It begins with a chance encounter at the top of the world.
Fay Morgan and Nelson Nilsson have each arrived in Inuvik, Canada – 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle – searching for answers about a family member: Nelson for his estranged older brother, Fay for her disappeared grandfather. They soon learn that these two men have an unexpected link – a hidden share in one of the greatest enduring mysteries of polar exploration.
This is the riddle of the ‘Arnold 294’ chronometer, which reappeared in Britain over a hundred years after it was recorded as lost in the Arctic with the ships and men of Sir John Franklin’s Northwest Passage expedition. The secret history of this elusive timepiece, Fay and Nelson will discover, ties them and their families to a journey that echoes across two centuries.
In a feat of extraordinary scope and ambition, Ed O’Loughlin moves between a frozen present and an ever-thawing past, and from the minds of two present-day wanderers to the lives of some of polar history’s most enigmatic figures. Minds of Winter is a novel about ice and time and their ability to preserve or destroy, of mortality and loss and our dreams of transcending them.
Minds of Winter will be published by Riverrun Fiction on August 25, 2016. It may be pre-ordered from Amazon at £16.99.
For decades old Cartwright has been the office bully, a snoop and a henchman, so few at the paper mourn him when he is found rather messily dead. But to a burnt-out younger colleague, Owen Simmons, Cartwright bestows a back-handed legacy, forcing him to face up to the passion, heartbreak and regrets of his previous life as a foreign correspondent.
Not Untrue and Not Unkind is Owen’s story, a recollection of life and love amongst a transient group of friends and rivals reporting forgotten wars in Africa.
'It is not altogether extravagant to claim, as the book's publicity does, that Toploader is "in the tradition of M*A*S*H, Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse-Five", but there is no real need for such comparisons: situated, or rather wavering nicely, somewhere between satire, fable and shaggy dog story, O'Loughlin's second novel (his first was longlisted for the Man Booker) should be enjoyed for its own virtues, the most unsettling of which may be its extreme laconicism. One absurdist delight follows another in rapid succession...'
'O’Loughlin, who spent years working as an international correspondent in Africa and the Middle East, has made use of his experiences to create an intelligent world informed by contemporary conflicts... At times, the satire is reminiscent of Joseph Heller or Thomas Pynchon in the way it embraces the sheer stupidity of the situations it describes, but unlike those authors, O’Loughlin adds eloquent and thoughtful political discussions, which do not disrupt his fast-paced narrative.'
Times Literary Supplement