my property. In a zone where no one’s meant to be, in a place where I’m not allowed.’ Laura’s search for information takes her from Antarctica to Nantucket, and then to Europe. The abandoned whaling station has its own history. Finding out about that history will enable Laura to face some issues of her own as well as to find out just what is going on. I enjoyed this novel, as I enjoyed Ms Turner’s first novel. Her descriptions of Antarctica and of the abandoned whaling station had me hooked early. The history of the whaling station kept me reading. Like Laura, I was keen to find answers. But, and without introducing spoilers, there were a couple of aspects of the story that didn’t really work well for me. By this stage, though, the story had so much momentum that I couldn’t have put it down. I love Ms Turner’s writing, the way in which she creates the atmosphere, the space in which to tell a story. Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster (Australia) for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes. Jennifer Cameron-Smith
This book was great. I found I was totally hooked from the first chapter. The mystery kept me interested throughout the whole book. The setting and the characters were well written that I found myself lost in this book, and very emotional when twists occurred that I was not expecting. Definitely I have discovered a new author that I will continue to follow and recommend to all my friends and family.
Laura, an environmental scientist, is given the job of carrying out an environmental impact assessment of a proposal to allow tourists to visit an abandoned whaling station on an Antarctic island. She is to be based at Alliance, a nearby British research base. On arrival at the Alliance base, Laura discovers an atmosphere of suspicion, mistrust and unhelpfulness. She visits the whaling station where there are strange happenings and mysteries. To help uncover the truth she goes to Nantucket in the USA where there are still living descendants of the whalers and to Venice Italy. It is written in the first person and Laura's describes her family background, her upbringing in Australia, her two failed marriages and her scientific work. The writing is very good with vivid descriptions of Antarctic scenery and wild life. However not all rings true, the description of the Placid Bay seems to include every known type of Antarctic wild life simultaneously present. The plot keeps the reader's interest although it has a number of holes. It is hard to imagine a major construction project in the Antarctica remaining secret. Why Venice? It is a long way from Antarctica. The purpose of the underground central core of the Alliance building is never explained. Surely all staff at bases are vetted for prior criminal convictions. Underground power generators need an exhaust outlet which would be difficult to hide.
Book blurb… When environmental scientist Laura Alvarado is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on an abandoned whaling station, she begins to uncover more than she could ever imagine. Despite new life thriving in the icy wilderness, the whaling station is brimming with awful reminders of its bloody, violent past, and Laura is disturbed by evidence of recent human interference. Rules have been broken, and the protected wildlife is behaving strangely. On a diving expedition, Laura is separated from her colleague. She emerges into an ice cave where, through the blue shadows, she is shocked to see an anguished figure, crying for help. But in this freezing, lonely landscape there are ghosts everywhere, and Laura begins to sense that her own eyes cannot be trusted. Is her mind playing tricks? Has she been in the ice too long? Back at base, Laura’s questions about the whaling station go unanswered, blocked by unhelpful scientists, unused to questions from an outsider. And Laura just can’t shake what happened in the ice cave. Piecing together a past and present of cruelty and vulnerability that can be traced all around the globe, from Norway, to Nantucket, Europe and Antarctica, Laura will stop at nothing to unearth the truth. As she sees the dark side of endeavour and human nature, she also discovers a legacy of love, hope and the meaning of family. If only Laura can find her way... My thoughts… I enjoyed this story for the incredible journey through the ice that taught me about the animals that managed to survive there, despite the cruel Whalers who plundered their habitats. Ann Turner has managed to weave a suspenseful tale of intrigue with fact. I felt for Laura — her past loses and a family history that plagued her throughout life, managing to surface while on the job at the old whaling station. A well-crafted and painstakinlgy plotted story that puts the reader in the setting, like few stories do, to experience the marvels of the Antarctic region.
Wow, what a read. I vacillated between holding my breath and glancing at the words through webbed fingers … you could cut the tension with a knife. The characters were so-well drawn that I felt I knew them, and the eerie cold Antarctic setting was both intriguing and chilling, literally. I was also delighted that the author didn’t do the cliché scary stuff – characters didn’t take stupid risks to heighten the drama; it was realistic and as a result, powerful. I particularly loved one paragraph that really resonated with me, and in context, spoke of the tenuous link between life and death, purity and destruction for both humans and nature – Migration. A shifting world. The sea of humanity seeking new homes. We were lucky to be here. What a treat to read. Lovers of suspense, mystery and literature will be well catered for with this book.
If Antarctica appeals to you and you enjoy thrilling crime novels, then don’t miss this killer read: Out of the Ice by Australian author and screenwriter, Ann Turner. Turner has written an edge-of –your-seat-thriller set in the eerie and frozen landscape of Antarctica. Australian scientist Laura Alvarado is sent to a remote Antarctic island to make an environmental assessment of Fredelighavn; an old Norwegian whaling station subject to an Exclusion Order and abandoned since 1957. When the wildlife acts strangely and Laura doesn’t get answers from scientists at the British base, Laura’s suspicions are raised. But when Laura starts hallucinating she starts to suspect that maybe she’s been too long on the ice. Is Laura going ‘toasty’? Can readers trust Laura’s version of events? Turner’s descriptions of the icy wilderness and the isolated whaling village of Fredelighavn are evocative and atmospheric. Turner gives readers insights into the stark and pristine environment of Antarctica and its wildlife, while at the same time, masterfully keeping a high level of tension throughout the novel. There were several plot twists throughout the novel and like Laura, it was difficult to know who to trust. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of the icy landscape, the whales, penguins and seals, and the mysterious and enticing appeal of Antarctica. When the plot took a new direction away from Antarctica, I enjoyed the story less but Turner neatly tied up all loose ends. Out of the Ice was action-packed and highly recommended for lovers of crime fiction and mystery. The novel will definitely impart a sense of appreciation for the wildlife and icy landscape of Antarctica to readers. It was an eerie and icy read and difficult to put down. Out of the Ice is due for release in June 2016. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia for the opportunity to review this book.
After about 30% into this book I literally could not put it down. I didn't want to eat, sleep or go to work - I just wanted to know what happens next. Turner builds up the mystery of the abandoned whaling station perfectly. Half way through the book I found myself coming up with elaborate theories about what could have happened, with each as implausible as the next. It was then that I knew I had stumbled upon a damn good thriller novel. Read more... Let me be clear. While Turner writes well, this is not a book where you will be swept away by the writing. It's extremely plot driven and there is very little character development. What this is, however, is an incredible page-turner that you will not - seriously, will not - be able to put down. I did not come up for air until I finished it. This was an incredibly clever plot, that starts off slow and builds momentum throughout the book, where by the end everything is crashing down upon you at astronomical speed. Did I care about the lack of character development in the book? Hell no! This is not supposed to be a character driven book. This book was all about the plot - and it was enough for me that the characters weren't hollow or one-dimensional. This book is my most satisfying read of 2016. By the end of the book, every loose end was tied, every box was ticked off, every piece of the jigsaw puzzle fit. God how I love those types of books. I had two small annoyances with the book. Firstly, some parts were rushed - the author was clearly aiming for a fast-paced plot, which at times backfired and left it feeling a bit too hurried. And secondly, Laura, the MC, was just a little too silly for my tastes at times. For example, when she meets Trevor she instantly calls him her "little brother". Um no, you just met the guy like 10 seconds ago, you cannot possibly think of him as your "little brother" that quickly. However, given how good the plot was, they are annoyances I can easily look past and forgive. I feel like Ann Turner is the Australian version of Dan Brown - absolutely impossible to put down until the very end.
This review will appear on the link below approx 25th May Working in the Antarctic was a dream come true for environmental scientist Dr Laura Alvarado – her love of the wild animals; the beauty of the whales; the majesty of the penguins – meant every day was filled with contentment. The peace and serenity which surrounded her meant she didn’t miss her home in Melbourne Australia; her mother rang and emailed Laura often. The day Georgia, her boss, told Laura she had been chosen to do a special report on an abandoned whaling station with the view of allowing tourists to the area – even though it was currently a closed zone where only a specific few could visit, was the day her life would change irrevocably… When Laura began to suspect something was going on that she wouldn’t be privy to, Georgia sent her colleague Kate to work by her side – between the two of them they hoped to finalise the report plus get to the bottom of the mystery. But when they encountered the strange behaviour of the seals and penguins and their aggressive nature, Kate and Laura both knew something was terribly wrong – their behaviour wasn’t normal. The horrors of the machinery at the old whaling station began playing tricks on Laura’s mind – and when she saw the terrified person behind the ice wall under the ocean, she was sure she must have been on the job for too long. Spending too much time in the icy reaches of the Antarctic was known to affect people – maybe that was her problem… Would heading to Nantucket to find answers be the right thing to do? Or would there end up being many more questions? As Laura unearthed the horrifying secrets of the past, it seemed they were connected to current events. The clock was ticking faster; events were careening out of control – could Laura stop it all before it was too late? Out of the Ice by Aussie author Ann Turner is another gripping thriller which I literally flew through. A fabulous and unique plot, the backdrop of the freezing Antarctic with the penguins and seals was wonderful – the mystery and suspense surrounding the characters was well crafted and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Great entertainment and a novel I have no hesitation in recommending highly. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.
I previously read Ann Turner's first book 'The Lost Swimmer' with enjoyment but I must admit her new novel 'Out Of The Ice' surpassed all expectations. Laura Alvarado trained as a marine biologist and made her name by studying the relationship between penguins and krill in the Southern Ocean. Antarctica was her first love and pulled her back, she is currently there on a 18 month contact with the Australian Antarctic Division. Asked to do a field assignment at Alliance Station - a British base, it involves an Environmental Impact Assessment of Fredilighavn, the old Norwegian whaling station which has been earmarked to become a tourist destination. As her partner to assess the station Professor Rutgar Koch had been delayed, she is unofficial taken under the wing of Travis Roberts, one of the workers from Alliance. From the minute she arrives at Alliance Station her defences are up, especially as she is the only woman there. Things are a bit strange at this station and she starts to watch her every move. Even when taken to the uninhabited whaling station Fredilighavn, in these marvellously preserved buildings she feels uneasy and the wildlife there are unexpectedly aggressive towards them. And then there is the vision of a young boy that she sights in an ice cave while she is diving and suddenly separated from her diving partner. This vision haunts her, is the boy real or is she 'toasty' a condition that implies that she has been in Antarctica too long. As her fears mount she is joined by her boss Georgia and friend Kate but even safety in numbers doesn't quell their uneasiness as they try to unravel what is happening at Alliance and least of all, who to trust. From the moment I started this story I was totally engrossed. There is a bit of back story to Laura that is explained in the first few chapters and I feel this is important to understand her. It was very atmospheric and creepy and I was totally invested to find out what the history and modern day occurrences around this fascinating whaling station were. I felt the author described conditions so well, that I could imagine myself right there. A thoroughly enjoyable read that I recommend. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read and review.
This is a very engaging story that takes the reader into the cold domain of Antartica. The location is incredible and so clearly portrayed. A thrilling story that gets hold of you and keeps you there - full of suspense and the unexpected. Absolutely loved it. All the characters were incredible including the main character Laura, her boss Georgia and friend Kate as well as the male contingents at the Alliance Station. This is a great read and I would highly recommend it! Thank you to Netgalley Ne publisher Simon & Schuster (Australia) for an ebook copy to read and review.
Australian marine biologist Laura Alvarado is coming towards the end of her eighteen month contract working in the Antarctic when she is asked to go to undertake an environmental impact study on an old Norwegian whaling station that has been proposed to be opened up as a museum for tourists. When she arrives at the British base nearby she feels that something is wrong. The other scientists are unfriendly and intimidating and there is a lot of secrecy about the work of the station. On top of that discipline is lax and the base poorly run. The whaling station and the settlement that grew up around it are a fascinating step back into history but there are signs that people have been there even though it is an exclusion zone and off limits to all. Laura also thinks she is seeing ghosts but has she just hallucinating from being out on the ice for too long or is something odd going on? Antarctica is a magical setting for a book and felt very real with beautiful descriptions of the pristine glaciers and deep clear water. The descriptions of the penguins, seals and whales made them come to life and the coldness of the ice seeps through the pages. Against this very atmospheric backdrop, Laura's fears and loneliness seem really spooky as she tries to work out who has been visiting the whaling station. What is really happening at the base is not revealed until late in the novel and was totally unexpected. After the pace of life on the ice, the ending was certainly action packed and almost felt a bit rushed as if all the threads had to be tied up and packed away neatly. Despite that, Out of the Ice was a very enjoyable thriller, set in a wonderful location - highly recommended!
I give this book my highest credits. I sat all yesterday afternoon and read this. I then fed my family and continued to read. It is a piece of literary art. I enjoyed the way Ann Turner wrote with description. I enjoy reading and listening to classics because of the way they were able to describe while remaining in the context of the story. Ann Turner did just this in the pages of this novel. I was taken i to the old village. I just want to know more about the people who once lived there, the secrets and the truth which seemed hidden until the climax and end pages. There was mystery upon mystery capturing my imagination all the way through. If only Ann was able to read my mind as I read this book, she would almost have another novel in the making. This is what makes a mystery a good mystery. One where the reader makes up ideas only to be miss lead in the twists that unravel in the end chapters. The climax was beyond what I imagined as I was taken away from the original scenery and placed on a plane. This got me thinking. Why was I being taken away from the main mystery? I have to say I needed a coffee at this stage. But I was not disappointed as Ann Turner lead me down another avenue and then managed to completely tie up the whole mystery with not a speck left out. This was what made the book, for me. It was refreshing have every little question answered. It seemed to me that no detail was left out. I give her credit for this. I will pick up any book by this author after reading this. She has made her way up my favourite Author list.
Well wow, what a ride... Out of the Ice is a journey into the arctic and also the history of whaling, Ms Turner's Lead character is scientist Laura Alvarado who is sent to report on whether whaling station Fredilighavn, can be adapted for Antarctic Tourism, the idea is not one she wants to agrees with, and she is determined to ensure the wildlife are not put at risk, when she gets a frosty reception at the Alliance station and not much help when she goes to check out the abandoned Whaling Station, now home to seals and penguins, it stands before Laura as if it had been frozen in time. with the houses stood waiting as if their owners had just popped to the shops! - I just loved the world building the writing in the book was so descriptive I could imagine the scenes quite clearly. When Laura sees evidence of recent human interference. She realises that the someone has ignored the exclusion zone rules, and with other spooky things going on Laura is unsure if what she is seeing is real or whether she is 'Toasty' from being in the Arctic so long. When Her friend Kate comes to help her and they go out on a dive to check out the Penguins and Seals at see, Laura gets separated and surfaces in an ice cave where, through the ice wall, sees a figure crying for help. As Laura digs deeper she realises that there is something deeply wrong at the Alliance station and is determined to find out what secret tests they are doing at the Alliance station. This is a suspenseful read, that takes you on a journey as you learn of the history of the Whalers from Norway to Nantucket we get to visit through the words of Ms Turner Venice, Nantucket and of course Antarctica, and as Laura digs further, lives are put in danger. Will Laura discover the truth in time, or will she be forever haunted by the vision of the ice cave forever. I would recommend the book to all readers 16+ who love a great story with developed characters and enough research to create a believable story that will have you on a rollercoaster journey looking answers. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read and review
I loved Ann Turner’s previous book, The Lost Swimmer, and was eager to read her new offering, a thriller set in the Antarctic. When it comes to the icy setting, I won’t complain. Turner’s vivid descriptions of Antarctica and its wildlife are enthralling. Turner also utilises the unlikely location co-stars of Venice and Nantucket. Turner takes advantage of the uniqueness of the three landscapes and effortlessly creates a series of eerie atmospheres. The one thing these three places has in common is the sense of isolation, and almost being cut off from civilisation. The idea that someone might be watching, or even following, the characters when they should be fully alone, in areas where the natural surroundings offers no escape route, adds a great deal of tension. I remember saying in my Lost Swimmer review that it’s like reading a Hitchcock movie, and I get that same feeling with this new novel. I should add that in Antarctica the setting isn’t just snow and penguins. Out of the Ice’s main character, Laura, is an Australian scientist assigned to undertake an environmental impact study to determine whether or not an abandoned whaling station could be converted into a tourist attraction. The station was previously run by one enterprising Norwegian family who set up an almost entirely self-sufficient village for their workers and their families to live. Turner gives us depressingly shameful descriptions of the whaling operations, as well as the creepy Stepford-like village. From maybe a slower beginning than I expected, the novel skips along like wildfire once Laura arrives at the village. I skipped along with it, turning pages frantically, hoping to find out what might happen with the mystery surrounding the village, its past (and perhaps present) inhabitants, and the strange goings-on there. This is where I admit to not guessing any of the outcomes or solving that said mystery. There was one particular twist towards the end that I never saw coming in any shape or form. I enjoyed this surprise and this aspect immensely. However, abruptly, about three quarters through the book, Turner’s plot also became a touch too unbelievable for my liking. Without spoiling, the criminal activities depicted obviously do happen in the world, but I found them far too outlandish for me. The sense of reality was reduced even further when Laura was able to travel around the world so quickly and easily to assist international authorities to crack the crime. (Can I ask about Australian Antarctic scientists’ budget after reading this book?!) My other complaint that made me swipe a half a star off my rating was Laura’s romantic subplot. I’m sorry, it was just hopeless. The book is written from Laura’s first person POV, and I would (never!) complain about inner thoughts regarding love or lust, but it would have been nice for Turner to present me with one guy I could cheer on with hopes they might become the ‘one’. Even Laura was confused. Her inner monologue each time she met a new male character was something along the lines of how she felt instantly attracted to them. Yes, pretty much all of them! Including her exes! I couldn't decide on which character Turner wanted Laura to become involved with, especially as Laura had no substantial chemistry with any of these men, nor did any of them endear themselves as leading man material. In the end, I rose my eyebrow at the romantic outcome. I can honestly say I wasn’t ready for Laura (and Turner) to settle on this person. I pretty much hated it/him. I do still love Turner’s pacing and writing, however, and recommend Out of the Ice. 4/5
4.5 Stars What a great read! I saw this at Big W the other day in the top 10 section and it reminded me that I had it on my kindle ready to go! I have been so swamped with books to review lately, and this was one of the ones I was most looking forward to reading, but with other deadlines and tours I haven't had a chance to read it before now. Good things come to those who wait! Laura is an environmental scientist. She is sent to an old whaling station on a remote island in Antarctica to study the wildlife in the area, and decide if the station should be made open for tourists. When she arrives at the base she is treated extremely strangely by the staff, and then some odd and eerie things begin to happen. What is going on at the old whaling station? Who is trespassing and trying to scare her? And who can she trust? This was an absolutely gripping, atmospheric piece of writing by Ann Turner. She has captured the isolation of the ice and the horror of the old whaling station perfectly. Laura is an excellent character. I love how she was damaged but had a great inner strength and passion for the animals at the whaling station. I loved how at times you didn't know if what she was experiencing was real or not. I must admit I was unprepared for where this book ended up! I wasn't expecting it and it was almost an abrupt change from where I assumed it was going. This wasn't a bad thing at all, it was just surprising! The ending was good, and there were plenty of twists and turns. I just LOVED the downright creepiness that dominated a lot of the book! I thought it was fantastic! Would I recommend Out of the Ice? Yes! Anyone who likes a little suspense, intrigue and ice will enjoy this one! Many thanks to Simon and Schauster and author Ann Turner via NetGalley for a copy of Out of the Ice in exchange for my honest review.
Thanks to NetGalley for early preview copy. Very enjoyable fast paced thriller set in Antarctica on a research station. Researcher Laura Alvarado soon discovers all is not as it should be and her determined investigation leads to something very sinister. a great read with a historic theme in an hostile enviroment. Now I must read Ann Turner's other books.
Out of the Ice by Ann Turner is a diamond. It is a multi-faceted story; complex, heart-breaking in parts, stunning in others. Out of the Ice covers a range of subjects important in today's society. Environmental issues; refugees; human trafficking; the ethics of drug trials; and explores human weakness in it's many forms. She also delivers a heart-wrenching reminder that it is easiest to misunderstand those who are most important in our lives, those whom we should treasure the most. All this is encompassed in a story that starts off slowly (like a steam train pulling out of a station on an uphill gradient), where you almost wonder if anything is ever going to happen. Then suddenly it is as if you are on that train and it is hurtling along the tracks totally out of control. Ann Turners descriptive powers are such that whole time I was reading this tale, set largely in Antarctica, I was cold. She is a master at having many different strands to a story, which she then deftly weaves into a breath-taking denouement. <I>When environmental scientist Laura Alvarado is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on an abandoned whaling station, she begins to uncover more than she could ever imagine. Laura is disturbed by evidence of recent human interference. Rules have been broken, and the protected wildlife is behaving strangely. On a diving expedition, Laura is separated from her colleague. She emerges into an ice cave where, through the blue shadows, she is shocked to see an anguished figure, crying for help. But in this freezing, lonely landscape there are ghosts everywhere, and Laura begins to sense that her own eyes cannot be trusted. Is her mind playing tricks? Has she been in the ice too long?</I> This is Ann Turner's second book, and I have read and loved both. I look forward to her next with great anticipation. Thank you to NetGalley and publishers Simon & Schuster Australia for providing a digital ARC of Out of the Ice in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.