Monday, November 08, 2021

A Blizzard of Polar Bears by Alice Henderson

First Lines: Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada. As Rex Tildesen stared in amazement at the sonar image, he had no idea of the danger that surrounded his find.
Wildlife biologist Alex Carter can't believe her luck. Just as she's finishing up her study of wolverines in Montana, she lands a position in the Canadian Arctic studying an endangered population of polar bears. This time, instead of working alone she's with a small team of researchers. It means that she has to get used to working with other people again, but she loves what she's doing and thrives on her work.
She's spending her days tracking polar bears by air, hanging out of a helicopter with a tranquilizer gun until she can get on the ground to examine these magnificent creatures. As the data she collects grows, things begin to go wrong. The helicopter pilot quits. Equipment goes missing. The lab is broken into and her samples are stolen. It's obvious that someone doesn't want her to complete her study, but Alex isn't about to stop.

Alex finds a replacement pilot, but the helicopter catches fire and she and the pilot are forced to land out on the ice, miles from any sort of help. Surviving in those conditions is hard enough, but there are armed assailants on snowmobiles tracking them. Alex is going to have to rely on all her skills in order to make it back to civilization to complete her mission.


Learning that the main character in Alice Henderson's A Solitude of Wolverines was a wildlife biologist-- and that Henderson herself is one-- made this first book in the Alex Carter series a must-read and a very good one at that. A Blizzard of Polar Bears is even better.

The scenes in which Alex tracks the polar bears by air and then lands to examine them are wonderful. I felt as though I was with her, and I learned so much about the animals as well as the things that are used to track them, whether it's Burr on Fur or the Whiskerprint Project. Let me tell you, this mystery series is perfect for those readers who love wildlife.

Moreover, if you're a wildlife lover who also enjoys a high-octane thriller, you really need to read A Blizzard of Polar Bears. Wow! Surviving a helicopter crash and being forced to shelter and travel across the ice-- I was freezing right along with these two. Fortunately, Alex and Cody, the helicopter pilot, know how to take care of themselves because the weather isn't the only thing they must contend with. There are killers on snowmobiles after them, and they mean business. The fact that the business isn't just simply stopping the polar bear study gives armchair sleuths a little extra to cogitate on. 

If I had any misgivings at all about this book, it was my unease about Cody the pilot. I can't get into why I was uneasy about him without doing spoilers, and that I will not do. I also felt that the bad guys were just a tad over the top, but at the same time, they certainly had my pulse racing as I read those scenes. 

As I've already stated, this is a series perfect for lovers of wildlife and thrillers. Henderson has the knack of being able to put her readers right in the middle of the action alongside the characters she's created, and that's no small talent. I really can't wait to see where Alex's work will take her next.

A Blizzard of Polar Bears by Alice Henderson
eISBN: 9780062982124
HarperCollins © 2021
eBook, 336 pages
Amateur Sleuth, #2 Alex Carter mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley


  1. I've just grabbed A Solitude of Wolverines for my Kindle. I feel an addiction to a new series coming on...

  2. This really does sound like a good series, Cathy, and I like a strong female lead who's both human (so she makes mistakes) and capable (so she's not always wringing her hands). The setting sounds breathtaking, too! And I don't know enough about the wildlife rescue endeavor. Hmmmmm.... *ears prick up*

  3. I have to check out this series. It sounds right up my street. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  4. I love it when someone in a specialized field becomes the author of fiction and is able to write a character in their line of work. I learn so much! This sounds like a great series.

    1. It's certainly turning out to be one, Gretchen.

  5. I really like the sound of this one. Do I need to read her other book first?

    1. I don't think it's absolutely necessary, but I would recommend it because of one of the characters.

    2. Okay. Good to know. Thanks. :)

  6. Just told a friend who is an archaelogist and has been in the Arctic Circle. On one dig, there were guards for polar bears.
    She put this book on reserve right after I sent her this review.

    So I will read it, too. A new series, good.

    Saw Michael Connelly at the PP. Very good.


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