Saturday, 2 November 2013

Review: The Greenland Breach by Bernard Besson

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Experience the eco-thriller at a whole new level in this cli-fi spy novel. What is the real impact of global warming? This stylish thriller about climate change and its consequences couldn’t be more topical. Espionage, intrigue, and behind-the-scenes struggles for natural resources combine with French freelance spies and Bond-like action for a convincing, beautifully orchestrated tale, “like a sophisticated manga.”

The Arctic ice caps are breaking up. Europe and the East Coast of the Unites States brace for a tidal wave. Meanwhile, former French intelligence officer John Spencer Larivière, his karate-trained, steamy Eurasian partner, Victoire, and their bisexual computer-genius sidekick, Luc, pick up an ordinary freelance assignment that quickly leads them into the glacial silence of the great north, where a merciless war is being waged for control of discoveries that will change the future of humanity.

Terri's Review

It is quite difficult to discuss my thoughts on this read as it is a very complex novel with several twists and turns.  Based on the synopsis for this book one would think this is a novel about global warming however it is not.  While it is a factor in the storyline it is more the plot surrounding the players in the global warming industry that is the focal point of the story.

I am not going to lie, I found this a difficult read.  There are numerous characters introduced throughout this book that made it difficult to keep track of them all.  The plot was also very complex, perhaps too complex, that it was difficult to discern exactly what direction the story was taking.  It was sort of a "who done it" with a twist of who did what?  It was hard to believe that all of the events that unfolded were a result of an investigation that the main characters did not even know what or why they were investigating. 

That being said I do give kudos to Besson for having the ability and imagination to develop something so complex.  I can't even begin to comprehend the process that could develop all of the twists and turns that this novel.  I find it truly amazing.

This novel was originally written in French and then translated in to English.  As someone who has some knowledge of both languages I do believe that this would have been a better read in its original language.  Although there was nothing wrong with the actual translation, in fact it was quite good, I do believe that the story lost some of the "flow" in the translation.  As someone whose day to day environment is working with both languages I know that this is something that tends to happen in translation regardless of how well it is done. 

About the Author

Award-winning thriller writer Bernard Besson, who was born in Lyon, France, in 1949, is a former top-level chief of staff of the French intelligence services, an eminent specialist in economic intelligence and Honorary General Controller of the French National Police. He was involved in dismantling Soviet spy rings in France and Western Europe when the USSR fell and has real inside knowledge from his work auditing intelligence services and the police. He has also written a number of prize-winning thrillers and several works of nonfiction. He currently lives in the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris, right down the street from his heroes.
Julie Rose is a prize-winning, world-renowned translator of major French thinkers, known for, among other works, her acclaimed translation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, which was published by Random House in 2008. She has translated twenty-eight books, including many French classics, and writes on the side. She lives in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, with her husband, dog and two cats

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