08 March 2021

The Winter Over


By Matthew Iden

My Review

Mechanical engineer Cass Jennings has accepted a job on the winter team at the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility. Cass and her colleagues must endure nine months of isolation from the outside world and round-the-clock darkness. Life at the South Pole is bleak and lonely — the inhospitable freezing climate at odds with human survival. Cass believes her time here will heal past wounds and allow her to move on with her life.

The death of a colleague sets in motion a series of unexplained events that push the team to breaking point. Frightened and fractured, with any hope of rescue impossible, the group turn on each other. . . with catastrophic consequences.

I came across this book completely by chance. The cover looked intriguing and the synopsis appealed to me. I love wintery settings and you can't get much more wintery than the South Pole! However, I felt the plot was slightly marred by the slow pacing. If you're a reader who enjoys lots of fast action, this one may not be for you. It's a slow-burner that requires a certain degree of patience. 

On the upside, the author's descriptions were faultless — I could feel my fingers and toes freezing in the sub-zero temperatures and hear the howling gale roaring outside. The writing and use of language were superb. It was a tense, claustrophobic read and very enjoyable.
Book Source: Amazon Prime loan
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (1st Feb 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1503942851

The Blurb

Each winter the crew at the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility faces nine months of isolation, round-the-clock darkness, and one of the most extreme climates on the planet. For thirty-something mechanical engineer Cass Jennings, Antarctica offers an opportunity to finally escape the guilt of her troubled past and to rebuild her life.

But the death of a colleague triggers a series of mysterious incidents that push Cass and the rest of the forty-four-person crew to the limits of their sanity and endurance. Confined and cut off from the outside world, will they work together or turn against one another? As the tension escalates, Cass must find the strength to survive not only a punishing landscape but also an unrelenting menace determined to destroy the station—and everyone in it.

The Author

Matthew Iden is the prolific author of the Marty Singer detective series — A Reason to Live, Blueblood, One Right Thing, The Spike, The Wicked Flee, and Once Was Lost — as well as several acclaimed stand-alone novels. 

Iden’s eclectic resume includes jobs with the US Postal Service, international non-profit groups, a short stint with the Forest Service in Sitka, Alaska, and time with the globe-spanning Semester at Sea program. Trips to Iceland, Patagonia, and Antarctica have given him a world of inspiration. 

Iden currently lives in Northern Virginia — close enough to the woods to keep his sanity, close enough to the Washington, DC, Capital Beltway to lose it.

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