Follow Here To Purchase Murder on Vinson Massif

Author: Charles G. Irion and Ronald J. Watkins

Publisher: Irion Books LLC

ISBN: 978-0-9841618-6-7

The penultimate book in the Summit Murder Mystery Series, Murder on Vinson Massif follows series protagonist Scott Devlon as he tracks a woman murderer to the tallest peak on Antarctica. Having confiscated rare idols in the previous book, Murder on Aconcagua, Kira Stern travels to the southern-most part of the world to sell them to an international arms dealer. Devlon follows Kira all the way to the base of Antarctica, never intending to make the climb spearheaded by arms dealer Robert Ainsworth. But events turn Devlon into a participant of the climb and a witness to the latest murders to occur on one of the highest peaks in the world.

At the book’s opening former Army man-turned government employee Scott Devlon consults with Esmerelda Rickenberger who led the summit attempt on Aconcagua. Devlon informs Esmerelda of the murders undertaken by Kira Stern and warns Esmerelda that Kira’s agenda extends beyond simple killings. Esmerelda is in the middle of preparations for her latest climb: Vinson Massif in Antarctica. Despite it being the peak of winter, arms dealer Robert Ainsworth stubbornly refuses to postpone the climb. He has come across some state-of-the-art equipment the military has developed and is eager to test the equipment in weather conditions that can reach minus-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Devlon determines he can convince Ainsworth to ignore Kira’s proposal for the sale of the Incan idols she stole on the summit attempt of Aconcagua. Ainsworth chooses instead to ignore Devlon’s pleas for the time being, convincing him to make the climb with the rest of the team. Reluctantly Devlon agrees; although climbing another mountain is the least desirable item on Devlon’s list he feels he has no choice. But someone on the team has a different idea and a different agenda, and when people start dying Devlon decides he has a responsibility in addition to finding and preventing the sale of the idols.

While authors Irion and Watkins offer readers a fascinating premise in the series—murders executed on the seven highest mountains in the world, the Seven Summits as they’re known—reading Murder on Vinson Massif poses a mild challenge for readers who haven’t read the other books or who come to this particular volume in the series independent of the other books. From its setup the authors make it obvious that this book begins immediately at the end of the previous one, rendering this less a novel on its own and more an incredibly long chapter in a much larger work.

Many of the main characters already know one another. But even though Irion and Watkins provide ample background material so readers don’t feel clueless, with a story this late in the series the background material doesn’t feel so much like an introduction as it does a quick reminder of who is who and what has happened before the beginning of this summit attempt. In order to fully appreciate the goals of the novel and its main characters, readers really should probably read the other books first. They will feel Scott Devlon’s impatience and resistance to this latest summit attempt without getting the chance to fully appreciate that impatience or resistance.

Given these constraints, however, the authors still give readers an interesting novel and manage to keep surprising readers all the way to the end. The murders occur quickly and without warning, and the story definitely ends with a cliffhanger that will make readers want to know what happens on the last and final summit attempt. Will Scott Devlon finally be able to exorcise these demons that keep chasing him towards the seven highest mountain peaks in the world?

This reviewer recommends Murder on Vinson Massif with the reminder that readers may also want to check out the other books in the Summit Murder Series to get up to speed on all the characters and their intertwining stories.

Follow Here To Purchase Murder on Vinson Massif