This story takes place during a South American coup-d’etat and puts the main protagonists in an aeroplane doomed to crash-land on an inhospitable mountain plateau high in the Andes. The event is not just a bit of bad luck for all involved it’s also an attempt to kill off an important political leader.
Tim O’Hara is the hapless pilot of the plane, innocent except of being desperate for the charter that ends in his battle for survival.
The mountains are ferociously cold and the air so thin that just walking is an olympian effort. While one group of survivors attempts to cross the peaks via a deadly, snow-covered pass, the other must stall the armed group of communist soldiers intent on killing them all once they’ve crossed a river in torrent. Luckily this isn’t so easy and the remaining passengers, along with the plane’s pilot, have time to put into action several ingenious ideas to prolong their survival until help arrives.
There are despicable and admirable characters on both sides, and the level of tension that builds as the story unfolds will keep you reading until the explosive finalé.