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The Ice by Laline Paull

The Ice

Thriller / Suspense   Books of the Month   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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May 2017 Book of the Month.

Her first novel, The Bees, (shortlisted for the Baileys Prize) was an astonishing work of speculative fiction, a stunning novel. This, her second, is a political thriller, a completely different genre but with the same quality of writing and attention and so equally stunning. At its heart is an inquest into an accident in an Arctic ice cave that occurred four years ago which left one man dead and the other to now face this examination loaded with heated emotions. Intercepted with flashbacks to the accident and earlier we are given a clear portrait of the various characters and relationships. One by one lies are stripped away until we do finally discover what happened in that cave and the cause of the accident. Alongside this drama is a hymn to the amazing wilderness that is disappearing so quickly; the frozen Arctic. Each chapter is headed with an extract from early explorers writings, fascinating. But it is so much more than this for it is a constant puzzle of trust and trail; in business, marriage, friendship. It raises pertinent questions of ecology and economics alongside personal ones; how far would you go for what you desire or what you believe. Laline Paull is clearly a writer to watch and more importantly a writer to read. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Laline Paull you might also like to read books by Tom Harper, Dan Brown and M. J. McGrath.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'A powerful thought provoking read cleverly bringing together our emotional vulnerability with the increasingly fragile physical world in which we live.'
  • Cathy Small - 'The story grips you and pulls you in...The truth is only revealed at the end and it is a good twist in the tale.'        
  • Sarah Musk - 'An exciting, mesmerising book about international skulduggery and murder in the Arctic.  It also raises questions about the future of our polar regions. It should be read.'
  • Kerry Bridges - 'An interesting idea of what might happen if the climate does indeed change and a very impressive setting indeed.'
  • Glenda Worth - 'The Ice, a totally believable novel about how global warming may affect the Arctic in years to come. Set in the near future with two friends obsessed with the Arctic but see different futures ahead.'
  • Michelle Hodson - 'Unusual & riveting. A story touching on events which could so easily happen. Eco cider may well be our future!'
  • Katie Hoare - 'A really good thriller taking the reader to and from the cold of the Arctic, and back to England.'
  • Jennifer Moville - 'Laline has written a great murder / mystery with a very important back line - take heed.'
  • Siobhan McDowell - 'I absolutely would recommend this book to anyone amazing read!'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'The Ice will have you questioning how the much the world is changing and how dangerous those in power can be.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'This is a book to read in one gulp! Awesome!'
  • Jan Kirkcaldy - 'A fascinating tale from the start, set in an imagined, not too distant future.'
  • Janet Monks - 'one I wouldn't normally pick up, but I'm glad I did.'
  • Jillian McFrederick - 'An intriguing mix of mystery with a strong political and environmental message, this novel is a great read with a depth often missing from modern novels.'

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


The Ice by Laline Paull

An electrifying story of friendship, power and betrayal by the bestselling, Baileys-prize shortlisted author of The Bees. It's the day after tomorrow and the Arctic sea ice has melted. While global business carves up the new frontier, cruise ships race each other to ever-rarer wildlife sightings. The passengers of the Vanir have come seeking a polar bear. What they find is even more astonishing: a dead body. It is Tom Harding, lost in an accident three years ago and now revealed by the melting ice of Midgard glacier. Tom had come to Midgard to help launch the new venture of his best friend of thirty years, Sean Cawson, a man whose business relies on discretion and powerful connections - and who was the last person to see him alive. Their friendship had been forged by a shared obsession with Arctic exploration. And although Tom's need to save the world often clashed with Sean's desire to conquer it, Sean has always believed that underneath it all, they shared the same goals. But as the inquest into Tom's death begins, the choices made by both men - in love and in life - are put on the stand. And when cracks appear in the foundations of Sean's glamorous world, he is forced to question what price he has really paid for a seat at the establishment's table. Just how deep do the lies go?


`No other recent novel I've read has such fully realised female characters, even ones who shout their feminist credentials from the rooftops...This is a world of arms dealers, heroic arctic adventurers and power crazed captains of industry. And that's just the ladies. It's a business thriller with an eco-edge... Could The Ice be the surprise hit of summer 2017? Its sparkling descriptions of ice and snow will certainly chill you out on a hot day at the beach. And thanks to just the right amount of aspirational scene-setting and more holiday porn than a year's worth of Conde Nast Traveller, this memorable eco-chiller allows you to dream about luxury wood cabins while cursing the evils of capitalism' The Times

'A chilling tale for our times ... Fascinating. The chilly environment adds a strange, magical quality - and it will not be lost on readers that, as with her first book, Paull makes some interesting and urgent arguments about the way we treat our planet' The National

'By embedding a mystery in layers of melting Arctic ice, Paull brings narrative tension to a phenomenon readers typically encounter only in environmental or scientific reporting ... the final pages are a triumph' Guardian

'It is a rare treat to find oneself reading a new book with real delight, admiring the prose style and getting caught up in the story. I experienced all of this while reading this fascinating novel set in the near future ... what makes The Ice unforgettable is Laline Paull's well-informed description of the setting and, above all, her outstandingly good writing' Literary Review

`A gripping, brilliantly textured climate thriller. Its timeliness is chilling. A stunning read'
Liz Jensen, author of The Rapture

`This is a real page turner' Observer

Praise for The Bees:

'[A] gripping Cinderella/Arthurian tale with lush Keatsian adjectives
Margaret Atwood, via Twitter

'Beautifully written and unusual ... Captivating ... A brave and original story that highlights our modern environmental crimes, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the intricacies of bee world ... Any book that changes the way we see our world surely deserves to be a success'
Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times

'Ambitious and bold ... told with such rapturously attentive imagination ... The tale zooms along with such propulsive and addictive prose ... Few novels create such a singular reading experience. The buzz you will hear surrounding this book and its astonishing author is utterly deserved'
New York Times

'One wild ride. A sensual, visceral mini-epic about timeless rituals and modern environmental disaster. Paull's heartpounding novel wrenches us into a new world'
Emma Donoghue

About the Author

Laline Paull

Laline Paull studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theatre in London, where she has had two plays performed at the Royal National Theatre. She is a member of BAFTA and the Writers' Guild of America. She lives in England by the sea with her husband, the photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children.

Author photo © Adrian Peacock

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Book Info

Publication date

4th May 2017


Laline Paull

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Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


384 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Books of the Month
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Political / legal thriller



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