Red Ice

Nicholas Barker, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (250p) ISBN 978-0-312-01079-9
Barker (skipper of HMS Endurance in the 1982 Falklands War) and Masters ( The Seahorse) have crafted a political thriller that's seaworthy if a bit sluggish. In 1989 Falklands War veteran Captain James Maxwell is in command of the patrol ship Mercator. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959, freezing territorial disputes among Chile, Argentina and Britain, is coming up for review, and Maxwell's mission is scientific and political fact-finding. Russian-supported terrorists are roiling the Antarctic waters, and Maxwell is the target of a Montevideo restaurant bombing. He's not seriously hurt, but when two of his officers mysteriously vanish from an Argentine trawler, Maxwell's investigation is hampered by Whitehall's hesitant bureaucracy, and perhaps a Foreign Office mole. The Mercator plies hither and yon across the South Atlantic, battling weather and mysterious enemies. Antarctic mineral deposits, South American politics and super-power maneuvering are all invoked, but most readers probably won't get very worked up. There are several good action scenes and vivid glimpses of Antarctica's beauty, but except for the rather phlegmatic Maxwell, few characters really come to life. (September 25)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-91129-4
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