Review

Frozen Solid

by James M. Tabor

Sometimes, all I want is a good thriller. I want to be sucked into a story that moves so fast that I find the book impossible to put down. I want it to be so engrossing that I get to the end pretty much out of breath. I want a book that is all go starting on page one. I got that in FROZEN SOLID.

Hallie Leland is a microbiologist who has been called to Amundsen-Scott Research Station in the South Pole to replace a scientist and continue critical research. Hallie is one of the few people with the skills, which include deep-sea diving in freezing temperatures, to complete the research. After four solid days of travel, she reaches the station --- an alien place encased in darkness rocked by howling winds that freeze any bit of exposed skin in seconds. Her first introduction to the place isn’t ideal, and with the whole station on edge with the coming winter, any welcome she hoped for fades quickly.

"Sometimes, all I want is a good thriller. I want to be sucked into a story that moves so fast that I find the book impossible to put down. I want it to be so engrossing that I get to the end pretty much out of breath. I want a book that is all go starting on page one. I got that in FROZEN SOLID."

Before Hallie can re-start the research, two women mysteriously die and people begin thinking she’s the cause, possibly having brought in an infectious disease that is quickly spreading and killing people on the station. With lack of sleep, the news that one of the dead scientists was a friend, and pole sickness starting to kick in, Hallie is in a precarious and dangerous situation. When she starts to ask questions concerning her dead friend and about other strange occurrences on the station, things get even worse. When she begins investigating, she knows she needs to get out before she becomes another Pole casuality.

Back in the real world, things are not adding up either. Don Barnard, who sent Hallie to the South Pole, starts asking questions about the dead scientist as well. What he finds terrifies him. With the help of Wil Bowman, a man of many useful talents who just happens to be in a relationship with Hallie, the two uncover a crazy plot that could change the face of the world in dramatic and deadly ways.

I loved that the book moved so fast. I did wonder at the end how it all happened in such a short period of time, but this is a thriller, so you’re supposed to get sucked in and forget about the time frame. It’s all about the action, and that’s certainly true here. I will offer up my standard thriller warning: forget all and just go with it. If you start wondering too much, you’ll ruin it for yourself. This is a book that is all go, go, go. It takes place in a very short time period and a very small place, which helps build up the tension. Let’s face it: You put a group of sick people in a place that breeds claustrophobia and throw in the idea of an infectious disease, and even I wanted to run outside and bask in the sun.

There are several subplots going on in FROZEN SOLID, and while Hallie is investigating at the South Pole and doing her best to stay alive, people are running about in India and Washington, DC doing the same. So much happens, not all of which is believable, but it all builds up and works in the end, as long as you heed the thriller warning and just go with it.

Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on April 5, 2013

Frozen Solid
by James M. Tabor

  • Publication Date: March 26, 2013
  • Genres: Adventure, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345530632
  • ISBN-13: 9780345530639