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East of Desolation

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  815 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Cape Desolation, Greenland--The wreckage of a privat airplane is discovered high up in the icy desert. The pilot listed in the log and the body found near the plane are not the same. Charter pilot Joe Martin is hired by the pilot's widow and insurance company to fly them through deadly terrain to the site of the crash...
Published September 1st 2006 by HarperTorch (first published December 1st 1977)
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  815 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Bobby Underwood
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Here was one of the last places on earth where the challenge was the greatest of all—survival.”

Both The Kufra Run and The Last Place God Made very much had a pulp feel to them, as though Higgins had been hold-up somewhere with nothing to do but devour copies of Spicy Adventure Magazine from the 1930s and watch robust adventure serials from the same era. East of Desolation, published in 1968, continues in that vein and is right up there with the best stuff he’s ever done. He’s doing a certain th
Nov 13, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not all is as it seems in this arctic thriller. Pilot Joe Martin flies people to and fro over the vast wilderness of Greenland, anxious to make ends meet and possibly amass some savings along the way. He's settled in comfortably with the locals, and is satisfied with his life. When a group appears who seem to have a sinister air about them, Martin tries to turn away the fare, but it becomes a matter of government investigation and he's pressed into service. His way of life is threatened by this ...more
Thom Swennes
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
What drives a person to the edge of the world, to go where every day is a challenge to merely survive? What motivates a human being to brave the extreme elements of the polar icecap, secluded and isolated from civilization and the daily comforts we are all accustomed to?
For Joe Martin, a bush pilot, without roots and reason, it is an escape from the daily pressures, obligations, and entanglements of that rat race known as civilization. He ferries passengers, equipment, and anything he can find t
Edmond Gagnon
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a re-write of the original 1968 novel, which the author and publisher decided to bring back to life. I think it was a good decision. The story-line could easily fit into any 19th or 20th century decade. It's got drama, suspense, intrigue, action, a bit of romance, and even a couple twists to keep you thinking.
I found the setting interesting, the far north, beyond what most of us call the civilized world. The characters are strong, some likable and some not. The plot involves a bit
Bree T
Aug 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Joe is a charter pilot working in Greenland for the money. He flies in supplies to remote areas, mechanical parts to oil rigs and drilling operations, charters for tourists who want to see the parts unreachable by commercial airlines. The story sort of dithers for a bit, about a famous actor named Jack who is currently hunting polar bears in some remote part of Greenland. Joe makes weekly supply runs to his boat for cash and when a mysterious woman arrives, asking to be taken to Jack, Joe flies ...more
Apr 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Perhaps it was because I had really low expectations or perhaps because I dismissed it in the beginning as a light novel, but it blew me away, to a certain degree, in the end.

Sure it wasn't a blizzard, but it was a pretty hi strung storm.

Meeting Jack Kelso was such a surprise I didn't expect at all. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the whole novel. I did not expect it. Definitely out of the blue.

The ending was great, off not with a fizzle but with a bang.
There were a few things that I wo
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Interesting characters, action packed, sex, booze, floatplanes, murder... I enjoyed this easy classic!
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading
David Miller
Jack Higgins' early books are pretty decent adventures. I liked this one pretty well. The sense of Greenland comes through very strongly (as far as I can tell, never having been there). The story is pretty well told, and I didn't guess the ending. The hero is an ordinary man, neither more intelligent nor braver nor more virtuous (or more vicious) than most. It is very cinematic - very easy to imagine the movie that could be made from this book) - which I certainly prefer to being very TV-ish. Al ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I enjoyed this quite a lot. A little mystery, some romantic interests, some action and tensions, all set against a desolate Greenland landscape. A good thriller.
Chris Gorman
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great little adventure book. Worth a read.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oct 2018 Fast read.. Lots of action!!!
Justin Purohit
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this
Karunakaran N.
East of Desolation by Jack Higgins... Not the kind of JH a very slow read...
Nov 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Much like Dick Francis, Jack Higgins was a staple of my teenage years, but an author I've not read for 15-20 years, until discovering this in a local community bookswap.

It dates from 1968 and in many ways shows its age - there are a few descriptions / characterisations of Eskimos, homosexuals, and, most of all, women, which would likely raise a few eyebrows today, although fortunately these are more a simple matter of dated language no longer seeming PC rather than genuinely offensive, nasty at
Lindsay Boitnott
I couldn't keep myself from reading East of Desolation when I saw it on the library shelf. A thriller about an arctic pilot in search of a mysterious downed plane? Are you kidding me? This book was just begging me to read it! I practically ran to my car to start listening to the audiobook.

So I'll start with the positives. I like the main character, Joe Martin. He is a delivery pilot who is content to spend the rest of his days delivering supplies to the remote areas of Greenland. Not much upsets
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1
Book Report #1
Eitan Mordechai
Book Name: East of Desolation
Author: Jack Higgins

Joe Martin is a charter pilot working in Greenland for the money. He flies in supplies to remote areas, mechanical parts to oil rigs and drilling operations and charters for tourists who want to see unreachable areas of Greenland. The wreckage of a private airplane was discovered in the icy desert and the body of the pilot is not the same as the pilot listed to fly the plane. Joe is offered to fly the widow of the list
Samuel Tyler
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
When you think of a Jack Higgins novel you probably don’t instantly think of a slow boil crime drama full of twists and turns and an excellent payoff. However, before he started writing hundreds of Sean Dillon identikit novels, he was actually a pretty varied and good writer. ‘East of Desolation’ is part of his late 60s cannon and was around the era when the writer was at his best. His books all had the same many meat to them; guns, women, action; but they varied in location and sometimes even i ...more
Carl Brookins
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it

This novel give the lie to stories going around that publishers are only interested in long books with one or more dead bodies in the first couple of pages, and not much description. This one is not about a series character, either. But if what you want is a high-tension thriller with plenty of twists, a couple of dead bodies, interesting characters, a grand setting and surprises right up to the final page, I recommend that master story-teller, Jack Higgins.

EAST OF DESOLATION, is set in Greenlan
Joe Martin, a recovering alcoholic, makes his living as a bush pilot in Greenland, flying passengers and cargo to remote areas. He's been on many salvage operations, but starts to get a bad feeling when an insurance company and the beautiful widow of the dead pilot hires him to find out what caused the crash that killed her husband. Before long, what should have been a routine mission becomes a hair-raising adventure packed with danger and betrayal.

This is a fast moving action-adventure novel w
Kate Panis
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked how Jack Higgins dragged me into believing every character in this book was easy to read and how he actually deceived me into buying my ideas of where the story was heading. The actions and thoughts of the characters were predictable--or so they seemed for the first half of the book; thus, the entirety made me feel lousy to read further until that FREAKIN' twist came. And so I was left confused and deranged, and slightly hurt that I had to wipe every picture and connection formed inside ...more
Steve Miller
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this earlier Jack Higgins novel at my local used book store and it was quite enjoyable after a slow start. It does take place primarily in Greenland of all places (there's a little back story that took place elsewhere) and given the 1968 copyright date, I was thinking it would be something of a dated, cheesy read. But HIggins is Higgins, and he didn't disappoint. As a matter of fact, there were a couple plot twists that made this story much more surprising than a typical Sean Dillon nove ...more
lucie parenkyuma
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
What a mind-blown storyline! The book, to me, started off a bit slow, with explanations of the characters (which is wonderful) but ended impressively.

I get the vibe of reading old classic scenes from it, and I was astonished to discover that its first publication was in 1968! My mother was just 4 years old back then!

Anyway, you can expect a lot of actions in the book; bar fights, guns and punches involved with the intervention of typical bad guys to add more twists to the story. Funny how money
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a quick and easy diversion, Jack Higgins has just what you need. I really enjoyed being with these characters, and in Greenland to boot. The settings are unique and the story doesn't bog down with a lot of needless detail. It is enough to know all the characters have dubious backgrounds and they are all watching out for number one. The characters, plot, action, and twists in the tale make it interesting and engaging. But, my favorite thing about it was Greenland, both as a place and a charac ...more
Ronald Wilcox
Higgins is an excellent writer and this is one of his earlier works when he was developing his writing skills. Joe Martin is a charter pilot in Greenland and he is approached about taking some people to a plane crashed in the snow to identify the bodies of the occupants for verification for insurance purposes. Of course all is not as simple as it seems .... Martin is an interesting character but the story felt kind of disjointed at times and difficult to follow. Greenland was an unusual but intr ...more
John M.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
A solid story of a Greenland bush pilot who may or may not be who he claims, the washed-up film star he routinely flies supplies to and a decent supporting cast of somewhat less-developed characters. There's big game hunting, bar brawling and murder and a criminal enterprise that slowly unravels all culminating in a showdown in a remote fishing village. This is sort of like the Arctic version of 'the Last Place God Made' and is slightly reminiscent of Hammond Innes' 'the Land God Gave to Cain.'
Rachael Hewison
Jul 14, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: thriller
Pros: The blurb is really exciting

Cons: The blurb is more exciting than the book.

I'm really not sure why I didn't enjoy this book but I just found dragged, which is surprising considering how short it is. I felt no emotional attachment to any of the characters or even the plot really, as it took a very long time to warm up. There was plenty of shocks and plot twists towards the end but by that time I was past caring.

A real shame
Nov 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, sub-zero
Not his best but still engrossing at times.

I think The Eagle Has Landed is his best book. Perhaps one of the best books in World War fiction category. If you like thrillers and haven't yet read "The Eagle Has Landed" then you are missing out big time!
Oleksiy Kononov
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Early Higgins. Well, the beginning was far too outstretched so to speak. Descriptions, landscapes, flights, no story at all. Everything starts almost in the very middle of the book and gets too predictable by its end. Worth reading once but not more than that. Cannot be compared with The Eagle has Landed, Luciano`s Luck or Solo. Once again, Jack Higgins`s writing can be very different. ...more
Jun 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Marc by: Bill
This book is rather short with about 250 pages. It was given to me by my great neighbor Bill. I have never read any books of Jack Higgins. I will let you know how it is.

SO, not bad. I am told his later work is much much better. I would hope so. This would be a good book to take on vacation. light, simple and if you left it behind on accident, who cares.
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There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Jack Higgins is the pseudonym of Harry Patterson (b. 1929), the New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy thrillers, including The Eagle Has Landed and The Wolf at the Door. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Patterson grew up in Belfast, Northern Irelan