on 15 December 2013
When this book, set in the near future and at the point of a new climate age, was described as being similar to a certain best-selling author, my heart sank a little. Boy-lit, and not my type of author at all. I was concerned that the book would be full of gadgets and technology (yawn), thinly drawn characters, with female roles (apart from a token scientist) consigned to getting laid or getting killed. I was wrong. The technology was totaly believable, and vital to the plot - an almost end of the world scenario due to the effects of global warming (brilliantly described and not what you would expect). The characters in the book grew on me, but had they more depth would have caught my imagination earlier in the book. What kept me reading was that the main character John had no idea why he was caught up in the whole scenario of a battle between two oligarchs heading up companies with rival vested interests in the final effects of climate change. Nobody was who they seemed. The scenes in Greenland and on the half-scuppered ship carrying vital evidence of how climate change would affect the planet were compelling. The cross-reference to a Greenlandic mythical creature called the Tupilac and John was a nice little twist. The rescue of bi-sexual Luc was darkly humorous. I gave three cheers for Victoire and Connie, and to the author for not letting any harm come to Caresse. Of course this is a woman's point of view!
on 10 December 2013
A very complex and well-researched novel. The characters are finely drawn, and the book draws you into it at a good pace. As well as the impact of Greenland's fate due to climate change, there are some hair raising moments and shocks, which take you through to the nail biting finish. Highly recommended for those that like spies, espionage, thrills, murders and of course, ecology. A very good read!
on 20 October 2014
The Greenland Breach by Bernard Besson
Translated by Julie Rose
Rating ***** 5/5
A powerful, fast actioned thriller, The Greenland Breach just pulled me in. I couldn't put it down. Although written in French and partly based in France the novel translated superbly into English.
This is a political eco-thriller incorporating the greed of conglomerates and those abusing their power. The ice caps of Greenland are breaking up and will cause havoc in Northern Europe, Canada and the USA. However, the despair and destruction of many peoples' lives and livelihoods not to mention the ongoing damage to the Earth is of little consequence to those who are only interested in money.
Enter the Fermatown Team, consisting of John Spencer Larivière; an ex French lntelligence Officer, Victoire his wife and Luc, the whiz kid on Computers and Technology. John had received injuries whilst in active service but remains a very strong athletic force. Victoire has a past which threatens to overtake her and Luc, the bisexual with such an adorable character. They are pitted against all sides but who is telling the truth.
Besson has incorporated a wide variety of characters into a well thought out plot or should I say plots. The Greenland Breach never lets up, it is just a page turner of a high standard. I won't give any spoilers but the distress of Captain Loïc Le Guévenec of the Bouc-Bel-Air and the resourcefulness of his wife Isabelle add to intrigue. Although Luc gave a completely different aspect to the plot, especially when he went undercover; a super-fit sexual athlete, my favourite characters were John, who can forget his trials and tribulations going through customs, and the all knowing Qualasoq.
The scenes when John was fighting for his life in the cold wilderness of Greenland will stay with me as will the depicted ecological disaster that awaits us. Monsieur Besson looks to have led an extremely interesting life and this is reflected in The Greenland Breach. An author to look out for.
I was given a copy of The Greenland Breach for an honest review, which I have done. Thanks.
Bernard Besson was a high-ranked intelligence chief in France. There's industrial espionage and hired killers in this thriller, but first of all, there's the spectacle of the ice sheet covering one of the world's largest islands splitting apart and sliding into the Baffin Bay waters.
A ship laden with deep ice cores has just left, while an assassin crouches in snow to murder researchers and the world holds its breath. Tsunamis and icebergs smash down the coast of Canada, heading for New York. The focal characters however live in Paris, where a lot of the action occurs. A small private investigation agency is hired to find out about gas reserves in Greenland which two competing firms would like to exploit. Victoire monitors a Franco-Danish oil company from the office and Luc heads off to a protest rally at Le Havre. John, a former soldier, is asked to protect a student daughter of the oil firm's owners. Her mother calmly hands him a phone which will spy on the girl's conversations. Then there is just the small matter of the student's missing father, last seen in Greenland....
As various agencies and surveillance teams counter one another, the private investigators realise that they are themselves in danger. Global interests crowd in and everyone is lying. The inhabitants of Greenland have been nouveau riches, but what will this new disaster mean, with methane rising from permafrost and seabed sediment?
Predictably many of the women sleep with anything in trousers, despite the fact that their husband is injured on board a ship, say. There's also an entirely gratuitous and not very good sex scene at the start. It's a French James Bond, what do you expect? Some of the details emerging, like a person suddenly being connected to neo-fascists, seem unnecessary and over-complicated. However there are lots of little touches to aid a feeling of authenticity. Point of view jumps rapidly making the narrative complex to follow, and causing repetition, while it feels forced that everyone including the French intelligence service wants to pay the same investigators. Gruesome deaths, polar bears, sliding glaciers and the stench of escaping methane make THE GREENLAND BREACH by Bernard Besson and translated by Julie Rose, a thriller you won't easily forget.
on 5 February 2015
The Greenland Breach starts by presenting a doomsday scenario – the breaking up of Greenland and the melting of the ice cap as a result of global warming. A ship, owned by a gas and oil company, is heading out of the area bearing precious scientific samples from beneath the ice and polar bears to be re-homed when it is struck by a tidal wave on its way to the east coast of America. As this is broadcast on the media, we meet three people in a strategic consulting company who contact the ship’s captain by means of his company and offer their help. They quickly become involved in a race against various other factions to retrieve the scientific samples on board and the race is on to ‘own’ the material that could save the planet.
on 18 June 2014
intelligent and literate, with an important theme which - right from the start - the author startles us into grappling with; frankly i found the story subsumed to the theme in such a way that it was at war with the story - sort of buried it despite the characterisations which were sometimes raised to a level of hysteria in order to accommodate the significance - in fact, i learned a lot! and while i would not say this is the most captivating work as far as a novel goes, its theme is riveting - i'd recommend it and highly regard the author for tackling it!