I love this book. It’s the kind of thriller that just doesn’t get written any more. (It was published in 1969.) A plane crashes in mountains, the Russians and the West both want what it contains, and they send out climbing teams to get it. Once the set-up is out of the way, practically the entire book is what’s suggested in the title: the ascent. Lots of climbing detail, vividly written. Thrillers used to be like this in the 60s and 70s: lean, fast-paced, unpretentious – and all wrapped up in just over 150 pages. Boy do I miss those days.