Aaron Elkins, author of __ICY CLUTCHES__, has a background as a physical anthropologist among his other professions. (Novelist and Business Administrator to name two) In this novel, as in most of his others, he uses his background in all three to concoct a murder mystery which involves some newly found bones which are the remnants of members of a scientific mission who were killed in an avalanche 30 years ago.
Elkins's protagonist, Gideon Oliver, is "Johnny-on-the-spot" when some of those bones resurface as the result of the shifting of the glacier in which they were embedded.
Also present is the leader of that ill-fated mission, now a famous T.V. personality, and one of Television's grand poseurs. His main purpose in returning to the scene is to prepare the way for the publication of his forthcoming novel about the expedition and the deaths resulting from the avalanche. This preparation includes getting releases from all interested parties, so the remaining members of that ill-fated expedition, and the closest relatives of the deceased are along for the ride.
After the resurfacing of the bones, Gideon is able to determine that they belong to only two of the three victims, and that one of the two had been killed, not by the avalanche, but by being hit in the skull by an ice axe.
From here on, the plot speeds up a bit when "Mr. T.V. personality" is found murdered and his manuscript is missing. (The plot is a little slow during explanatons of the use of the bones for analytical purposes re: sex, size, identification of individuals, etc.)
The questions I'll leave you with, and which I hope will entice you to read __ICY CLUTCHES__, are:
Are the bones that were found those of the two men in the expedition, or of one of the men and the one woman?
Why was the manuscript stolen?
Why the present day murder?
Are the new murder and the 30 year old one related?
Who was the murderer 30 years ago, and who is the modern day murder, and are they one and the same person?
These are the questions that can only be answered by reading this novel. Happy reading!