Aussie Book Review: Thirst by L.A Larkin

Thirst L. A. Larkin- Thirst

 Format- Paperback

 Source- Review copy provided by DMCPR Media

 Publisher- Pier 9 (Murdoch Books)

 Publication date- August 2012

 Synopsis-Antarctica is the coldest, most isolated place on earth. Luke Searle, maverick glaciologist, has made it his home. But soon his survival skills will be tested to the limit by a ruthless mercenary who must win at any cost. The white continent is under attack. The Australian team is being hunted down. Can Luke stay alive long enough to raise the alarm? Can he avert a global catastrophe? The countdown has begun. T minus 5 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes …

 Review-  Australian female crime writer, L.A. Larkin has cut through the hard-as-ice male-dominated genre with her second thriller, Thirst. Set in Antarctica and featuring an Australian research team, I appreciate Larkin using characters from our shores who are toughing it out in an exotic location, one of the most untouched regions of the world.

Recluse glaciologist, Luke Searle tends to clash with his team leader Maddie, because his strengths don’t lie in working as a team or following direction. Most of the time, Luke gets away with doing whatever he likes because he is the most knowledgeable and skilled research scientist at the station. But when two men from their team are found murdered, the remaining six members of Hope Station (the Australian team) must band together to escape this icy continent alive.

The expectation of suspense is set from the very beginning; a countdown begins, ticking away the minutes until the intruders unleash their ultimate plan.

Luke is an admirable character; he is rebellious but persistent and accepts responsibility for the fate of his colleagues. He is also believably flawed, he is separated from his young son who lives in Melbourne and his little boy is what drives him toward survival. He also discovers a soft-spot for his boss Maddie, until then they’ve butted heads but when they are thrown together in a life or death situation, personal disclosures are shared and a connection is formed. When Maddie is kidnapped by the intruders, Luke has two motivations: to save Maddie and to keep his son safe.

L.A. Larkin’s knowledge of climate change from her former job as a consultant is clear and it forms an undercurrent throughout the book, exploring politics, treaties and essentially the lengths people will go to, to have power over the world’s resources.

There’s varying viewpoints from Luke, to the villain (a little clichéd in the beginning but expanded throughout the story), to the mysterious Wendy Woo back in Sydney investigating her father’s death. From Sydney to China to the Antartica there’s plenty of geographical dimensions added to this story, topped off by avalanches, frost bite and amateur sleuthing.

Thirst is action-packed with a cast of intriguing characters who are challenged to push above and beyond their limits to achieve their goals. A recommended read for crime thriller fans who enjoy the Aussie voice in this genre.

3.5/5 rating

Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK/ Murdoch Books

About the author: L.A. Larkin travelled to Antarctica to research Thirst on a former Russian oceanographic research vessel. She learnt about crevasse rescue, Antarctic survival and how to sew up a wound (nobody was harmed, the pig’s leg she practiced on came from the butcher). After the success of her first thriller, L.A. Larkin gave up her climate change consultancy role, and now divides her time between writing thrillers, public speaking engagements and running thriller writing courses both in the UK and Australia. She lives in Sydney and is one of the only women writing thrillers in Australia.

Also by L.A. Larkin:

The Genesis Flaw

This book was read as part of the AWW2012 challenge:


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