Book Review & Giveaway – THE GREENLAND BREACH by Bernard Besson

The Greenland Breach by Bernard Besson

The  Greenland Breach Synopsis:

A stylish, fast-paced spy thriller about the intrigue, economic warfare and struggles for natural resources promised by global warming. The Arctic ice caps are breaking up. Europe and the East Coast of the Unites States brace for a tidal wave. Meanwhile, former French intelligence officer John Spencer Larivière, his karate-trained, steamy Eurasian partner, Victoire, and their bisexual computer-genius sidekick, Luc, pick up an ordinary freelance assignment that quickly leads them into the glacial silence of the great north, where a merciless war is being waged for control of discoveries that will change the future of humanity.

A plausible vision of climate catastrophe combines with French freelance spies and Bond-like action forming a gripping page-turner of a thriller.  (Le French Book)

Author: Bernard Besson (French);  Translator: Julie Rose

Giveaway entry form below.


Bernard Besson clearly doesn’t do things by halves. Everything about The Greenland Breach is on a grand scale – global powers playing with global stakes, quite literally.

A mist shot through with rainbows rose from the depths of the last ice age. Behind the iridescent wall, thousands of years of packed ice raked the granite surface and crashed into the sea, stirring up a gigantic tsunami. He pressed his hands to his ears to muffle the howling of Greenland as it began to die.

The novel’s opening was powerful, with the grandeur of nature, along with evocative use of similes in Besson’s prose (and artful translation by Rose), on full display.

Around the Bouc, chunks of pack ice stretched as far as the eye could see, like fragments of a giant’s broken dinner plate.

Investigators John Spencer, Victoire and Luc are exceptionally modern and vibrant characters, but in some respects I think their development lost out to the sheer scale of the exciting plot. I found the character’s use of technology and the internet in their intelligence gathering refreshing, but there were times I had difficulty reconciling some of their character traits and past experiences with their actions or inattention to obvious risks/connections.

Several of the second tier characters were more successful. I found Le Guevenec, a ship captain that displayed great courage and bravery particularly endearing.

Although fast-paced escapist fiction, what struck a chord with me was the way Besson highlighted the extent to which business interests across our global economy, and thus the wants of particular individuals (protecting their personal interests), can influence outcomes on a global scale. Despite this success at a macro level, the complex ties between characters and plot elements felt a little looser than I had been hoping for.


A thrilling scenario of a potential disaster on the grandest scale, The Greenland Breach by Bernard Besson is modern, escapist fiction that entertains while cautioning readers on the importance of climate awareness.

BOOK RATING: The Story 3.5 / 5 ; The Writing 3.5 / 5

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BOOK DETAILS: The Greenland Breach by Bernard Besson ( Amazon )

Genre: Thriller, Action-Adventure, Romance, Crime-Detective, Mystery, Translation

Author Information: Bernard Besson is an expert in economic intelligence, a former senior chief of staff for the French intelligence services, and a prizewinning thriller writer. He lives in Paris. This is his first book to be translated into English.

Julie Rose is a prize-winning, world-renowned translator of major French thinkers, known for, among other works, her acclaimed translation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, which was published by Random House in 2008. She has translated twenty-eight books, including many French classics, and writes on the side. She lives in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, with her husband, dog and two cats.

Read an interview with Bernard Besson at Le French Book.

Check out the other France Book Tour stops for this novel HERE.


* Receiving this title free from Le French Book did not impact my ability to express my honest opinions  above.

Giveaway Details:

This giveaway is open internationally.

The winner of this giveaway will be selected at random and will receive an ebook copy of The Greenland Breach (range of ebook formats available listed on publishers website).

I will send an email to the winner asking which file type they’d like to receive. If I do not receive a reply within 7 days unfortunately the prize will be forfeited and I will select a new winner.

This giveaway will also be promoted on Twitter (@BLBookReviews).

There are ways to increase your chances of winning this prize:

+2 entries, tweet about this giveaway (providing link to this post) or even easier retweet my giveaway announcement

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Entries close on 13 November 2013.