Until the Ice Cracks

Fiction - Thriller - General
296 Pages
Reviewed on 04/05/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jan Turk Petrie is the author of the new, fast paced Nordic thriller series: the Eldísvík novels. All three of these gripping novels are set in 2068 in a fictional city state just below the artic circle.

'Until The Ice Cracks' - the first of the trilogy was released in July 2018.
Volume Two - 'No God for a Warrior' was released in November 2018
The third and final volume - 'Within Each Other's Shadow' is due for publication in spring 2019

A former English teacher with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire, UK, Jan has also written numerous, prize-winning short stories.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

In Jan Turk Petrie’s Until the Ice Cracks, it’s the winter of 2068, and a massacre in a criminal-infested zone by a rogue agent-a ‘decoy’-sends the authorities on a cat and mouse chase, including putting the governor’s job on the line. Inspector Nero Cavallo and his team from the Homicide Department are tasked with hunting down the one that the public called the Avenging Angel. In the midst of the manhunt, a young man named Bruno Mastriano is trying to escape a group of rebels who want to use his special ability to their benefit. As things start to unravel, the truth begins to claim more lives and complicates the situation.

Until the Ice Cracks by Jan Turk Petrie is a noir-esque Nordic crime thriller in the near future. Other than the imprinting process between human and animals, the proposed future military tech - such as exo-suits as well as generalized gadgets like stud and credit as currency - is not hard to believe. A few of them already exist today, albeit still in their early stages of development. The plot and the dialogue are delivered in a writing style that has a subtle peculiarity, giving a slightly dreamlike quality to the story. Protagonist Nero is astute, matter of fact and determined-a ‘traditionalist’ cop who also contributes to the cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity elements of Petrie’s crime thriller. That said, not everything is answered when the book ends. I still wonder about Constable Chan-there’s another layer to her persona that is yet to be revealed. Then again, more answers can definitely be found in its sequel. Overall, an intriguing read.

K.C. Finn

Until The Ice Cracks is a Nordic noir crime thriller set in the very near future, penned by author Jan Turk Petrie. Forming the first volume in the Eldísvík Novels, the setting for the story is Eldísvík city state, 2068. Here we meet Inspector Nero Cavallo who spends his days hunting criminals in the Arctic climate. We are also introduced to the young Bruno Mastriano and his developing telepathy, who is trying to escape from those who may want to exploit his gifts. When one horrific murder happens after another, and both are suspiciously similar, Nero is on the case and the complexities of life on the edge of the world begin to play out.

I particularly liked the action adventure elements of the tale, as well as its psychic thriller edge. There are plenty of characters to meet and they are all developed really well, from gang members to detectives and the poor civilians mixed up in between them. Though the plot was at times complex, everything does work out as it progresses and readers will make full sense of it as a detailed and ingenious story. The psychological manipulation and physical danger scenes were very well played out. Author Jan Turk Petrie has also produced an interesting semi-apocalyptic atmosphere for the world in which Nero operates, and I hope to see this developed and explained in further books. For now, Until The Ice Cracks is a 'cracking' start to a series for those who want to take Nordic noir to the next level.

Grant Leishman

Until The Ice Cracks brings us something a little different in a police-style murder mystery set in the Icelandic town of Eldisvik. Author Jan Turk Petrie takes us forward in time to 2068, where civil society has somewhat broken down and major cities like Eldisvik are sectioned off into different zones, depending on their safety for citizens. The orange, red and double-red zones are definitely not the place for sensible, law-abiding citizens. The red zones are patrolled by a mysterious group of special police, known as decoys. These decoys have had their DNA altered somewhat and are in command of special Fox Vixens who regard their human as their alpha. Little is known of the decoys but when one appears to go rogue, Inspector Nero Cavallo and his team must track down and destroy the rogue decoy before panic strikes the Free Zone. Cavallo is secretly a telepath, which gives him a distinct advantage in his detective work. Bruno Mastriano is also a telepath but he has been kidnapped by a ruthless gang determined to utilize his special powers to their advantage. With the Governor under immense pressure to achieve results, Cavallo must move quickly but it seems to Cavallo there is more going on here than just one rogue decoy.

Until The Ice Cracks was a change of pace for me as a reader. The exotic location of Iceland, with its short days and long, cold nights, if nothing else, made the story more interesting than your average futuristic police drama. Author Jan Turk Petrie clearly knows her Nordic setting well and the story is both realistic and believable. The various arcs wove their way through the story well and the author did a good job of keeping them understandable and relatable. Despite being set forty-odd years into the future, the technology and science of the period was not greatly different from that of today, although definitely more advanced of where we are placed at present. In many ways the formal zones within Eldisvik are reminiscent of that which already exists within some of our inner cities. Clearly there are parts of the city that no law officer wants to patrol and when they are required to enter these zones, they do so fully equipped to handle anything. I found the story satisfying but the ending, which is a cliff-hanger and no doubts leads into the next book, less so. That being said, this is still a good, solid read and, yes, I would like to read the next book so I can find out what happened.