It's rare to find a book that truly lives up to any "from the first page..." hype, but Karen Dionne's new scientific thriller FREEZING POINT opens with a physical tension that, trumping cliche, never lets up. Hoping to purchase the rights to a patented process for harvesting freshwater from the polar icecaps, Ben Maki finds himself off the coast of Newfoundland with the iceberg-cowboy captain who pioneered the concept. Unfortunately, the berg they've just roped begins to roll -- taking their trawler with it. Despite the brevity of the scene, its terror and urgency establish an uber-adrenaline pace that, when the story picks up three years later, only accelerates.
Dionne deftly infuses her plot lines with provocative science and sympathetic characters, moving between corporate Los Angeles, an Antarctic research station, and a giant iceberg loosed in the Weddell Sea to explore the chasms between philanthropy, profitability, and environmental responsibility within the context of a very contemporary global issue: the growing drinking water shortage. Never pedantic, often fascinating, and always compulsively readable, Dionne's narrative voice is a uniquely compelling entertainment.