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Hey, Art Department: Iceberg! Dead Ahead!

iceberg-dionne-cussler.jpg

Karen Dionne‘s debut thriller, Freezing Point, came out in early October as a paperback original from Berkley. Late last month, Putnam (which is in the same division of Penguin Group as Berkley) released Arctic Drift, the latest Dirk Pitt novel from Clive Cussler—using what appears the exact same iceberg photo, just with a shipwreck Photoshopped into it.

Dionne’s novel may have come out first, but bookstore customers usually don’t know from pub dates; to the average consumer, Freezing Point now runs a risk of looking like a Cussler knockoff. Other thriller writers are surprised by the duplication: One, referring to it as a “major professional mistake,” declared, “It’s literally unbelievable that such a thing could happen within the same house for two books separated by two months.” Or, as another interested party said ruefully, “Man, that’s cold.”

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