Monday, October 23, 2017
The Bookwyrm's review of Elder Ice by David Hambling
Author: David Hambling
Pages/Length: 196 pages/ 3 hrs (audio)
Publisher: David Hambling
Release Date: July 27, 2014/ August 22, 2016 (Audio)
Narrated by Brian Gill
Harry Stubbs, Great War vet and former boxer, works for a prestigious London law firm, collecting debts and doing some investigative work for them. While looking into collecting large debts from the estate of famed explorer Ernest Shackleton, Harry approaches Shackleton's brother, a low end antique shop owner, to see if he had any ideas about any hidden assets. Harry gets a cold reception, and is let in on the fact that Shackleton spent money like water, and was always in debt. He also mentions he is the last person Ernest would confide in, since he has a criminal background, and Ernest had grown distant from him. Harry realizes this is a dead end and goes into work to update his employers about his progress.
Later that night, after a night at the pub, harry is attacked by four Irish ruffians. Harry beats them using his skills, but realizes he might be onto something, since they let it slip this is about his latest case. This leads him onto a wild chase, as he tries to track down one lead after another. The speed of discoveries picks up, and Harry is drawn into a conspiracy older than history. The revelations about what Shackleton really discovered are mind boggling, and it brings into question humanity's place in global pecking order! The secrets of our deep past are revealed, and its certain not to be a good revelation.
All in all, this is a very well written book. Exciting fight scenes, a mystery older than written history and engaging characters really help. The characters are well drawn out, especially Harry. His past as a boxer and soldier are both brought into play effectively, as are his investigative skills and all around tenacity. The other characters are well drawn out as well, although Harry is definitely the star of the show. The setting is well described, and you get a real feel for what 1920's London society felt like. You can really get behind and root for Harry.
The narration is handled by Brian Gill in a memorable performance. He really nails the various British accents, and brings all various characters to life. His narrative style is smooth and steady, and he has great pacing. He can really suck the listener into the story. Top marks on this work.
Any reader that is into Brian Lumley's Titus Crow, Matthew Davenport's Andrew Doran or Ari Marmell's Mick Oberon books should take a look at this series. You won't be disappointed.