Icebound

( 72 )

Overview

A stunning and suspenseful thriller, about humanity's continuous and sometimes futile battle against nature from one of the most popular and bestselling authors in America.

Conducting a strange and urgent experiment of the Arctic icefield, a team of scientists has planted sixty powerful explosive charges that will detonate at midnight. Before they can withdraw to the safety of the base camp, a shattering tidal wave breaks loose the ice on which they are working. Now they are ...

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Icebound

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Overview

A stunning and suspenseful thriller, about humanity's continuous and sometimes futile battle against nature from one of the most popular and bestselling authors in America.

Conducting a strange and urgent experiment of the Arctic icefield, a team of scientists has planted sixty powerful explosive charges that will detonate at midnight. Before they can withdraw to the safety of the base camp, a shattering tidal wave breaks loose the ice on which they are working. Now they are hopelessly marooned on an iceberg during a violent winter storm. The bombs beneath them are buried irretrievable deep . . . and ticking. And they discover that one of them is an assassin with mission of his won. This is classic Koontz.

In the tradition of Winter Moon, here's more classic early Koontz--revised and repackaged to ride the wave of his phenomenal bestselling success. A secret Antarctic experiment becomes a frozen nightmare when a team of scientists are set adrift on an iceberg--with a murderer in their midst, and a massive explosive charge with only hours left to detonate! Formerly titled: Prison of Ice. Original.

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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
Jammed with the tensions of imminent disaster. The whole thing unfolds with the timing of a quartz watch.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This extensively revised edition of the early Koontz novel Poison Ice depicts an imperiled team of scientists involved in an Arctic experiment. Feb.
From the Publisher

“A stunning chiller.”—The Miami Herald
 
“Jammed with the tensions of imminent disaster. The whole thing unfolds with the timing of a quartz watch.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“Sweeps the reader along at a breathless pace.”—The Daily Telegraph
 
“One of the most suspenseful novels of the season.”—Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553582901
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: BANTAM MAS
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,441,098
  • Product dimensions: 6.86 (w) x 4.16 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Icebound


By Dean Koontz

Bantam

Copyright © 2000 Dean Koontz
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0553582909

Chapter One



Snare



Noon
Detonation in twelve hours

With a crystal-shattering shriek, the bit of the power drill bored deep into the Arctic ice. Gray-white slush churned out of the hole, sluiced across the crusted snow, and refroze in seconds. The flared auger was out of sight, and most of the long steel shank also had disappeared into the four-inch-diameter shaft.

Watching the drill, Harry Carpenter had a curious premonition of imminent disaster. A faint flicker of alarm. Like a bird shadow fluttering across a bright landscape. Even inside his heavily insulated clothing, he shivered.

As a scientist, Harry respected the tools of logic, method, and reason, but he had learned never to discount a hunch–especially on the ice, where strange things could happen. He was unable to identify the source of his sudden uneasiness, though occasional dark forebodings were to be expected on a job involving high explosives. The chance of one of the charges detonating prematurely, killing them all, was slim to nil. Nevertheless . .
Peter Johnson, the electronics engineer who doubled as the team's demolitions expert, switched off the drill and stepped back from it. In his white Gore-Tex/Thermolite storm suit, fur-lined parka, and fur-lined hood, Pete resembled a polar bear–except for his dark brown face.

Claude Jobert shut down the portable generator that supplied power to thedrill. The resultant hush had an eerie quality of expectancy so intense that Harry glanced behind himself and then up into the sky, half convinced that something was rushing or falling toward him.

If Death kissed anyone today, it was more likely to rise up from below than to descend upon them. As the bleak afternoon began, the three men were preparing to lower the last hundred-pound explosive charge deep into the ice. It was the sixtieth demolitions package that they had handled since the previous morning, and they were all uneasily conscious of standing upon enough high-yield plastic explosives to destroy them in an apocalyptic flash.

No fertile imagination was required to picture themselves dying in these hostile climes: The icecap was a perfect graveyard, utterly lifeless, and it encouraged thoughts of mortality. Ghostly bluish-white plains led off in all directions, somber and moody during that long season of nearly constant darkness, brief twilight, and perpetual overcast. At the moment, visibility was fair because the day had drawn down to that time when a vague, cloud-filtered crescent of sunlight painted the horizon. However, the sun had little to illuminate in the stark landscape. The only points of elevation were the jagged pressure ridges and hundreds of slabs of ice–some only as large as a man, others bigger than houses–that had popped from the field and stood on end like gigantic tombstones.

Pete Johnson, joining Harry and Claude at a pair of snowmobiles that had been specially rebuilt for the rigors of the pole, told them, "The shaft's twenty-eight yards deep. One more extension for the bit, and the job's done."

"Thank God!" Claude Jobert shivered as if his thermal suit provided no protection whatsoever. In spite of the transparent film of petroleum jelly that protected the exposed portions of his face from frostbite, he was pale and drawn. "We'll make it back to base camp tonight. Think of that! I haven't been warm one minute since we left."

Ordinarily, Claude didn't complain. He was a jovial, energetic little man. At a glance, he seemed fragile, but that was not the case. At five seven and a hundred thirty pounds, he was lean, wiry, hard. He had a mane of white hair now tucked under his hood, a face weathered and made leathery by a lifetime in extreme climates, and bring blue eyes as clear as those of a child. Harry had never seen hatred or anger in those eyes. Until yesterday, he had never seen self-pity in them, either, not even three years ago, when Claude lost his wife, Colette, in a sudden, senseless act of violence; he had been consumed by grief but had never wallowed in self-pity.

Since they had left the comfort of Edgeway Station, however, Claude had been neither jovial nor energetic, and he had complained frequently about the cold. At fifty-nine, he was the oldest member of the expedition, eighteen years older than Harry Carpenter, which was the outer limit for anyone working in those brutal latitudes.

Although he was a fine arctic geologist specializing in the dynamics of ice formation and movement, the current expedition would be his last trip to either pole. Henceforth, his research would be done in laboratories and at computers, for from the severe conditions of the icecap.

Harry wondered if Jobert was bothered less by the bitter cold than by the knowledge that the work he loved had grown too demanding for him. One day Harry would have to face the same truth, and he wasn't sure that he would be able to exit with grace. The great chaste spaces of the Arctic and Antarctic enthralled him: the power of the extreme weather, the mystery that cloaked the white geometric landscapes and pooled in the purple shadows of every seemingly unplumbable crevasse, the spectacle on clear night when the aurora borealis splashed the sky with shimmering streamers of light in jewellike colors, and the vast fields of stars when the curtains of the aurora drew back to reveal them.

In some ways he was still the kid who had grown up on a quiet farm in Indiana, without brothers or sisters or playmates: the lonely boy who'd felt stifled by the life into which he'd been born, who'd daydreamed of traveling to far places and seeing all the exotic marvels of the world, who'd wanted never to be tied down to one plot of earth, and who'd yearned for adventure. He was a grown man now, and he knew that adventure was hard work. Yet, from time to time, the boy within him was abruptly overcome by wonder, stopped whatever he was doing, slowly turned in a circle to look at the dazzlingly white world around him, and thought: Holy jumping catfish, I'm really here, all the way from Indiana to the end of the earth, the top of the world!

Pete Johnson said, "It's snowing."

Even as Pete spoke, Harry saw the lazily spiraling flakes descending in a silent ballet. The day was windless, though the calm might not endure much longer.

Claude Jobert frowned. "We weren't due for this storm until this evening."

The trip out from Edgeway Station–which lay four air miles to the northeast of their temporary camp, six miles by snowmobile past ridges and deep chasms–had not been difficult. Nevertheless, a bad storm might make the return journey impossible. Visibility could quickly deteriorate to zero, and they could easily get lost because of compass distortion. And if their snowmobiles ran out of fuel, they would freeze to death, for even their thermal suits would be insufficient protection against prolonged exposure to the more murderous cold that would ride in on the back of a blizzard.

Deep snows were not as common on the Greenland cap as might have been expected, in part because of the extreme lows to which the air temperature could sink.. At some point in virtually every blizzard, the snowflakes metamorphosed into spicules of ice, but even then visibility was poor.

Studying the sky, Harry said, "Maybe it's a local squall."

"Yes, that's just what Online Weather said last week about that storm," Claude reminded him. "We were to have only local squalls on the periphery of the main event. Then we had so much snow and ice it would've kept Père Noël home on Christmas Eve."

"So we'd better finish this job quickly."

"Yesterday would be good."

As if to confirm the need for haste, a wind sprang up from the west, as crisp and odorless as a wind could be only if it was coming off hundreds of miles of barren ice. The snowflakes shrank and began to descend at an angle, no longer spiraling prettily like flakes in a crystal bibelot.

Pete freed the drill from the shank of the buried bit and lifted it out of its supportive frame, handling it as if it weighed a tenth of its actual eighty-five pounds.

A decade ago he had been a football star at Penn State, turning down offers from several NFL teams. He hadn't wanted to play out the role that society dictated for every six-foot-four-inch, two-hundred-pound black football hero. Instead, he had won scholarships, earned two degrees, and taken a well-paid position with a computer-industry think tank.

Now he was vital to Harry's expedition. He maintained the electronic data-gathering equipment at Edgeway, and having designed the explosive devices, he was the only one who could deal with them in full confidence if something went wrong. Furthermore, his tremendous strength was an asset out there on the inhospitable top of the world.

As Pete swung the drill out of the way, Harry and Claude lifted a three-foot bit extension from one of the cargo trailers that were coupled to the snowmobiles. They screwed it onto the thread shank, which was still buried in the ice.

Claude started the generator again.

Pete slammed the drill in place, turned the keyless chuck to clamp the jaws tight around the shank, and finished boring the twenty-nine-yard-deep shaft, at the bottom of which they would plant a tubular charge of explosives.

While the machine roared, Harry gazed at the heavens. Within the past few minutes, the weather had deteriorated alarmingly. Most of the ashen light had faded from behind the oppressive overcast. So much snow was falling that the sky no longer was mottled with grays and black; nothing whatsoever of the actual cloud cover could be seen through the crystalline torrents. Above them was only a deep, whirling whiteness. Already shrinking and becoming grainlike, the flakes lightly pricked his greased face. The wind escalated to perhaps twenty miles an hour, and its song was a mournful drone.

Harry still sensed oncoming disaster. The feeling was formless, vague, but unshakable.

As a boy on the farm, he had never realized that adventure was hard work, although he had understood that it was dangerous. To a kid, danger had been part of the appeal. In the process of growing up, however, as he'd lost both parents to illness and learned the violent ways of the world, he had ceased to be able to see anything romantic about death. Nevertheless, he admitted to a certain perverse nostalgia for the innocence that had once made it possible to find a pleasurable thrill in the taking of mortal risks.

Claude Jobert leaned close and shouted above the noise from the wind and the grinding auger: "Don't worry, Harry. We'll be back at Edgeway soon. Good brandy, a game of chess, Benny Goodman on the CD player, all the comforts."

Harry Carpenter nodded. He continued to study the sky.



12:20

In the telecommunications shack at Edgeway Station, Gunvald Larsson stood at the single small window, chewing nervously on the stem of his unlit pipe and peering out at the rapidly escalating storm. Relentless tides of snow churned through the camp, like ghost waves from an ancient sea that had evaporated millennia ago. Half an hour earlier, he'd scraped the ice off the outside of the triple-pane window, but already feathery new patterns of crystals were regrowing along the perimeter of the glass. In an hour, another blinding cataract would have formed.

From Gunvald's slightly elevated viewpoint, Edgeway Station looked so isolated–and contrasted so boldly with the environment in which it stood–that it might have been humanity's only outpost on an alien planet. It was the only splash of color on the white, silver, and alabaster fields.

The six canary-yellow Nissen huts had been airlifted onto the icecap in prefabricated sections at tremendous effort and expense. Each one-story structure measured twenty by fifteen feet. The walls–layers of sheet metal and lightweight foam insulation–were riveted to hooped girders, and the floor of each hut was countersunk into the ice. As unattractive as slum buildings and hardly less cramped than packing crates, the huts were nonetheless dependable and secure against the wind.

A hundred yards north of the camp, a smaller structure stood by itself. It housed the fuel tanks that fed the generators. Because the tanks held diesel fuel, which could burn but couldn't explode, the danger of fire was minimal. Nevertheless, the thought of being trapped in a flash fire fanned by an arctic gale was so terrifying–especially when there was no water, just useless ice, with which to fight it–that excessive precautions had to be taken for everyone's peace of mind.

Gunvald Larsson's peach of mind had been shattered hours ago, but he was not worried about fire. Earthquakes were what troubled him now. Specifically, suboceanic earthquakes.

The son of a Swedish father and a Danish mother, he had been on the Swedish ski teams at two winter Olympics, had earned one silver medal, and was proud of his heritage; he cultivated the image of an imperturbable Scandinavian and usually possessed an inner calm that matched his cool exterior. His wife said that, like precision calipers, his quick blue eyes continuously measured the world. When he wasn't working outdoors, he usually wore slacks and colorful ski sweaters; at the moment, in fact, he was dressed as though lolling in a mountain lodge after a pleasant day on the slopes rather than sitting in an isolated hut on the winter icecap, waiting for calamity to strike.

During the past several hours, however, he had lost a large measure of his characteristic composure. Chewing on the pipestem, he turned away from the frost-fringed windowpane and scowled at the computers and the data-gathering equipment that lined three walls of the telecommunications shack.

Early the previous afternoon, when Harry and the others had gone south toward the edge of the ice, Gunvald had stayed behind to monitor incoming calls on the radio and to keep a watch over the station. This was not the first time that all but one of the expedition members had left Edgeway to conduct an experiment in the field, but on previous occasions, someone other than Gunvald had remained behind. After weeks of living in a tiny community with eight too-close neighbors, he had been eager for his session of solitude.

By four o'clock the previous day, however, when Edgeway's seismographs registered the first quake, Gunvald had begun to wish that the other members of the team had not ventured so near to the edge of the ice, where the polar cap met the sea. At 4:14, the jolt was confirmed by radio reports from Reykjavik, Iceland, and from Hammerfest, Norway. Severe slippage had occurred in the seabed sixty miles northeast of Raufarhšfn, Iceland. The shock was on the same chain of interlinked faults that had triggered destructive volcanic eruptions on Iceland more than three decades ago. This time there had been no damage on any land bordering the Greenland Sea, although the tremor had registered a solid 6.5 on the Richter scale.

Gunvald's concern arose from the suspicion that the quake had been neither an isolated incident nor the main event. He had good reason to believe that it was a foreshock, precursor to an event of far greater magnitude.

From the outset the team had intended to study, among other things, ocean-bed temblors in the Greenland Sea to learn more about local suboceanic fault lines. They were working in a geologically active part of the earth that could never be trusted until it was better known. If dozens of ships were to be towing colossal icebergs in those waters, they would need to know how often the sea was disturbed by major submarine quakes and by resultant high waves. A tsunami–a titanic wave radiating from the epicenter of a powerful quake–could endanger even a fairly large ship, although less in the open sea than if the vessel was near a shoreline.

He should have been pleased with the opportunity to observe, at such close quarters, the characteristics and patterns of major temblors on the Greenland Sea fault network. But he wasn't pleased at all.

Using a microwave uplink to orbiting communications satellites, Gunvald was able to go on-line and access any computers tied into the worldwide Infonet. Though he was geographically isolated, he had at his disposal virtually all the research databases and software that would have been available in any city.

Yesterday, he had tapped those impressive resources to analyze the seismographic data on the recent quake. What he discovered had made him uneasy.

The enormous energy of the temblor had been released less by lateral seabed movement than by violent upward thrust. That was precisely the type of ground movement that would put the greatest amount of strain on the interlinked faults lying to the east of the one on which the first event had transpired.

Edgeway Station itself was in no imminent danger. If major seabed slippage occurred nearby, a tsunami might roll beneath the icecap and precipitate some changes: Primarily, new chasms and pressure ridges would form. If the quake were related to submarine volcanic activity, in which millions of cubic tons of molten lava gushed out of the ocean floor, perhaps even temporary holes of warm water would open in the icecap. But most of the polar terrain would be unchanged, and the likelihood was slim that the base camp would be either damaged or destroyed.

The other expedition members, however, couldn't be as certain of their safety as Gunvald was of his own. In addition to creating pressure ridges and chasms, a hot tsunami was likely to snap off sections of the ice at the edge of the winter field. Harry and the others might find the cap falling out from under them while the sea rushed up dark, cold, and deadly.

At nine o'clock last night, five hours after the first tremor, the second quake–5.8 on the Richter scale–had hit the fault chain. The seabed had shifted violently one hundred five miles north-northeast of Raufarhöfn. The epicenter had been thirty-five miles nearer Edgeway than that of the initial shaker.

Gunvald took no comfort from the fact that the second quake had been less powerful than the first. The diminution in force was not absolute proof that the more recent temblor had been an aftershock to the first. Both might have been foreshocks, with the main event still to come.

During the Cold War, the United States had planted a series of extremely sensitive sonic monitors on the floor of the Greenland Sea, as well as in many other strategic areas of the world's oceans, to detect the nearly silent passage of nuclear-armed enemy submarines. Subsequent to the collapse of the Soviet Union, some of those sophisticated devices had begun doing double duty, both monitoring submarines and providing data for scientific purposes. Since the second quake, most of the deep-ocean listening stations in the Greenland Sea had been transmitting a faint but almost continuous low-frequency grumble: the ominous sound of growing elastic stress in the crust of the earth.

A slow-motion domino reaction might have begun. And the dominoes might be falling toward Edgeway Station.

During the past sixteen hours, Gunvald had spent less time smoking his pipe than chewing nervously on the stem of it.




At nine-thirty the previous night, when the radio confirmed the location and force of the second shock, Gunvald had put through a call to the temporary camp six miles to the southwest. He told Harry about the quakes and explained the risks that they were taking by remaining on the perimeter of the polar ice.

"We've got a job to do," Harry had said. "Forty-six packages are in place, armed, and ticking. Getting them out of the ice again before they all detonate would be harder than getting a politician's hand out of your pocket. And if we don't place the other fourteen tomorrow, without all sixty synchronized charges, we likely won't break off the size berg we need. In effect, we'll be aborting the mission, which is out of the question."

"I think we should consider it."

"No, no. The project's too damned expensive to chuck it all just because there might be a seismic risk. Money's tight. We might not get another chance if we screw up this one."

"I suppose you're right," Gunvald acknowledged, "but I don't like it."

The open frequency crackled with static as Harry said, "Can't say I'm doing cartwheels, either. Do you have any projection about how long it might take major slippage to pass through an entire fault chain like this one?"

"You know that's anybody's guess, Harry. Days, maybe weeks, even months."

"You see? We have more than enough time. Hell, it can even take longer."

"Or it can happen much faster. In hours."

"Not this time. The second tremor was less violent than the first, wasn't it?" Harry asked.

"And you know perfectly well that doesn't mean the reaction will just play itself out. The third might be smaller or larger than the first two."

"At any rate," Harry said, "the ice is seven hundred feet thick where we are. It won't just splinter apart like the first coat on a winter pond."

"Nevertheless, I strongly suggest you wrap things up quickly tomorrow."

"No need to worry about that. Living out here in these damned inflatable igloos makes any lousy shack at Edgeway seem like a suite at the Ritz-Carlton."

After that conversation, Gunvald Larsson had gone to bed. He hadn't slept well. In his nightmares, the world crumbled apart, dropped away from him in enormous chunks, and he fell into a cold, bottomless void.

At seven-thirty in the morning, while Gunvald had been shaving, with the bad dreams still fresh in his mind, the seismograph had recorded a third tremor: Richter 5.2.

His breakfast had consisted of a single cup of black coffee. No appetite.

At eleven o'clock the fourth quake had struck only two hundred miles due south: 4.4 on the Richter scale.

He had not been cheered to see that each event was less powerful than the one that preceded it. Perhaps the earth was conserving its energy for a single gigantic blow.

The fifth tremor had hit at 11:50. The epicenter was approximately one hundred ten miles due south. Much closer than any previous tremor, essentially on their doorstep. Richter 4.2.

He'd called the temporary camp, and Rita Carpenter had assured him that the expedition would leave the edge of the icecap by two o'clock.

"The weather will be a problem," Gunvald worried.

"It's snowing here, but we thought it was a local squall."

"I'm afraid not. The storm is shifting course and picking up speed. We'll have heavy snow this afternoon."

"We'll surely be back at Edgeway by four o'clock," she'd said. "Maybe sooner."

At twelve minutes past noon another slippage had occurred in the subsea crust, one hundred miles south: 4.5 on the Richter scale.



Now, at twelve-thirty, when Harry and the others were probably planting the final package of explosives, Gunvald Larsson was biting so hard on his pipe that, with only the slightest additional pressure, he could have snapped the stem in two.

Continues...

Excerpted from Icebound by Dean Koontz Copyright © 2000 by Dean Koontz. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 73 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2013

    Different storyline for Mr Koontz

    I found this story unexpected and engaging. I was so caught up in it, I felt as if I could feel the ice cold wind howling past me as I tried to figure out who the bad guy was. I liked that I couldn't figure it out! Overall it was a thoroughly entertaining story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2009

    Great Customer Service

    You guys do a GREAT job on shipping the books I order for my son!!! He and I both have been very pleased with your service!! "Hats Off" to all of you!! Thank you so much

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    Willowstar

    Im here

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Very good

    A classic Dean Koontz!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2012

    Great Book

    I loved it. Not the best book of his, but I am a Koontz fan so, it was still fabulous. I love his work.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A scientific team in the Arctic icefield is conducting an exper


    A scientific team in the Arctic icefield is conducting an experiment and has just finished laying sixty explosive charges, scheduled to detonate at midnight, when a completely unexpected tidal wave hits and breaks off a huge piece of ice. Unfortunately, the scientists are marooned on this newly-birthed iceberg with the explosives counting down and, to make matters worse, an attack on a team member indicates one of them is also an assassin with an agenda of his own. Rescue from elsewhere is perhaps impossible as a storm is raging, preventing nearby ships from getting there before the detonations, and a Russian submarine commander may be their only hope. Still, how does a submarine effect a rescue when there is no way to get its divers on a massive—and moving—block of ice with sheer walls?

    This book has had multiple incarnations. Originally published in mass market format in 1976 under the pen name David Axton and with the title Poison Ice, Koontz apparently extensively revised it and brought it out under the Koontz name as Icebound in late 1994, again in mass market. An abridged audio edition (cassette) came out a few weeks later, read by John Glover, as well as a large print edition. In 1997, it was re-issued as a trade paperback and then, in 2000, was re-issued once again in mass market and in turtleback (a library hardcover binding for a paperback). Finally, in 2007, this unabridged audio book was released. Whew!

    I’m a Dean Koontz fan from way back but had never read this one, for some reason. A major departure from many of his other books is that there are no animals anywhere in the story (!). Suspense is high and rarely lets up; I did not figure out the identity of the assassin until near the time when the castaways do but that particular mystery—and the why behind the attack—take a distant second seat to the question of potential rescue. The Russian sub’s commander is an especially interesting character in his background and why he is determined to try to save these people.

    Paul Michael is a reader I haven’t tried before and I liked his performance very much. He has a clear voice and I rarely had any confusion as to who was speaking. Another positive aspect of this audio book is the short tracks, making it easy to find your place if you have to pull the CD out of your player and then find your place again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Good

    Good, but not one of my fav

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  • Posted February 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Absolute Page Turner

    This was a fantastic read---a little off the beaten path for Koontz but good none the less. Lots of twists and the story line was griping. Toward the end,I found myself actually feeling the anxiety and pressures the characters were feeling in the book.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    A Decent book but not for everyone

    With in the first few pages I thought this book was going to suck. As it turned out it was pretty decent. The story line was good as were the characters, its was packed with action and had very few dull moments. was it worth the read ? Yes. was it worth the 6 or 7 bucks ? Sure why not. I would give this a Solid 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    Still A GReat Writer

    Dean Koontz hasn't lost anything with all the books he has written, this one lives up to all my expectations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Icebound

    A great read but then this author's works are always a good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2007

    An example of a young author

    If I had to describe this book in one word it would be redundant. This was one of Koonts earlier works and it demonstrates how much he has grown as a writer. I recommend it if you are a big fan of Koonts and appreciate the author as much as the books. If you are just looking for a good story, this could really frustrate you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    To the right of Dean to the left of Horror

    This was a nicely written, well received divergence from the other works of Dean Koontz. He did extrememly well, and his use of language is unprecedented.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2006

    Very Good

    This book didn't capture my attention at first, but as it got more into detail it did. The scientist at edgeway station are trapped on an iceberg with dynamite buried all throughout the floating island. It's up to the scientist to protect themselves from the bitter cold, and from the killer among them. This is a book that is very different from any other Koontz book out there that I've ever read. It's worth the time to sit and read though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Icebound

    This is not what I expected from a Dean Koontz it was so boring. I do not recomend anybody to read icebound.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2004

    I've seen better

    I am an avid Dean Koontz fan and for a teenager that is very strange considering the fact that most of us do not like to read anything. Anyways...this book disappointed me because it didn't grab my attention like most of his other books do. I know he was writing out of his normal genre and I applaud him for his attempt on so and if any other writer had attempted to write a book like this I probably wouldn't have picked it up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    Theres a cold killer in this cold thriller

    This was a great book! The book made perfect sense. Even for me. I havent read many of the other Dean Koontz books except shattered and The key to midnight. Annotation:In a time of worldwide drought it is discovered that antarctic ice has the lowest count of bacteria. A team of scientists and engineers are sent to break off a piece of the ice. The scientist drill large holes in the ice and plant explosive set to explode at midnight. A large wave causes the iceberg to break off. Now the cold isnt the only thing to threaten the teams lives.....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003

    stuck in the arctic

    From page to page Icebound was filled with intense action. Dean Koontz has written a master piece. Eight scientists are put on a arctic island undergoing very dangerous circumstances. Icebound is set on an Arctic iceberg. Eight scientists who have put forward the theory that icebergs could be floated out to sea and then dragged to where fresh water is desperately needed, are there to help prove their theory. Their mission is to free a large iceberg from the icecap and let it float south using the oceans currents. Having just finished placing the last of 60 charges to help separate the iceberg, they find themselves adrift on a larger iceberg, freed from the main icecap by underwater tremors. Now with only 12 hours to go before the charges go off they have no way of getting to safety before their berg is blown apart. To make matters worse the worst storm of the decade has hit and any thought of air or sea rescue is impossible. Can things get any worse? The answer to that is yes, because someone on the team is a murderer. However monitoring all this activity is a Russian submarine. Will the Russian Captain decide to help these capitalists scientists? If he does will he be able to help before the midnight deadline. The book is an easy read with none of the sometimes over technical details found is a Tom Clancy novel. Dean Koontz Icebound is a great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2002

    Great

    This is probobly Koontzs best survival novel. With the survival story and murder story going on at the same time it is great from begging to end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2001

    Should be more than five stars.

    This is an absolutely wonderfull book. I first read it several years ago, and ever since then I have been hooked on Dean Koontz novels. True..this one is slightly different than the others by this author, but this difference elevates the book to the best.

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