First edition (UK)
|Preceded by||Goodbye California|
|Followed by||River of Death|
Athabasca is a novel by Scottish author Alistair MacLean, first published in 1980. As with the novel Night Without End, it depicts adventure, sabotage and murder in the unforgiving Arctic environment. It is laid in the oilfields and oil sands fields of Alaska and Canada and includes a considerable amount of technical detail on the operations.
When the operations manager of an oil company operating in Prudhoe Bay in Alaska receives a mysterious anonymous threat of sabotage, his superiors call in Jim Brady Enterprises, a firm of oilfield specialists. Dermott and Mackenzie, tough ex-field managers and now anti-sabotage specialists, arrive, but initial investigations get them nowhere. Then the operations manager is murdered and one of the pump stations in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is damaged, with further loss of life.
Jim Brady himself arrives to direct operations but to no avail. Then the company's operations at the Athabasca Oil Sands in Canada are disrupted and Dermott is nearly killed.
Despite assistance by the Canadian police and FBI, suspicions fall on many employees, but nothing can be proved. As bodies and equipment damage mount up, Brady and his two investigators play a hunch and finally expose the men they believe to be responsible. But even they are not the main instigators of the events, as the final chapter of the novel reveals.
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