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Book review: <i>The Greenland Breach</i> by Bernard Besson

the cover of the book

In a not-too-distant future, global warming has become a hard reality that is impossible to ignore or deny. When disaster strikes in Greenland, questions about who is at fault and the consequences for big oil companies and the countries they represent send shock-waves through nations. Can one small group of French investigators get to the bottom of the conspiracy and corruption before it's too late?

The story

Not only has the weather changed irrevocably for people in the cities, but the ice is melting in the north of the earth, and the ramifications are becoming harder to ignore. When the Lauge Koch Kyst crust breaks away from Greenland and slips into the sea, it causes a rapid tidal wave that is felt across the Northern Hemisphere. The Bouc-Bel-Air research ship, which is carrying some of the most coveted scientific samples in recent history, is struck by the wave and critically damaged. The ship's captain survives, and attempts to engage his employers, Terre Noire, in a rescue attempt.

Victoire, John and Luc began the private investigation organisation Fermatown, and have access to the best technologies available. A talented trio, each with mysterious pasts, don't take long to integrate themselves into the middle of the investigation into the ill fated Bouc-Bel-Air.

John is contacted by North Land, Terre Noire's major competitor, with a mysterious task. At first this task looks like simply baby-sitting one of the North Land family brats, but soon he realises he is embroiled in an international mystery of epic proportions. He realises that he, Victoire and Luc are not only under threat, but their enemies are constantly one step ahead. Can he and Luc pick apart the politically intricate minefield of global environmentalism before it's too late?

The style

I liked this book. Some of it was stylistically just a little bit awkward, but I'm going to chalk that up to translation as opposed to the original writing. The chapters are well paced, divvied up into smaller sections which switch from location to location. As The Greenland Breach is such an ambitious thriller, the reader is taken from France to Greenland to the captain's quarters of a sinking ship, covering a multitude of characters and intrigue. The story certainly doesn't coddle the reader; there's a lot going on that is only hinted at, and sometimes I felt a little out of my depth. But the story is well spun, and by the end when all the intricacies were revealed I was pretty impressed.

The Greenland Breach is a classic thriller, with just the right amount of intrigue and espionage and the action swells to the correct crescendo at the correct time. It's practically textbook, down to taking the lives of some major characters and saving others. The story is somewhat unsurprising, but the predictions and political intricacies surrounding the issue of global warming (which, let's face it, is very big right now) are absolutely worth a read. And there are some exploding helicopters. I love a good exploding helicopter.

Who is this book for?

Lovers of the thriller genre should give this one a crack. It's the thinking person's thriller. It's more than just a lone CIA agent with a mission because he got dumped by a girl. It's environmental. It's political. It's intriguing. It might make you think. It's pretty easy to read. Come on!

In short

Title: The Greenland Breach
Author: Bernard Besson
Publisher: Le French Book
ISBN: 1939474078
Year published: 2014
Pages: 285
Genre(s): Thriller
Review Type: