You can feel the fear; smell the stench of the whaler as she sets out to sea; the hatred and putrid corrosion of the human spirit as you join the ship Volunteer as it heads out into the dark waters, on its journey to the Arctic Circle in search of whales.
The men on board are hardened men, used to living in the tough and gruelling conditions that go with life on a whaler. On this voyage they have been joined by Patrick Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who takes on the role as the ships medical officer.
Henry Drax is a brutal, bloodthirsty crewman and harpooner, a man who is as bloodthirsty as he is vicious. As the days role into weeks Sumner gets to know the depths Drax will go to achieve his ends; ends that have nothing whatsoever to do with whaling and everything to do with sabotage and death.
The story is one that is a real as it is gruesome, enthralling and fast paced, involving the reader in totality, as the men on board the Volunteer discover that things on this voyage are far from normal.
Sumner thought he had seen the worst life and men could stoop too, but realised that there were indeed deeper levels than those already experienced.
Trapped on the ice in the depth of an Arctic winter the horrific nature of the plotting becomes apparent as he and Drax are forced to face off, leaving one dead and one struggling to survive.
This is a masterful work, difficult to put down and one that will appeal mainly to male readers as the narrative is descriptive, leaving no misunderstanding about the scenes being created both on paper and the imagination.
Cruel, fast paced and brutal, life on a doomed Whaler is spelt out in all its magnificence.
|Distributor||Simon And Schuster|