Robin. The Ice Curtain. Delacorte. Feb 2002. c355p. ISBN 0-385-33316-1.
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.