Ice Islands

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Pub Date 2 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jul 2022

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'Another outstanding geopolitical thriller in Hawksley’s excellent Rake Ozenna series . . . carefully researched, action-packed, and suspenseful' –Booklist Starred Review

Major Rake Ozenna faces dangerous choices and deadly consequences in this rip-roaring political thriller that takes you from the ice islands of Finland to the bustling streets of Tokyo via Russia and the White House . . . Buckle up, this is a thrilling ride!

Major Rake Ozenna's mission is simple: gain access to the Kato family - Japan's most dangerous crime empire - and stop the threat to America. But when the secret son of the Russian leader is executed and Rake's target, Sara Kato, is implicated in the murder, a political crisis between Russia, Japan and the US is set in motion.

It's a race to protect Sara and earn her trust whilst escaping the inhospitable terrain of the icy Aland Islands. Meanwhile, Russia wants revenge for the murder, a catastrophic move when it is revealed that Japan is not the trusted ally America thought it was.

As Rake learns the true extent of their deadly plans, he must draw on every ounce of his training to succeed. Because if he fails, it won't just be his life that will be lost . . . the consequences will be global!

Ice Islands is the third Rake Ozenna thriller and will leave readers breathless . . . and eagerly anticipating the next heart-racing adventure!

'Another outstanding geopolitical thriller in Hawksley’s excellent Rake Ozenna series . . . carefully researched, action-packed, and suspenseful' –Booklist Starred Review

Major Rake Ozenna faces...

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ISBN 9780727850621
PRICE US$29.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

This book should be a television series. It is a superbly conceived story designed to keep the reader fascinated throughput. A conference in the Alana Islands off Finland leads to the murder of Yuri, the first of many murders in the story. Major Rake Ozenna is back from the Alaska National Guard in this third thriller starring him. He is charged with tracking down the Kato family whose criminal activities are threatening world peace. The book shows a remarkably well conceived understanding of political relationships involving the United States, Russia and Japan. We are entertained to discussions at the highest level, one of which results in a completely unexpected ending. This book is challenging, intellectually stimulating and also a good read. I strongly recommend it.

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This is a high octane thriller with a chillingly plausible premise. It is quite exceptional with a taut plot and excellent characterization. There's action aplenty but also a well-researched emphasis on the dangers we face in our Machiavellian world today. This is richly entertaining and totally engrossing.

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Ice Islands by Humphrey Hawksely is a very well-written, tightly-plotted thriller that follows Major Rake Ozenna as he takes shady instructions from an even shadier part of the White House to track down and neutralize a threat from the Japanese Mafia’s Kato family and its quest to make Japan a nuclear power.

Major Rake Ozenna mission is to meet and befriend Sara Kato and perhaps turn her against her father and brother and so provide the necessary information about the Kato mafia family. Ozenna's contact with Saraa is planned to occur at a Peace Conference on the Finnish Aland Islands where he has been arranged as a last-minute speaker. Things go somewhat badly – the Russian President’s secret son who is a delegate at the conference is murdered and Sara is framed. Ozenna is hastily instructed to snatch and secure her, but driving from the conference venue his orders change, Sara is handed to the Finnish authorities who immediately hand her to her brother. Ozenna is extracted and returns to the US. By the time the Russian President is informed of his son’s murder, it is also known who killed him and so a high-octane political crisis escalates.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Sara Kato witnesses her eldest brother assist her other brother to kill himself in front of the family due to the shame he brought on them all while in the US. Horrified an terrified, Sara makes contact with Ozenna who, with his commander, is able to extract her briefly and acquire from her the necessary information about the Kato family’s nuclear-weapons aspiration. Then thye return her to the family as a spy/informant.

The climax involves a state of the art fishing/research ship that leaves harbour with a last-minute change of crew and the eldest Kato brother and Sara aboard, and a nuclear-armed missile also on board, on the eve of a significant day in Japanese history. Ozenna manages to get aboard too just before the ship leaves port and so the pace picks up, the climax approaches...

The plot races along so that there are no ‘quiet’ sections of the book. The main characters and most of the secondary ones are developed just enough so that the reader can develop some compassion for them and their relationships and frailties and look forward to these relationships developing more. I believe this is one of a series and This was an easy, fast read and I certainly would recommend reading more.

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This is the latest political thriller from Humphrey Hawksley featuring Major Rake Ozenna, whose home unit is the Alaska Guard. This is my first read of this series, but I have to say that I felt it would have really helped if I had read the previous books. A conflict resolution conference on the Finnish Alands Islands has drawn delegates from around the world, including Russian Yuri Mishkin with his brief of the Kuril Islands, invited by Sara Kato who has paid his expenses. However, when he is discovered with his throat cut, a dangerous set of repercussions are set to follow that threaten to spiral into a nightmare of a global crisis. Ozenna has orders from Harry Lucas to extract Sarah, but the situation turns chaotic and he is forced to leave alone, with Sarah going with her brother, Michio, travelling to Tokyo, Japan, to meet her long estranged powerful criminal Yakuza family, her father, Jacob, is dying.

Mishkin it turns out is the secret son of the pro-American Russian President, Sergey Grizlov, who is informed of his death by Harry's British ex-wife, Stephanie, and he is adamant in wanting revenge. Harry finds himself constrained and edged out by the newly elected American President, John Freeman, and efforts to explain the strategic importance of his actions fall on the deaf ears of Nick Petrovsky, the National Security Advisor. Sarah is a ball of confusion and anger when it comes to her family, but she loves her brother, Michio, but having seen him commit a heinous act, she feels she can no longer trust him and is desperate to escape, sending a message asking for help from Ozenna. The criminal Kato family have strong links with the Japanese Government, something that is made explicit, and in the pipeline are grave political machinations that Ozenna and his team are tasked with preventing and Sarah has an important role to play.

There is a adrenalin fuelled, action packed thriller with short chapters, it is well plotted and the horrors of the premise outlined in the novel unfortunately feel all too real, given the grim realities of the world we live in. I found this to be an engaging read, very dark and intense, highlighting the precarious nature of our contemporary world with its murky territory of transnational organised crime. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

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