Cover image for Ice age
Ice age
Freemantle, Brian, 1936-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Sutton : Severn House, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 438 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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US research station, McMurdo, Antarctica: the oldest of the scientists the rescue team discovers is forty-five, and yet, physically, all are bowed, wizened, white-haired. Autopsies reveal that their bodies have aged like those of ninety-year-olds. A desperate world-wide, rivalry-riven search involving amongst others the British, Americans, Russians and the French begins for a cure to the unknown ageing disease, believed to be a prehistoric virus uncovered by the thawing of the polar and Greenland ice caps. An international crisis committee starts an equally desperate and politically influenced attempt to cover up the findings and keep hidden from the public a horror that could cause international panic.

Author Notes

Brian Freemantle was born in Southampton, England on June 10, 1936. He became a journalist and worked for four national newspapers. While the foreign editor of the Daily Mail in 1975, he organized the rescue mission to airlift 100 orphans from Saigon days before it fell to the communist north. Soon afterward, he left journalism to become a full-time author. He has written over 80 books including the Charlie Muffin series, the Cowley and Danilov Thriller series, and 5 non-fiction books. He has also written under the pen names of John Maxwell, Jonathan Evans, Jack Winchester and Harry Asher.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

From the popular British author comes this rather awkward tale of an ancient virus unleashed on the modern world, a virus that causes accelerated aging and, almost inevitably, death. Can scientists from around the world stop the virus before it wipes out the world's population? The story is plausible enough, and the science is detailed and realistic, but the presentation is clumsy, with cookie-cutter characters and dialogue that rarely rings true. Characters who are supposed to be American, for example, speak with distinctly British voices, and American idioms are not quite accurately rendered. The classic virus-on-the-rampage stories, such as Michael Crichton's Andromeda Strain, catch the reader up in the tension. Ice Age, on the other hand, keeps readers at a distance, so they don't ever really care what happens to the players. The book is reminiscent of the big-budget disaster movies made in the 1970s: plenty of excitement, a large cast, and no real emotional involvement. Still, fans of imminent-apocalypse fiction should find enough here to keep them reading. --David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

Spy-fiction master Freemantle, the creator of British MI6 operative Charlie Muffin (most recently spotted in Kings of Many Castles, Forecasts, Nov. 1), takes a refreshing hiatus from the genre with this expert thriller, in which a mysterious doomsday malady threatens to wipe out the human race. American climatologist Jack Stoddart, infamous for his warnings of an impending global warming disaster, heads a rescue team answering an SOS from a group of four scientists at a remote Antarctic research station, only to find them all dead by the time he arrives, felled by a mysterious syndrome causing rapid aging. When all the other members of his rescue team die in the same way, and simultaneous outbreaks are reported above the Arctic Circle in Alaska and Siberia, Stoddart is appointed head of a multinational investigative team headquartered near Washington. His work, already difficult, is further obstructed by the political sparring of a Napoleonic American president; the sexual tactics of a British diplomat scheming to oust his prime minister; a demented Russian virologist who had previously lost her bid for a Nobel Prize to the Americans; and a cast of minor bureaucrats. As these power mongers play their perilous game of chicken, the extinction of the human species is at stake. When a prehistoric colony that died of the same ailment is found in a Siberian cave near Lake Baikal, the stage is set for a taut denouement, and the tension doesn't let up till the final chilling page. (Nov.) Forecast: Displaying this novel alongside Kings of Many Castles, which is being published nearly simultaneously by St. Martin's, may help sales of both titles. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved