Review: The Ice Limit

The Ice Limit
The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another read through of the great Preston/Child novel (earlier in their careers), Ice Limit. A rousing adventure of Cape Horn, just north of the roaring 60s and the ice limit, where the warmer sea meets the Antarctic seas, and new ice is formed. A geologist who hunts meteorites finds one in the ice on a small island in the group of islands off the southern tip of Chile. Something happens and he dies, but a native to the area stumbles upon his equipment, sells it, and word gets back to a billionaire who specializes in rare pieces, like battling dinosaur skeletons and a whole pyramid, and he enlists the help of the geologist’s ex-partner,and famed meteorite hunter, Sam McFarlane, to track this thing down and get it back to New York. He brings in EES, Effective Engineering Solutions, which appears in other Preston/Child books, and they devise a scheme to get what they think is a 10,000 lb meteorite onto a retrofitted tanker and back up to the states, all under the watchful eyes of the Chilean government. What they are doing is technically not illegal, since they are mining “ore,” and have a permit, but still, the government would be reluctant to let such a find out of the country. What follows are the efforts to design and fit the tanker to make it hold the meteorite, camouflage it to some extent, get down to the island in the middle of winter in the southern seas, and retrieve it. But things don’t go as planned, even though EES has never failed to devise a solution to the largest of engineering problems. But this one is different, and it’s a wild ride to the finish. Great thriller, if a tad technical. Some interesting characters. I recall Eli Glinn from previous books and enjoyed him and his company. He is portrayed a little more in depth in this one and a little differently than the others, but still, it’s quite the exciting race as they try and fool an almost insane Chilean navy Commandante, ride out some of the worst weather anywhere, and move an enormous ‘rock” that proves to be more than it looks.

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