New book: Blood and Ice, by Robert Masello ’74 (Bantam Dell)
The author: A journalist, TV writer, and author of both nonfiction and fiction books, Masello has written about the occult (Fallen Angles … and Spirits of the Dark), aspects of the writing life (Robert’s Rules of Writing), and supernatural thrillers (Bestiary and Vigil) that mix past and present. His latest page-turner, Blood and Ice, was released in July in paperback.
The plot: The novel opens with a mysterious pair, Sinclair Copley and Eleanor Ames, a soldier and nurse, on a British ship in the Southern Ocean in 1856. Accused of murder, they are chained together and dropped overboard. Flash forward to the present day. Travel writer, Michael Wilde, who has suffered a tragedy, finds the energy to get back to work covering a story about a research station in the South Pole. While on a dive, he finds a man and woman bound in chains and sealed in a block of ice. Beside them is a chest filled with disturbing cargo. The novel follows Wilde’s search to unravel the mystery of the couple and takes readers from the battlefields of the Crimean War to Victorian England and the depths of the Southern Ocean.
Opening lines: “Sinclair bent low over the wooden bunk where Eleanor lay. Though she was snugly wrapped in his greatcoat and buried under every blanket and sheet he could lay his hands on, her teeth still chattered and her breath fogged in the dank, freezing air. By the flickering light of the oil lamp, he could see that her eyes were rolling up under her lids, and her face was as white and cold as the ice that had surrounded the ship for weeks.”
Reviews: When the hardcover was released last year, The Times of London called it a “winner, made for Hollywood. … The ingredients of vampirism, doomed romance, and Antarctic adventure are too seductive to resist.” Booklist called Blood and Ice “stylishly written, with a well-crafted story and a cast of vividly realized characters” and at its heart “a love story, a tale of devotion and sacrifice and survival against astronomical odds.”