Matt Alfredson was part of a research group based in the tiny village of Anaktue, filming wildlife in Alaska in the middle of winter. His wife, Yasmin, and ten-year-old daughter, Ruby, were on their way from England to meet him in Fairbanks. Before they could get there, a devastating explosion occurred on the base, killing all twenty-four. But Yasmin is not dismayed. She knows she received a call from him after the time of the explosion. However, she didn’t get to speak with him as the connection was so bad. She has convinced herself that he is still alive.
Ruby is deaf. She sees words in a manner that most people wouldn’t think of. ‘Anxiety’, to her, ‘looks like a chessboard with the squares quickly moving about; feels sweaty and shivery; tastes like prickly ice cream.’ Initially, Yasmin doesn’t want to tell her daughter about the explosion at her father’s encampment. Instead, she sets off with a trucker on the Alaskan wilderness road determined to find her husband. Then, the trucker meets with a medical emergency so Yasmin decides to use the truck as she and Ruby set out on their own. Someone has other plans for them – threatening and dangerous plans – to keep them from finding out the truth.
I’ve read many novels where the reader needs to suspend belief. This one is abundant in that regard as I don’t believe most people could learn to drive an eighteen-wheeler on the fly, especially on the icy Alaskan terrain. Yet, the author compensates for asking us to assume an unreal situation by giving us exceptional characters. Ruby is an awesome ten-year-old. About half of the book is in first person from her perspective. Yasmin is not as likable, but still her character is brave and vibrant. The other half of the book is in third person from her perspective. The author gives us an incredible view of the wintry and dark wilderness. Lupton is a British suspense author; this is her third book. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.