... the story of Watkins’s short life, his uncanny ability as a leader and his mysterious death moves quickly, unfolding almost like a thriller ... In a rare misstep, Roberts—who wrote 30 books on mountaineering, exploration and anthropology before he died in 2021—tells us that 'the question of Gino’s sexuality, though peripheral to his exploratory achievements, cannot be entirely ignored.' Why not? In any case, none of it mattered ... In the end, Roberts illuminates but does not solve the mystery of Watkins’s affinity for leadership.
... superb ... Balancing a suspenseful account of the expedition with an overview of Watkins’s life, Roberts searches for the key to the explorer’s prodigious resolve, ultimately finding the contrast between the London bon vivant and the daring leader as compellingly mysterious as did Watkins’s contemporaries ... Placing Watkins and his team among the esteemed ranks of polar heroes like Shackleton and Scott, this is an essential read for enthusiasts of Arctic exploration and survival.
In March 1931, two men of the British Arctic Air Route Expedition (BAARE) in Greenland ventured out to relieve a fellow team member who had been manning a distant weather station solo for months, his supplies dwindling as extreme weather conditions further deteriorated...Roberts’ pulsating real-life thriller recalls the exciting and harrowing details of an expedition into the depths of the unexplored...Readers will be on pins and needles.