Thursday, September 27, 2012

Murder on Vinson Massif Dangerous for Mountaineers!

English: Satellite image of Vinson Massif, Ant...
English: Satellite image of Vinson Massif, Antarctica. Français : Image satellite du Massif Vinson, Antarctique. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"The single most serious problem in an Antarctic climb of Vinson Massif was the isolation of the mountain. No summit on earth was as remote. No one went near the mountain except to climb it, and there was only one expedition there at a time. In short, there was no one to call on for help...But Antarctica in the winter scamed the hell out of me. I could expect temperatures a full 50 degrees below the lowest I'd ever climbed in before, and
under the right--or, more accurately, the wrong--conditions the temperature could plunge much lower... I wasn't even certain it was possible to climb Vinson Massif in the dead of winter, which, I had always assumed, was why no one had ever attempted it before...
"The the DIA would fund the expedition for me was a
sign of just how serious they were, and the other proof was that they were willing to put me in the soup once again. At least, that was how I saw it...


Murder on Vinson Massif
A Summit Murder Mystery

By Charles G. Irion
 and
Ronald J. Watkins


This summit mystery was quite different than the other books I've read in the series. It centers around special equipment being tested by the government for use in the Antarctic! It also continues the trail of the gold Inca idols that were stolen on Aconcagua in South America, while an unknown virus is killing people--let's just say in a very scary unpleasant way...

Yes, there were researchers on the continent but they were located quite a distance from the home base for the climb.

Again Scott Devlon was requested to be there, since the rumor about the possible sale of the idols was a major issue for all...there was every indication that Hugo Chavez was still seeking those idols and everything was being done to prevent that. Scott agreed to go, but he was not planning on climbing...

If you've followed the series thus far, you know that's not going to be allowed to happen!


This novel also includes pictures of the equipment--looking like heavy-duty bulldozers that were especially outfitted for the cold weather. Those that would be climbing would be able to ride in warm comfort right up to the last part of the mountain and would be able to summit that day...

At least that was the plan...



Esmeralda was the first woman in the series that was the team guide for the mountaineers and I really enjoyed her contribution to the story. One of the issues for this particular climb was that it was continuously dark! So all equipment had to be in great shape and it was under constant checking and rechecking.

But that's not enough when sabotage is also brought into play...


Of course, there are "people" from earlier climbs that will help readers work to solve the mystery. After all, when there is nobody else anywhere close to those involved in the expedition, things should be easier, right? Not really, because when deaths start occurring due to something mysterious that might have been found there on the continent, it is already too late to know whether it was placed there on purpose!

For me, this book was much more scarier than the rest of the novels...Just being in an isolated environment is enough to make you verrry nervous. Add a rich arms dealer as a player, sabotaged equipment and something that is striking indiscriminately at anybody who gets near it, there is nowhere to turn...

In fact, few made it...

Travel to one of the most dangerous spots in the world for this latest climb, you sideline mountaineers. You'll be a lot safer! The threat and real danger, in an environment where you cannot live outside without special equipment and, then, for only so long, plus the sabotage that left climbers without the vehicles that would help sustain lives put me on edge as to whether even the hero was going to make it! Did he? Find out in this highly recommended novel in the Summit Murder Mystery Series. It's my favorite of the ones I've read thus far just because of that overwhelming  fear! It's great to be scared while you're sitting in a comfortable chair drinking a cup of hot tea! No Yak stew though, please!


GABixlerReviews


"I was inclined to believe that the scientists had inadvertently contaminated us, but there was no reason to dismiss the possibility that one of Ainsworth's many enemies had found a way to introduce a deadly bug into the expedition. If so, then it really was just a matter of time before... The skeleton crew at Patriot Hills was likely sick ofrdead already. Without maintenance, I wondered if the shelters there would even be habitable and if communications would work.

"I kept to Esmeralda's pace and stopped every hour for five minutes...

"Six hours after we'd left Esmeralda and Kira I could see nothing ahead of us. This was the earliest time when it might be possible to reach Patriot Hills. We'd cleared the low-lying hills to our flanks. I'd turned to our right and from then on kept a close watch for the telltale glow in the night that would serve as a beacon for our salvation--but there was nothing. Nothing..."