Saturday, February 3, 2018

Cold, Cold Heart: Christine Poulson

Cold, Cold Heart by Christine Poulson is a medical thriller in an Antarctic setting. Katie Flanagan is a research scientist with medical training, which qualifies her to take over the research for an injured scientist at a remote British base in Antarctica. In addition to carrying on the important research, she can back up the doctor on the small base, which consists of only 10 people. Katie flies into the base on the last plane before the base is isolated due to subzero temperatures.

Back in the UK, another scientist has been working on a breakthrough cancer cure, and patent lawyer Daniel Marchmont has been asked to check into the research. The reader knows that there are problems in both the UK and on the Antarctic research base, but the connection between the two is unclear at first. Gradually the residents of the base realize that they have a killer among them.


My thoughts:

This was a terrific book.  I liked following the two storylines; sometime novels with that format can be  confusing but this one is very clear about where we are. The level of tension was maintained throughout, as the situations in both locations are gradually revealed and the stories begin to link up. There were a lot of characters but I had no problem keeping them straight.

There are so many good characters: Daniel's wife, Rachel, and five-year-old daughter, Chloe; Lyle Linstrum, scientist, venture capitalist, and Texas rancher; Graeme, the base commander. But I especially liked the two women at the research base. Katie is the main female protagonist, Sara is the doctor at the base. Both are strong female characters, important to the function of the base.

I loved the Antarctic setting, the picture of daily life on the base during the winter months when no one can leave and no one can fly in, and how they deal with emergencies. In addition to researchers, there is a chef and someone to handle communications and a mechanic, and cross-training between jobs is required. The sections set on the base were exciting and very tense, but the story line in the UK is important too, extremely well done and believable.

It was great revisiting the characters established in the first book in the series, Deep Water, but I think the book can be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

See Also:



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Publisher:  Lion Hudson, 2017
Length:      262 pages
Format:     Trade paperback
Series:      Katie Flanagan, #2
Setting:     Antarctica, UK
Genre:      Medical thriller
Source:     I purchased my copy

14 comments:

  1. TracyK: I have not read a mystery set in Antarctica but this might be my first if I can get by the thought of reading about winter. I have annual experience with real winter. Earlier this year our area in Saskatchewan was the coldest place in the world. We do not often have that distinction but I am not anxious to read about a deeply cold place.

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    1. I am always amazed to hear about the weather conditions in the winter where you live, Bill, and how you can endure them. I don't mind reading about cold weather but I don't want to live there.

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  2. I'm very glad you enjoyed this as much as you did, Tracy. Poulson is a very talented writer, and it's good to see her work getting the notice that I think it deserves.

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    1. I agree with you, Margot, and I would like her books to get even more notice.

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  3. Love the sound of this. Also love that there are so many books nowadays with cold snowy settings for fans of winter like myself.

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    1. My husband like books with cold, snowy, bad weather, Cath. This is a good book, Cath.

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  4. Tracy - I am thrilled that you enjoyed the book so much and thank you for writing such a lovely review.

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    1. Your welcome, Christine. All of it is well deserved.

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  5. It's a great book isn't it? The Antarctic setting is so unusual and well done, but the strand back in England makes it even more tense and exciting.

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    1. True, Moira, I always love two story line and that was very well done here.

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  6. For some reason, I've always been intrigued by any story set in Antarctica. Probably because I know I'd never go there, though a member of one of my book groups recently returned from a trip that included Antarctica. I couldn't believe it! Anyway, this story sounds very good. Will be looking for it.

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    1. I agree, Kay, I would never go to Antarctica, even though it sounds so appealing. But I love to read about it. Especially fiction.

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  7. The setting appeals, but the medical side of things puts me off - probably unfairly. Not Christine's fault, I didn't enjoy Robin Cook!

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    1. Sometimes medical thrillers put me off, Col, but I was fine with this one. And it was interesting seeing the slimy side of pharmaceutical research, which was even more prominent in the first book in the series.

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