Unfinished Business: Pursuit of an Antarctic Killer
Theodore Jerome Cohen
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (08/10)
“Unfinished Business: Pursuit of an Antarctic Killer” is the second in the “Antarctic Murder Trilogy” based on real events in the life of the author. The series is a fictional account of incidents that took place in the years 1960 through 1965. The story picks up where “Frozen in Time” leaves off.
Captain Roberto Munoz and members of his crew from the Lientur are back on the scene. The Lientur is undergoing repairs in readiness for the upcoming 17th Chilean Expedition to the Antarctic scheduled for September 1962. Captain Mateo Valderas and Lieutenant-Commander Antonia Del Rio, from the Chilean Navy’s Office of Internal Affairs are sent to solve a murder at the naval base located in Arica, Chile. During their investigation Valderas and Del Rio discover clues that link the murder to the 1960 bank robbery in Talcahuano. Their inquiry uncovers suspicious evidence that indicate that Captain Munoz may be deeply involved in both crimes.
Cohen is a master at the craft of characterization. His characters are based on the lives of real people. They are solid, essential and each contributes an important part to the flow of the plot. For instance: Vaderas strengths lie in his powers of detection and deduction, his familiarity of numismatics, his knowledge of security procedures, and his technical knowledge of shipboard protocol and naval nomenclature. These all add to his reputation as “el sabueso, the bloodhound” and are typical of Cohen’s strong character development. Active interaction between characters, believable dialog, stunning descriptions of the dangers and beauty of the environment, and the natural flow of details relative to Chilean culture and the rites of the Catholic Church all add to the credibility of the story.
Although the author generously supplies background information throughout the narrative of “Unfinished Business,” I would strongly suggest that the reader read “Frozen in Time: Murder at the Bottom of the World” before reading book two in “The Antarctic Murders Trilogy.” Either way, you will not be disappointed in your reading experience.
Degrees in Physics and Geophysics and a background which includes exploration in South America and Antarctica, communications, electronics, a love for music and a full life of keen observation all are incorporated in Cohen’s writing. His extensive research comes to light in his well-placed footnotes, maps, and illustrations.
Theodore Jerome Cohen, author of “Unfinished Business: Pursuit of an Antarctic Killer,” is a master at creating an aura of mystery, suspense, and drama. Cohen’s writing style is engaging, innovative, and focused, clearly designed for the post-modern reader.