Review: Devour by L. A. Larkin

Reviewed by Sarah Todman: “A fast-paced thriller I devoured” 

Investigative journalist Olivia Wolfe always gets the story and she’s not afraid to put herself in danger to do it. We learn this within the first few pages of the new L.A. Larkin thriller Devour. From here, the pace is set for a spine-chilling read full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing right to the end.

Think Antarctica, where two teams of scientists – one British and one Russian – are battling the elements and each other to be the first to discover new life in underground lakes that have been sealed beneath ice sheets for millions of years. The Brits are looking like they might hit the jackpot first. Then the team’s chief drilling engineer is found dead in the snow. Was it murder?

Newspaper editor Moz Cohen smells a story. One he has every confidence his best investigative reporter Olivia Wolfe will crack.

“From the poppy palaces of Afghanistan and Antarcticas forbidding wind-swept ice sheets, to a top-secret military base in the Nevada desert, Wolfes journey will ultimately lead her to a man who would obliterate civilisation. She must make an impossible choice: save a life or prevent an unspeakable horror.”

British-Australian author Larkin’s writing has been likened to high-adrenaline thriller experts Michael Crichton and Matthew Reilly. Her books have been nominated for various crime fiction awards and her previous novel Thirst, was described by one reviewer as ‘The best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station’. Authenticity certainly rings true as we are transported to the bleak setting of an ice station. Larkin has herself spent time in the Antarctic and the story of Devour was inspired by a British expedition to the region in 2012.  Devour is the first book in the Olivia Wolfe series.If book one is any indication then intrepid reporter Olivia will have no trouble establishing a following. Our protagonist is worldly and tough but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some vulnerability lurking beneath the surface. She is layered and that’s why, as we turn the final page of Devour, it feels like our journey with this character has only just begun.

Devour has suspense and intrigue in spades. For much of the book, the identity of not one but two characters is concealed from the reader. So we are invited into the minds of both without knowing even as much as their physical characteristics. The puzzle is at times almost too much to bear. As the identities are finally revealed we learn that at least one of the characters will be circling Olivia for some time yet.

Bring on book two.