The White Lie: The gripping and heart-breaking historical thriller based on a true story by J.G. Kelly
'Kelly is that rare combination, a brilliant storyteller, a sure-footed adventurer into the past and a really marvellous writer. With its new take on one of the most compelling episodes in our nation's narrative, The White Lie brings history to life without disturbing its delicate fabric' CHRISTOBEL KENT
1913. Captain Scott and his four companions reach the South Pole to find their Norwegian rival Roald Amundsen has won the race. Defeated, they set out on the 850-mile journey to their ship. Apsley Cherry-Garrard, the explorer sent out to meet them at One Ton depot, peering South through thick spectacles, sees only an infinity of white, and turns back. A year later Scott's pitched tent is found, just ten miles from the depot, and the bodies within speak of hunger, the unbearable strain of hauling the sledge, and the brutal winter cold. They lie in a tomb of ice. Cherry is left forever tormented by thoughts of what might have been.
1969. Ten years after Cherry's death, Falcon Grey - who as an orphan of the Blitz was brought up at the explorer's country estate - receives a bequest: a small red notebook that was found in Scott's tent. It is a diary: and it states that they were not victims of the cold, or hunger, but murder, in the coldest of blood. Suspects range from envious foreign powers - such as the Kaiser's Germany - to revolutionaries and even Scott's own men. Vital clues lie in the tent, so Falcon goes South to the ice to see it for himself, but someone is desperate to conceal the truth and will kill to keep the secrets under the ice.
'Polar aficionados will enjoy this. It suggests alternative endings to legendary stories, casting fresh light on characters we think we know pretty well. An imaginative and compelling recasting, and a fine polar thriller to boot' SARA WHEELER