The contemporary global economy is premised upon the consumption of fossil fuel and geopolitical imperatives plays a crucial factor in determining the right to oil exploration-if it is in international territory like the international water. From the second half of 20th century, the oil has started to be the regulatory cause of foreign policy. The Suez crisis, the Iraq Iran conflict, two gulf wars prominently had illustrated how oil can be a determining factor of power play. Some of the powerful states had indulged in diplomatic relations and military operations to gain control over the oil reserve. Even spying operations have been used to steal the technology, the location of oil reserve and so on. After the cold war was over, oil remains at the helm of activities of international relations. Insurgency and turbulence in developing countries have been observed to be directly or indirectly related to oil. Oil has been a determining factor since now in the political relations between countries. Demand for oil is rising by leaps and bounds and countries pressurised by the multi billion oil industry lobbies are on a hunt to explore all possible ways to gain control over the oil reserves.
The hunt for oil can present more thrills than a box office bomb Hollywood thriller has on offer. This becomes prominent if you read Black Ice by Max Morgan-a breathtaking thriller on this backdrop of oil hunt.
It all started with an innocent looking, harmless laptop! Magnus Ose’s greyhound nose has smelled an imminent smell of danger for one of his assets –oil baron Aspen. Sorry, I forgot to mention that Magnus is a senior intelligence officer at Norway police security services-the PST and in his language asset means an informer. so they have meet to discuss the threat to Aspen and it turned out to be a clear case of black mailing-somebody have stole disturbing materials from his laptop during his stay at Almaty at Kazakhstan. And now the blackmailers are asking from the oil baron-“official artic policy… everything I had on oil and gas figures for the country. Every deal…Even the drilling tech. he wanted it all.”
The way the senior cop operates is bound to make you admire his way of working. Before his asset arrived to meet him he had all his details and detections –thanks to internet and inferences drawn after a thorough analysis. The active grey cells of our protagonist make this thriller an intelligent and smart one. As we progress you are going to discover that this thriller is hard to put down, too.
Death can come as a blast of cold wave-a shivering sensation and then all was gone. So is the case with Aspen –death was waiting for him silently in the parking lot. Magnus smelled it –but it was too late. He discovered
“A perfect hole in the forehead. Almost clean. Aspen’s bloodless face frozen in time, with its shocked expression, gaping mouth, and glossy wide open eyes. The trauma and carnage had been manifested by the exit wound; the back of Aspen’s skull lay scattered across the back sweat.”
The writer has compelled us to experience the situation as one witness-giving us the visualization effect. As the story goes on you will think you are within a 3D movie hall-witnessing a thriller! The chase sequence –to the assignee by Magnus will manifest it further
“The two bodies plummeted down the slick slope. Magnus felt from the pull of the incline barrelling him forward; the sniper tumbled just below to his right. Instinct told him to hold on, dig in his nails to slow down, but his training told him otherwise; Magnus knew that he needed to keep pace with the shooter, wherever it led.”
This guy Magnus has a hunch for crime and it told him-“this was a coordinated operation –Almaty and Sarajevo were planned together, orchestrated around Aspen. He was the target. He was the focus of their scheme-but it was some elaborate, complicated, multinational play.”
Magnus started to realize he is in a shadowy kingdom –where everyone is in a mask, everyone is under a facade, where nobody can be trusted –even if he is some colleague from his professional life. He is inside a spidery web-where the move of the opponent can’t be guessed. It became a stark reality for him when his second asset-Alf Evenson died of an explosion. As the investigation progresses-it became clear that he might apparently die of an explosion, but the real cause of his death is something else. Magnus realized”the frail, broken body that lay on the table seemed incongruous with the haughty diplomat who had played a double agent for them.”
Slowly but conclusively the larger links of the conspiracy started to be clear to Magnus and he goes on a trail to operation black ice-a confidential operation involving us, Denmark and Canada. An authorized collaboration on Artic drilling technology. ” And both his formal agents were a part of it.
slowly an international political involvement starts to unearth some bitter truths around-an international nexus of spy, ready to go to any extent to get the technology and Magnus suddenly feels a cold sensation down his spine- the web has not only embraced his professional career, but also his doting wife and adoring daughter-his sweet little personal family!
What will Magnus do? Will he give up?
Or will he fight unto the end?
Will the web of suspicion and conspiracy will be broken?
At every corner of the story-story line is sure to unearth some new surprises. Like the epoch of pendulum-reader swings between yes and no and then the brilliant detection power of Magnus comes into play. And ultimately what will happen is left to the reader after reading the story –I do not like to be a spoiler.
But even the conclusion will make reader guessing
“Before he could finish, Magnus hung up. He knew exactly who the person was, Malin glanced over at him. She knew that look all too well, but before she could ask him what had happened, her phone vibrated. A message from an unknown number. But there was no text….Henrick’s picture.
If only I had complied, thought Malin, as tears rolled down her checks.
The Artic was only the beginning.”
Before I wind up the review I will like to add other point-unlike conventional thrillers this story plays with characters from the perspective of their psychology and emotions.
That made the story ends “perhaps with a drop of tears.”
The material that makes art timeless…….
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