Lies. I love them! MacLean's tales are always a lot of fun, and this book isn't one to ignore. My father owns a ton of these old MacLean paperbacks and, sifting through some of them to see what I hadn't already read, I was intrigued by the premise I found: plane crashes in Greenland during winter's zero-light months...night without end (and hardly anyone gets any sleep). Several scientists working up there rescue the survivors, only to become potential victims themselves (they've only just enough food and other resources without keeping a host of foreigners barely alive)...
And, in that awesome MacLean fashion, strange things begin happening. It's a wonderful little tale, told in the first person. And I love it when our hero, Dr. Peter Mason, like many of MacLean's heroes, lie. I get that adrenaline rush knowing I know more than the other characters do -- save for the antagonists. You never know who they are, but you know they're aware of those lies. It's the most fun one can have with a book, in a way.
Night Without End isn't up to par with the best of the best MacLean tales, but it's damned close. Expect a riveting ride through the Arctic, but don't hope for a zillion plot twists. This is more of a whodunnit, and it keeps you guessing to the last few chapters...and even then you're wondering what's going to happen next. MacLean, who has never really impressed me with landscape descriptions, pounds out fantastic scenes beneath the aurora borealis here.
By the way, if you have the Fawcett Gold Medal Book in your hand, avoid reading the excerpt at the beginning of the book. You lose one potential suspect from that, unfortunately.