Dark winter

by William Dietrich

Hardcover, 2001




New York : Warner Books, c2001.


"At the Amundsen-Scott research base winter temperatures can dive down to minus 110[degree]. Outside, the cold flash freezes mucous membranes and carves calories from your body. Inside is the constant throb of generators, the smell of fuel oil, and twenty-six men and women who've come here from all walks of life - an uneasy mix of personalities, specialists, sexual tension, and outright conflict. But while each person is playing his or her own role in some of the most advanced psychological and scientific experiments of our time, all are about to share one harrowing journey through a dark polar season. One by one the "winter-overs" begin to die." "Jed Lewis was the last arrival before winter descended at the South Pole. A geologist who mysterious jettisoned a high-paying job with an oil company - a rock hound come to a place where there are no rocks - he's quickly drawn into controversy over the discovery, and subsequent theft, of a small meteorite that may be a fragment of Mars and worth millions of dollars on the open market. When the meteorite disappears, Lewis is accused. When the killing begins, every piece of evidence points to him." "Suddenly Lewis finds himself with only one ally, a woman to whom he is growing dangerously attracted. But even she has her doubts. With the station buffeted by the murderous Antarctic winter, none of the station's inhabitants can look into another's eyes and not see a potential murderer."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member smik
Jed Lewis and Robert Norse are last minute additions to the Antarctic Support team at the Amunsden-Scott base and are among the group that will maintain the base for 8 winter months. The plane that drops Jed takes the summer team away and will be the last contact the base has with "home" for 8 months.

There are 26 beakers (scientists) and station support personnel and Jed has a lot to learn. There is suspicion about why he is there - after all there are no rocks in Antarctica - but he is there to take weather observations related to global warming. The senior beaker, a famed astrophysicist named Mickey Moss, has discovered a meteorite that may be worth millions, and when his body is discovered and the meteorite goes missing, suspicion falls on Jed, mainly because of his late arrival at the base. Before long the other murders begin.

I was getting a bit aggravated with this book by the time my Kindle reader was telling me that I had read 30%. Not much seemed to be happening and I had read a lot of scientific trivia and not much thriller/mystery. Things did get better in the second half of the book, I think as the author warmed to his task of writing fiction, and was a little less concentrated on teaching the reader about life at the Pole.

Another reviewer likened it to "ten little Indians at the South Pole" and certainly it is inevitably a variant on a locked room mystery. For the first half of the story at least there is a sub-story revealed, the thoughts or writing of the killer who has actually killed before. This mystery connection was solved about three-quarters of the way through as the identity of the killer was revealed (although I had guessed his identity by then), and then the interest centres on the resolution of the plot.
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LibraryThing member TomWheaton
I had read 2 other books by this authorand enjoyed them but, this one was a real disappointment. I had the hardest time getting into it and several times was ready to stop and go on to something else. However, I cannot not finish a book once I've started it. I wanted to find out who the killer was. I do plan to continue with this author.… (more)


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