Boiling Point, by Karen Dionne


Boiling PointTITLE: Boiling Point.


THE AUTHOR: Karen Dionne

THE EDITOR: Natalee Rosenstein.

THE PUBLISHER: Originally published by Berkley/Penguin Putnam, now available as e-book by author

SUMMARY: As Chaitén Volcano sleeps ..  two microbiologists monitor the effects of global warming in the shadow of the long-dormant volcano. A celebrity scientist and his film crew arrive at the caldera to capture Chaitén’s spectacular scenery for a television audience.  And a Nobel Prize-winning scientist sits in his apartment in Paris, monitoring data on fifty-six volcanoes around the world—waiting for the one sign that his diabolical plan is about to be put into motion. Soon, their destinies will converge. For the Earth has become a pawn in the biggest gamble ever played with humanity’s future. And Chatien is about to blow.

Karen Dionne

THE BACK STORY: While looking for a focus for my second environmental thriller with Berkley, I Googled “worst environmental problems” and learned about geo-engineering – a term that describes various proposals to solve the problem of global warming by changing a physical feature of the planet. One proposal included putting sulfur dioxide particles in the air to mimic the cooling effect of a volcanic eruption. Making a permanent change to Earth’s atmosphere seemed like an act of hubris  worthy of the villain in a novel, and the idea for BOILING POINT was born,

In April 2009, I traveled to Chaitén Volcano in Northern Patagonia, Chile to research my novel. I stayed in the town at the base of the volcano, though the town had been destroyed in the initial eruption the year before and was still evacuated and without electricity and running water. I hiked to within one mile of the new lava dome, where I saw steam vents, heard explosions coming from the caldera, and felt a small earthquake. The Chilean government considered the volcano on Red Alert, and was reporting 18-25 earthquakes a day in the vicinity of the volcano at the time.

Seeing Chaitén Volcano for myself and experiencing the magnitude of its power and destruction truly informed the book. In addition, my English-speaking guide was present the day the volcano erupted, and much of what he told me made it into the book. An account of my trip with pictures is available on my website:

WHY THIS TITLE: My first novel, FREEZING POINT, is about a solar energy company that wants to melt Antarctic icebergs into drinking water, but things go terribly wrong (think Jurassic Park on ice). Naturally, a novel set at an erupting volcano that centers on a radical plan to end global warming had to be titled BOILING POINT!

WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: While BOILING POINT deals with  big environmental issues, at heart, it’s a very intimate story in which each main character is forced to make a choice between a principle they believe in, and someone they care about. As one reviewer put it, “The author creatively juxtaposes the sincere efforts of those who work towards solving the problems of global warming against those who are equally passionate but who pursue more extreme measures toward achieving their goal. And yet neither is a match for Mother Nature herself.  Readers need not take a stand, one way or the other, to enjoy this novel of suspense.”


“Dionne hits her stride with this heart-thumping, timely thriller, one that rings with surreal authenticity. Put simply, it’s a non-stop delight of a read.” – New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry.

“Fans of the late Michael Crichton will enjoy Dionne’s exciting second ecothriller . . . Crisp writing keeps the pace fast, and the tight interweaving of story lines bodes well for this author’s future
efforts.” — Publishers Weekly.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Karen Dionne is the internationally published author of Freezing Point, a science thriller nominated by RT Book Reviews as Best First Mystery of 2008. A second environmental thriller, Boiling Point, about an erupting volcano, a missing researcher, and a radical scheme to end global warming published from Berkley in January 2011. Her newest novel, an original story based on the popular Fox television series “The Killing” starring Joel Kinnaman and Mirelle Enos will publish from Titan Books June 24, 2014.Karen is co-founder of the online writers community Backspace, and organizes the Salt Cay Writers Retreat held every year on a private island in the Bahamas. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the International Thriller Writers, where she served on the board of directors as Vice President, Technology.

Karen has been honored by the Michigan Humanities Council as a Humanities Scholar for her body of work as an author, writer, and as co-founder of Backspace.

AUTHOR COMMENTS: “I was delighted when Berkley returned the rights to this novel to me so I could bring out an e-version myself and reach more readers. Readers who like fast-paced thrillers grounded in reality will enjoy this novel.”

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (Provide link).

LOCAL OUTLETS: available as e-book onlyWHERE ELSE TO BUY IT:

Barnes & Noble:
iTunes: $3.99


Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s