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Publisher's Summary

An electrifying story of friendship, power and betrayal by the best-selling, 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?

©2017 Laline Paull (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

''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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Intriguing story worthy of an exceptional reader

Beautifully subtle, delightfully nuanced reading by Samuel West.
Well crafted story by Laline Paull. Compelling storyline.

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  • Mair
  • 16-06-2018

Gripping

The interspersing of quotes from Arctic explorers with this gripping tale set in Svalbard really brings the Arctic environment to life. I throughly enjoyed the narration and the mix of business, exploration and ecocrime really moved the story on. The ending was a wee bit contrived thus the four rather than five stars but a very good listen nonetheless.

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  • Carrie
  • 02-04-2018

Very enjoyable and well read.

I really enjoyed this story, a bit like a good Clare Francis. It moves in worlds I know little about but was convincing in relationships and proposition. I found this by searching for anything narrated by Samuel West as one of my favourite voices to listen to. It’s a tactic that has broadened my subject range quite a bit.

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  • emma bradford
  • 01-11-2017

Entertaining, but too many stories of frozen poo

I liked the overall story, it's just a few things here and there which were typically male centric behaviours that annoyed. Like all good wives who have been discarded for younger models simply wait around for the man in question to came to his senses and she will always remain available to him no matter what. Yuk! Oh, and of course he has time to buy incredibly expensive watches, and if I hear one more story of frozen poo being made into things!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful