Nazi conspiracy to wreak havoc with world’s climate takes place in Greenland in new novel, White Thaw: The Helheim ConspiracyAugust 26, 2013 8:30 am Leave your thoughts
In my thriller series that began with Category 5 and Prophecy, I’ve tried to pick far-flung and exotic locations to make my stories interesting. With my latest, White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy, I continue that tradition.
In Category 5, the story begins during the Arab-Israeli War. From there the story bounces around between Turkey; California, Colorado, and Washington, DC in the United States; and finally Bermuda. If possible, I visit the locations and imagine the action unfolding before me. For example, my wife Becky and I spent a week in Bermuda scouting appropriate sites and taking GPS coordinates. If you go to www.paulmarktag.com, you’ll see Google Earth pictures for chapters in my books. For Chapter 6 (32°22’02”N, 64°40’39”W), you’ll find yourself at the Bermuda Weather Service (where the staff was quite helpful to me). Do the same for Chapter 3 (41°01’03”N, 28°58’17”E), and you’ll be looking at the approximate location for the Pandeli Restaurant, located in the Spice Market in Istanbul, Turkey. My wife and I had lunch there. In other instances, I “construct” a building in a location I’ve scouted. The Chapter 8 coordinates (32°18’20”N, 64°47’20”W) in Bermuda identify the concrete fortress where the final showdown occurs.
For my second thriller, Prophecy, there was only one exotic location, Cairo, Egypt, with several other interesting sites right here in the United States to fill in the gap. Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was the most fascinating to me because it was there that in 1889 a dam burst and killed over 2200 people. That disaster formed the impetus for my book and, to this day, remains one of the most tragic environmental catastrophes to befall the United States. If you’re ever in the Johnstown area, consider visiting the flood memorial there; www.nps.gov/jofl/index.htm
Which brings me to my latest thriller, White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy. The Prologue begins in Hitler’s bunker in Berlin during World War II. From there the first six chapters move sequentially to the Gremikha Naval Base in Russia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Greenland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cartagena, Columbia, and finally, Monterey, California. My wife and I visited Cartagena, where we selected a location for the antagonists’ luxurious home. Again, you can go to www.paulmarktag.com to see the Google Earth images for these locations.
Until the final third of White Thaw, the plot revolves around the above sites, adding Keflavik, Iceland and the CIA center in McLean, Virginia. However, the final thrilling chapters all take place on Greenland. Most of you know that the names for the islands called Greenland and Iceland are seemingly reversed. Greenland has little green, with more than 80% of its surface covered by an ice sheet. Legend has it that Erik the Red, having been banished from Iceland for murder, discovered Greenland and gave it that name to make it seem more attractive to future settlers. Ironically, Iceland does have vegetation, but lakes and glaciers cover only 14% of the land surface. Regrettably, I’ve not yet been able to visit either Iceland or Greenland.
White Thaw’s plot involves movement of a glacier in Greenland, in particular the Helheim Glacier in the southeast of the island. Hence the subtitle for the book’s title: The Helheim Conspiracy. Helheim is a real glacier; I didn’t make this up. (The Google Earth picture on my Web site shows the location of the ice camp the bad guys set up, just inland from the Helheim Glacier). It is one of Greenland’s outlet glaciers, which means that it exits into the sea. If you search on the Web, you’ll see pictures of how it retreated in distance from 2001 to 2005. Speculation continues as to whether such retreat is connected to global warming. Because this glacier has been so well documented, it seemed a good starting point for the premise of my story. In White Thaw, the antagonists go to extreme lengths to attempt to cause the entire Helheim Glacier to slide into the sea, producing a catastrophic environmental disaster.
This post was written by paulmarktag01