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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
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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?
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'
About the Author
Publication date4th May 2017
More books by Laline Paull
Author 'Like for Like'
PublisherFourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Political / legal thriller
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