Monday, November 26, 2012

Bear Island Review

Bear Island by Alistair MacLean

(from the back of the book)
October is no time to be aboard ship in the Barents Sea, three hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle. But that's where the cast and crew of Olympus Productions find themselves. And even before they reach their destination, the ship's doctor has his hands full. Three men are violently murdered, and the company's unspoken fears are confirmed: a pathological killer awaits them on the loneliest, most desolate island in the world.

Does Bear Island guard a secret more valuable than five lives? Why is there no shooting script for the movie-and why has no one except the director been allowed to see the screenplay? Is the entire company marked for death? Does a mass murderer lurk in its midst, a pathological killer?

A film crew is trapped on a ship, with no way off and people dropping dead all over the place.  There is suspense and surprises and people who are not always what they seem.  And the narrator is interesting, and it’s fun to listen to him as he works through his suspicion of everyone and goes over the evidence for and against everyone, trying to figure out what is going on.  There is a lot of dialogue, most of the book is dialogue, and it becomes what drives the story more than anything else.  So, even though it brings out the tension between the characters, there are times when there doesn’t seem to be much going on.  It is a mystery but there is really no way that you could possibly figure it out because there is too much you just don’t know.  Until the moment when two characters get together and discuss it all.  There is really no other way to get the information to the readers but to me it seemed like a rather long conversation while the story is put on hold.  It’s not bad, I’m not sorry I read it, but I don’t think I would recommend it.  There are a lot of others books out there that are probably more worthy of your time.

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