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The Greenland Breach by Bernard Besson

The Greenland Breach

by Bernard Besson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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155647,891 (3.2)1



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I have to admit that the main reason why I chose to read this book is that I'm quite the armchair traveler, and I had yet to read a book set in Greenland. I also like to read thrillers with environmental elements to them. Unfortunately, once I'd finished reading The Greenland Breach, I felt the synopsis was the best part of the book.

The two strong elements in the book were its depiction of Greenland and two of the main characters. With the melting of the ice caps, Greenland is seen as a land that's literally coming apart at the seams, and this definitely ratchets up the adrenaline and the suspense. Besson has also created some fascinating characters-- especially Victoire, who has a scene in which she has to escape a killer that's one of the very best in the entire book. The second character that really caught my imagination was Le Guévenec, the ship's captain in Greenland responsible for those all-important ice samples that were to prove so much.

Where the book fell apart for me was in the plot itself. The samples taken from deep within the earth in Greenland that were so important that everyone was willing to kill for them were like carrots to lure the readers into turning the pages. I never did learn what sort of information they held. The story was very slow-moving at first, and when it began to pick up steam, it unraveled into so many confusing fragments that I had a difficult time keeping them straight.

The three partners in Fermatown placed so much confidence in their high tech gadgets that I had to laugh. I'm no computer whiz, but even I could tell they were using too many things that were easily traceable. Larivière was the focus for the majority of the violence in the book, including a truly horrible scene where he is detained in an airport in Greenland. The third member of the Fermatown team, Luc, was supposed to be a computer genius, but he spent much of his time adding unnecessary sex scenes to the book.

Even though I liked the book's setting and two of its characters, it was just not enough. The Greenland Breach was most definitely not my cup of tea. ( )
  cathyskye | Dec 19, 2013 |
Eco-terrorism, murder, corporate espionage, and politics all blend together in "Greenland Breach". Private investigators, John, Victorie, and Luc of Fermatown are contracted to do an investigation that is multi-layered and unclear.

While the story does get off to a slow start, the characters are entertaining and engaging. The concept has potential realistic scare to it. Once the narrative takes off, particularly in the second half, the mystery and action are quite gripping.

Overall, an interesting read. ( )
  catya77 | Nov 26, 2013 |
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 4 out of 5.

Focusing on events leading to the end of the world as we know it, Bernard Besson’s The Greenland Breach is a well written corporate/political espionage thriller. Told from multiple points of view, and taking place in multiple settings, Mr. Besson’s characters are well developed and engaging. Good dialogue and an interesting mystery kept me turning the pages to discover what was going to happen next.

When partners and lovers, John Spencer Larivière and Victoire Augagneur, are offered a large sum of money for a “freelance job” by the CEO of Northland, an oil and gas company, they can’t agree on whether or not they should take the job. While John stresses the need their small consulting firm, Fermatown, has for both cash and clients, Victoire suspects their job may involve more than just “babysitting” the CEO’s daughter. After accepting the job, they are then asked to “obtain” information on what Northland’s rival, French company Terre Noire, has aboard their ship, the Bouc-Bel-Air. Soon John, Victoire and Luc, Fermatown’s computer specialist, find themselves in the middle of a global conspiracy while the world’s shifting climate begins to tear everything apart.

While slowly paced through the opening chapters, Mr. Besson’s story picks up the pace as the events taking place in both Greenland and the rest of the world heat up. John, Victoire and Luc soon find themselves neck deep in danger, with John facing the most danger when he heads to Greenland to try to get to the truth. While a silent villain, it’s clear that corporate greed, man’s lack of concern over the environment, and progress itself have brought everything to a cataclysmic point.

Will John be able to outsmart and outmaneuver the agents hired by their competition? Will Victoire and Luc be able to provide John with backup when he needs it? And what will happen to us all when two rival companies are determined to decide the world’s fate based on what they discover in the deepest ice from Greenland? You’ll have to read The Greenland Breach to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Mr. Besson’s work. ( )
  MariaD. | Nov 5, 2013 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this borderline futuristic/apocalyptic novel of industrial espionage, political machination and global warming. The page-turning intrigue and suspense make "Greenland Breach" a strongly plot-driven novel with interesting tho not fully developed characters. Particularly interesting were the vivid descriptions of the aftermath of the "Greenland breach" (not to be a spoiler) and the equally powerful tho less dramatic portrayal of the effects of global warning in more temperate climates. Does Besson convey false hope in the apparently ready adaptation of most people to new climactic conditions? Perhaps - yet he also speaks to both humankind's stubbornness and our flexibility in changing our habits. Recommended for readers interested in environmental suspense. ( )
  amac121212 | Oct 29, 2013 |
The description of this book says it is a thriller. Other than the last 10% or so, I didn't find this to be the case. I was expecting a book that starts with a giant breach splitting Greenland in half to have the thrills and suspense of a disaster movie. Instead, this is a book about corporate espionage. There is no description of the physical or financial consequences of the environmental disaster, no recognition that a giant wave hitting Manhattan would have an enormous impact on lives and disrupt financial markets all over the world. After the breach, life in Paris seems to go on as normal.

What we are left with is a very convoluted, confusing and unbelievable story about private spies who get involved in corporate espionage between 2 competing exploration companies, both studying Greenland and global warming. Even for the espionage story, it is never clear what is at stake. I found it nearly impossible to keep straight who was doing what to whom even though there are frequent recaps. There are numerous red herrings. The three protagonists don't seem very bright and consistently miss clues. They talk too much to people who shouldn't be trusted and reveal way more than you would expect trained spies to reveal. If it were not for their cell phones (which seem to work under the most unlikely circumstances) and their touch-screen wall they would have no abilities at all. For example, at one point near the end of the book the chief protagonist and his 2 Inuit guides are facing both human and environmental threats and instead of dealing with the situation immediately they drink three bottles of champagne and take a nap. Really? Predictably, things get worse for them after they wake up.

Maybe it was a translation problem, but I found the dialogue to be stilted and unnatural. Everyone spoke with the same voice.

In the end, when the spies have solved their mysteries, nothing that matters has changed. Greenland is still breaking apart and everyone can go to a buffet.

I received a free digital ARC of this book from the publisher. ( )
  fhudnell | Sep 21, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bernard Bessonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rose, JulieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A fast-paced combination of environmental catastrophe, geopolitical stakes, freelance spies and Bond-like action. The Arctic ice caps are breaking up. Europe and the East Coast of the United States brace for a tidal wave. Meanwhile, former French intelligence officer John Spencer Lariviere, his karate-trained, steamy Eurasian partner, Victoire, and their computer-genius sidekick, Luc, pick up an ordinary freelance assignment that quickly leads them into the glacial silence of the great north, where a merciless war is being waged for control of discoveries that will change the future of humanity.… (more)

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