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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer


By Dean Koontz
Ballantine Books, 408 pp, 1995

You are a member of a United Nations team of scientists, working on the frigid Arctic ice cap. Your mission is to blast away a chunk of ice, hook it up to waiting trawlers farther south, and tow the berg down the North American coast, delivering fresh water to drought-stricken farmland.

You and six others are on the edge of the cap, drilling holes and planting explosives, when a massive wave caused by an underground earthquake hits the ice, rolling underneath it and sending it bucking and heaving. After the wave passes, you realize your piece of ice has detached from the cap, and you are now adrift, with little food, scarce fuel for the warm snowmobiles, and sixty bombs set to go off in twelve hours. You are in deep trouble. To make matters worse, one of your colleagues is a psychotic murderer. But which one?

That is the premise of Icebound, a classic adventure thriller by Dean Koontz, a true master of suspense. Originally published in 1978 under the pen name of David Axton as Prison of Ice, Koontz updated and re-released this under his own name in 1995. Itís a great marketing move, which he has done with prior novels. Write several books early in your career under a pen name, then, once your real name guarantees a bestseller, re-release those older books under your real name, making money twice off the same book. Many readers, in fact, may not even realize the book is a re-print of an older one and think itís brand new. Itís a wonderful scheme, and it works.

Luckily for readers, Koontzís older books, such as Icebound, are pretty good.

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