The crew of the USS Enterprise is assigned the mission to investigate a missing research shuttle on the frigid ice-crusted planet Nordstral. The planet serves the pharmaceutical industry by harvesting plankton for drug use. But, the research crew has gone missing and some of the industrial workers have gone mentally insane. With McCoy, it is Kirk's job to find the sources creating these psychotic episodes. On the flip side, Uhura and Chekov dig into the whereabouts of the research shuttle by conducting interviews with the planet's inhabitants, an alien race known as the Kitka.
Most of the book's narrative and plot development consist of Uhura and McCoy working directly with Nordstral Pharmaceutical's guides across the icy tundra. The mystery lies in the fact that one of the guides may be a murderer keeping outsiders from the precious plankton. The investigation by Kirk and McCoy deals with the scientific aspect, but as the book gains momentum into the finale a hefty action sequence unfolds with the two trying to escape a flooding ship. Also, to add a horror aspect to the action, the novel introduces a giant underwater sea monster. Can you say KRAKEN?
The book's cover suggests the author is L.A. Graf. In reality, the Graf name is a trio of authors named Julia Ecklar, Karen Cercone, and Melissa Crandall. The perspectives in the book change numerous times within each chapter, so the abrupt character switches were jarring. I found myself re-reading pages to discover which group of characters I was in the midst of. This may have been a result of rotating authors writing certain parts, or it was designed that way. But, the effect wasn't enough to ruin the adventure. Ice trap was a lot of fun to read and placed me in a Star Trek mood for more installments of the series. If you love space travel or a good icy adventure, this one is recommended.