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It begins with a light plane caught in a murderous snowstorm with a body strapped to its underside. It spans a world war, three continents, and is infused with an extraordinary love affair. This first novel by a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist is a gripping tale of scientific intrigue set against the eerie, silent white landscape of Antarctica — and the bloody, violent backdrop of history itself.
Owen Hart is a Montana cowboy turned bush pilot who is recruited in 1938 by a fanatic new government in Germany that calls itself the Third Reich. Traveling to Berlin, a brown city awash in red, white and black banners, Hart is ushered into the inner sanctum of Hermann Goering and to a lavish soiree attended by the players recruited for a Nazi-backed exploration of Antarctica. Though he is wary of his fellow adventurers and impervious to their politics, Hart sees the chance to do what he does best — fly. And he sees something else, a beautiful German biologist who will accompany the expedition.
On a small seaplane tender the Nazi expedition reaches Antarctica: a vision of unspoiled crystalline white looming up out of a cobalt sea. Then, on a small island on the edge of the continent they have come to claim, the Germans discover horror: a Norwegian whaling vessel blanketed by some mysterious and horrible pestilence. Exploring the island, Hart and biologist Greta Heinz discover a warm volcanic spring deep inside the ice, while their shipmates begin to die from the same disease that struck the Norwegians.
Suddenly, Goering’s expedition is coming violently undone. But for Hart, Greta, and the Germans, the unraveling of the mystery has just begun. It will take years, separation from Greta, and a harrowing return to war-torn Germany before the American pilot has the chance to wrest the secret hidden deep in the Antarctic ice – through a journey of courage, terror, and the power of passion itself.
“A riveting tale, vividly realistic in its description of an ice-strewn wilderness that is both deadly and hauntingly beautiful. It is a tribute to Dietrich’s storytelling ability that against this frozen landscape so much passionate heat is kindled.”
–David Campbell, author of The Crystal Desert: Summers in Antarctica.
“An exciting and dramatic tale — a John Buchan adventure story on ice. Ice Reich is the proverbial page-turner.”
–Alan Gurney, author of Below the Convergence
“A speed-read action adventure . . . cinematically layered.”
“Rousing, Indian Jones-style debut thriller . . . rivals the page-turners of Alistair MacLean.”
“The first two sentence of Ice Reich will grab you by the throat. And you’ll have trouble putting the book down until the adventure’s over.”