From the author of Blood and Ice, a spellbinding new take on one of history's most profound mysteries, and a thrilling race against time.
Almost a century ago, a desperate young woman crawled ashore a desolate Arctic island carrying a mysterious emerald-encrusted cross and a terrible secret.
In the present day, Army epidemiologist Frank Slater is facing a court-martial, but after his punishment is mysteriously lifted, Slater is offered a job no one else wants — to travel to a small island off the coast of Alaska and investigate a potentially lethal phenomenon: The permafrost has begun to melt, exposing bodies from a colony that was wiped out by the dreaded Spanish flu of 1918. Frank must determine if the thawed remains still carry the deadly virus in their frozen flesh and, if so, ensure that it doesn't come back to life.
The colony, it transpires, was once settled by a sect devoted to the mad Russian monk Rasputin, but there is even more hiding in the past than Frank’s team is aware of. By the time Frank discovers that his mission has been crashed by a gang of reckless treasure hunters he will be in a brutal race against time.
With his signature blend of fascinating history and fantastic imagination, critically acclaimed author Robert Masello has once again crafted a terrifying story of past events coming back to haunt the present day . . . and of dark deeds aching to be unearthed.
“Fascinating, funny, and frightening...Masello skilfully weaves together the story of the death of the Russian royal family with the possibility of a new worldwide influenza pandemic... Toss in a pack of slavering wolves, the undead, and a chilling ending, and the result is a terrific, can't-put-it-down read'”
“A delicious sense of creeping dread permeates the first act, greatly enhanced by its setting in the stark but beautiful landscape of northwestern Alaska... Tense, taut and impossible to put down”
Kirkus (starred review)