*White, Robin. The Ice Curtain. Delacorte. Feb 2002. c355p. ISBN 0-385-33316-1. $24.95. Fiction.

White’s second thriller (after Siberian Light) is another vivid depiction of the corruption at the heart of the new capitalist Russia. Geologist-by-training Gregori Nowek travels with his boss from Siberia to Moscow, where they are investigating the loss of a half-billion dollars in rough gemstones and asking for the money owed to the miners who work in the harsh taiga. When his boss is murdered, Nowek is appointed his successor and sets out to track down those responsible. At the same time, he has only two weeks to recover the lost gemstones, which are needed as collateral for a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Failure means the collapse of Russia’s economy. Nowek’s investigation carries him to Irkutsk and the mining town of Mirny in Siberia and into a world of corruption, theft, and murder. As brilliantly evocative as White’s previous books, this thriller will be compared to Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park for its atmospheric portrayal of Moscow’s environs and the Siberian outback. Equally impressive is the author’s knowledge of the diamond trade and mining. Highly recommended for all public libraries.

LJ, 127, no. 1 (January 2002), 155.

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