White Out

James Vance Marshall, Author Soho Press $23 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56947-224-8
From the author of Walkabout, the much-acclaimed novel set in the Australian Outback, comes an adventure thriller with the factual ring of a World War II military intelligence file. In January of 1942, the Royal Navy sends a 10-man expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula, ostensibly to report weather data to allied warships. Unbeknownst to the men, their secret mission is to prospect for uranium; they bore for rock samples, though they're not informed what the samples are for. In March of 1943, after a year of braving brutal elements, their camp is shelled by a German U-boat, killing all men at the station except commanding officer John Ede. Two men who had been away from camp, Lt. James Lockwood and Petty Officer Ramsden, also survive unharmed. Returning to find utter destruction and Ede barely alive, the survivors drag him on an improvised sled, hoping to traverse 200 miles of ice to the nearest point of rescue. More than nine months later, the lone survivor, Lockwood, is miraculously rescued. But when the navy tries to question him he pleads amnesia. Eventually assigned as a meteorologist to a remote airfield in the Outer Hebrides, after the war Lockwood attains international renown for his research on the ozone layer, only to have the past come back to haunt him decades later. Marshall's beautifully descriptive writing and keen attention to detail add poignancy to this compelling tale of survival. (Dec. 11)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2000
Release date: 12/01/2000
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-7862-3320-5
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