Book of the Week: Out of the Ice by Ann Turner

Ann Turner delivers another brilliant suspense novel with Out of the Ice, solidifying her position as one of Australia’s best thriller writers.  Turner has an unrivalled skill in creating intelligent characters and plots while at the same time evoking breathtaking settings that seamlessly transport her readers to another world.

Laura Alvarado is an Australian marine biologist stationed in the stunning Antarctic studying whales and penguins.  When she is asked to undertake a special environmental impact study of a long-ago abandoned whaling station, the ghosts of Laura’s past catch up with her – fast.  Is her imagination working overtime (a bit ‘toasty’ perhaps – a common conditional among those stationed for too long ) or is the ice hiding unimaginable secrets?  As Laura delves deeper into this haunting and remote environment, nothing, and no one, are what they seem.  Now Laura needs to make sense of not only her painful past but also the deceptive present.

In Out of the Ice, Antarctica is brilliantly recreated – Turner’s language allows us to visualise ourselves in these locations perfectly.  But could this world of white and blue, of vast and intense beauty and nature also be the perfect hiding place for the darker undercurrents of humanity?  Determined for the truth to emerge, Laura’s investigation takes her out of Antarctica and to the whaling town of Nantucket (near Boston) and from there to the undercurrents of a Venice flooded by the tide.


A master of trickery, Turner employs cunning and clever devices in this irresistible book, leaving readers guessing until the very last pages.   Out of the Ice is ambitious in scope and Turner far exceeds expectations, delivering a compelling and enormously satisfying thrill ride.  But it is more than a perfectly crafted thriller; it’s a wonderful exploration of character, love, loss and redemption.

Ann’s bestselling debut novel The Lost Swimmer, a psychological thriller about the consequences of love and trust was published in Australia and the UK and was long-listed for the 2016 Indie Book Awards – Debut Fiction. It has been optioned for film by producer Sue Maslin (The DressmakerJapanese Story) and Ann will write the screenplay. Before becoming a bestselling author Ann was in fact already acclaimed as a movie director.

Ann’s films include the historical feature Celia starring Rebecca Smart, which Time Out listed as one of the fifty greatest directorial debuts of all time and was described by Janet Maslin in the New York Times as ‘transfixing, assured, extremely lucid’. Other films include Hammers Over the Anvil, an adaptation of Alan Marshall’s short stories for which Ann co-wrote the screenplay and directed, starring Russell Crowe and Charlotte Rampling and the psychological thriller Irresistible starring Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill and Emily Blunt, which was shortlisted for a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award (Film Script). (See our 2015 interview with Ann Turner: Filmmaker turns Thriller Writer)

Click here to watch the trailer or to purchase a copy of Out of the Ice. You can start reading the first few chapters here too! Already finished? Click here for the Reading Group notes!

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