A CDC microbiologist tries to solve several grisly murders at a South Pole Research Station and uncovers a worldwide terrorism plot. The South Pole's Amundson Scott Research Station is perhaps the most secluded place on Earth. it's dangerous and unpredictable, so when CDC microbiologist Hallie Leland arrives to replace a scientist who unexpectedly died, she initially isn't that suspicious. But she quickly discovers that the dead scientist - who was also a friend of hers - was murdered, after she finds a hidden camera that secretly recorded her death. She can;t identify the murderer, and when several other woman mysteriously die, some of the small crew of fellow scientists begin to suspect her.
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Leland has been brought in to do some diving under the ice and she's rattled when a suit malfunction almost kills her on her first dive. She's also rattled when another scientist dies after speaking with her. The scientist is accused of wandering off into an abandoned part of the base and dying of exposure. But when she finds his body, she also finds evidence he was murdered. Just before she is almost trapped and killed inside an avalanche.
She hasn't been able to contact her boss back in the U.S. and it turns out that the phones have been shut off by a group of bad people at the base. They have a connection with some scientists scattered around the world and it appears they are using the research station's secluded employees as some sort of experimental subjects. But for what end?
After a bulldozer operator is nearly killed outside, Leland realizes that several people at the base must be in on the conspiracy. She suspects the base doctor, but doesn't realize that her immediate boss at the base, Merritt, is also in on the plot. Dr. Guillotte and Merritt confront Leland and force her to make another dive with sabotaged equipment. She survives the dive and manages to kill Merritt. She realizes that she needs an ally and confides in Graeter, who is the head of the base. They spot Guillotte driving a bulldozer in an effort to push a large gasoline tank into the base. The resulting explosion would everyone inside and allow him to escape. Leland stops the bulldozer and Guillotte is killed in the explosion. Graeter manages to contact the authorities and they discover the plot is part of an effort to infect women worldwide with a virus that would make half of them sterile.
Leland returns to the U.S. safe and sound and the outside scientists involved in the plot are all killed mysteriously in the following weeks.
Best part of story, including ending:
The setting at the South Pole was quite unusual and very entertaining. I didn't realize how challenging the environment was and how easily you can die.
Best scene in story:
The scene in which Hallie Leland watches the videos recorded by her now-dead friend. She can see the changes in her friend, as the months of working at the South Pole begin to take a toll on her.
Opinion about the main character:
Hallie Leland is a good mix of strong and vulnerable. She's incredibly good at what she does professionally, but she is on much shakier ground when it comes to her personal life.