They have video evidence of a military atrocity in the Middle East and are preparing to unleash it on the worlds media from their Iceland HQ. On the glacial rim of an erupting volcano, they christen their endeavour Operation Meltwater.
Minutes later, one of them is murdered.
Magnus Jonson knows Freelflow has antagonised many people – but he’s getting very little help in refining the list of suspects. For a group dedicated to transparency, they’re a secretive bunch.
They aren’t the only ones with secrets.
Ásta,a newly qualified priest, has contacted Freeflow with information about a scandal in the Icelandic church. Her involvement in Freeflow will cost her dearly.
And with the return of Magnus’s brother to Iceland, the feud that has haunted their family for three generations is about to reignite… "
After reading the blurb I thought I was in for a great book, boy was I disappointed!
As the 3rd book in the series of Fire and Ice novels, Freeflow is loosely based on the Wikileaks organisation, following the idea that the ‘cyber warrior’ can affect the world with their actions.
It all starts when Freeflow receive a video, anonymously, about an atrocity carried out in the Middle East. The video shows an Israeli apache shooting at, and killing, a number of UN troops and a British journalist– No survivors, no witnesses. It has always been blamed on militias in the area (Not that we would question the size of the holes made, knowing the difference between big and small – I digress), until now though. Freeflow then gather their key members and move to Iceland (as the Icelandic government have just implemented the Modern Media Initiative) so that they can verify the video’s authenticity and make it ready for press releases around the world. The Modern Media Initiative is a piece of legislation allowing journalists to publish info without fear of prosecution etc. Julian Assange’s wet dream .
After going to look at an erupting volcano, one of the key members, Nico, is murdered, but he was not the intended target as it surfaces that he died protecting the main character, Erika. Then Erika boosts the teams morale by saying they should finish the project so he doesn’t die in vain (you know, like in the movies?).
The reader is introduced to detective Magnus Jonson, who is put in charge of the murder investigation, and the story then divides into a number of sub plots: Freeflow working on their project, Detective Magnus working on the case with an insight into his life and finally an introduction to an English literature school teacher. As the book progresses, each of these subplots carry on; slowly connecting to each other until they join completely…
The book makes reference to recent events to make it modern enough to feel current, such as the recent economic crisis and the Icelandic ash cloud. As the book is set in Iceland, the author tries to add authenticity to it with the addition of Icelandic phrases for things, such as the volcanos and flash floods associated with them. It probably seemed like a decent idea but it didn’t work for me as I had incredible trouble trying to pronounce even one word. (Mdalskökull – try pronouncing that, eh?)
I’m sad to say I found the book very boring. It had an excellent base to work with but the author didn’t grab me at any time and I eventually found it hard to pick up the book to carry on reading as it was getting so mundane. The book concludes quite abruptly but on a cliff hanger leading the way for another one to follow.
Overall an easy, slightly boring read; with the plot being easy to understand and guess what was coming next.
2 out of 5 mushroomheads.
Meltwater by Michael Ridpath - published by Atlantic Books
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