Book Review | The Ice by John Kåre Raake

Title: The Ice

Author: John Kåre Raake

Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo

Release Date: 7th January 2021

Source: NetGalley
A nailbiting, claustrophobic and highly topical thriller, set at the North Pole, from Norway's most successful screenwriter.


Anna Aune is on a scientific expedition to the North Pole, when the pitch black of the polar night is lit up by a distress flare.


At a nearby research station Anna discovers a massacre - mutilated bodies strewn about the base. Then, a fierce Arctic storm blows in, cutting of any possibility of escape.


Anna races to find the killer before he gets to her. But a secret lurks under the ice - one that nations will kill for...

Can she stay alive until help arrives?
If you are a regular visitor to this blog you will have noticed that I have a thing about icy settings, they have played a major part in several books of late.  This book hits the daddy of frozen settings, the North Pole!

Originally published in Norwegian, this translation is a treat!  Now there are no aliens involved but something about this book reminded me of The Thing, maybe it was the endless stretches of ice, snow and frozen wastes that did it.  The Arctic just gave me goosebumps.  

Ex special ops Anna Aune find herself helping one of her fathers oldest friends on a scientific expedition.  Her base for the next few months is a cramped hovercraft with a seventy year old professor for company, a peaceful yet cold few months are expected but one night the sky is lit up by a distress flare and they set off to find out who is in trouble.

What they find is a deserted Chinese scientific base.  On closer inspection the base isn’t as deserted as they thought.  Frozen in situ are the remains of the scientists, they appear to have been flash frozen, their bodies in grim frozen positions.  As they wait for help to come they quickly realise this wasn’t a tragic accident, the discovery of bodies in the snow full of bullet holes leads to the grim realisation that a killer is on the loose but in the vast Arctic landscape they could be hiding anywhere.  Will they survive till rescue comes?

I really enjoyed this, it was creepy, it was atmospheric and it pictured the Russians for once as being helpful instead of up to no good!  The only reason it’s not getting five stars is I wasn’t overly keen on the flashbacks which show Anna during a military mission and fills in the blanks as to why she isn’t serving anymore.  

If you like your thrillers icy then this is for you!


  1. I like seeing Russians at not being evil all the time and this sounds like a book I could enjoy. I love this kind of scenario.

  2. Sounds compelling! I like icy, cold, snowy books too.

  3. Must. Read. This. Book. (It sounds awesome, with everything I love.)

  4. The setting alone is worth the read, but it sounds like this one has quite the intriguing premise too!

  5. Can't be more icy than the North Pole, for sure. Definitely adds a more sinister vibe to the book you're reading.

  6. wow, love any books about snow and survival as it seems to coorelate with my favorite situation.

  7. Ohhhh yes! Adding this to my TBR! Thanks for putting this on my radar!

  8. As I read the synopsis, I thought this was a book I would enjoy. I'm so glad you recommend it! I'll keep an eye out for it.


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