Bernard Besson was a high-ranked intelligence chief in
France and this exciting thriller borrows from his
experiences as it foretells environmental disaster.
There's industrial espionage and hired killers aplenty, 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.
THE GREENLAND BREACH occurs just as a ship laden with deep
ice cores has left, while an assassin crouches to murder
researchers and the world holds its breath. Waves and
icebergs smash down the coast of Canada, heading for New
York. The focal characters however live in Paris. A small
private investigation agency is hired to find out about the
research in Greenland, which covers gas reserves that two
competing firms would like to exploit. Amid grisly outdoor
scenes it is a calm contrast to join these people in their
office, where Victoire monitors a Franco-Danish oil company
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 hands him a phone which
will spy on the girl's conversations. Once he agrees,
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. Chinese SUVs crowd the town of Nuuk
on Greenland, while Russian tracking devices, Scandinavian
hired killers and Israeli computer viruses appear.
America is swift to aid those injured by the tsunami while
Canada has a feared intelligence service prowling the top
of the world. The inhabitants of Greenland have been
nouveau riches, but what will this new disaster mean to
them, with methane rising from permafrost and seabed
Predictably many of the women sleep with anything in
trousers, regardless of the fact that their husband is
injured on board a ship, say. It's like a French James
Bond, what do you expect? A wry slant is given by showing
people caring about endangered polar bears, then showing
the beasts behaving like polar bears do in extreme
conditions. Some of the details emerging, like a person
suddenly being connected to neo-fascists, seem unnecessary
and over-complicating matters. Point of view jumps rapidly
making the narrative complex to follow, and causing
repetition, while for some reason everyone including the
French intelligence service starts wanting to pay the same
investigators to look into the oil companies. Gruesome
deaths, sliding glaciers and the stench of escaping methane
make THE GREENLAND BREACH by Bernard Besson and translated
by Julie Rose, one you won't easily forget.
A fast-paced combination of environmental catastrophe,
geopolitical stakes, freelance spies and Bond-like action.
The Arctic ice caps are breaking up. Europe and the East
Coast of the United States brace for a tidal wave.
Meanwhile, former French intelligence officer John Spencer
Larivière, his karate-trained, steamy Eurasian partner,
Victoire, and their computer-genius sidekick, Luc, pick up
an ordinary freelance assignment that quickly leads them
into the glacial silence of the great north, where a
merciless war is being waged for control of discoveries that
will change the future of humanity.