ImageThis unusual crime novel’s heroine is arctic guide Edie Kiglatuk: Inuit, silent movie fan and definitely not a vegetarian, she is roped a support team member for her ex-husband’s dog sledding team for a harsh cross country race through the icy wilderness of Alaska. By coincidence or maybe through the guidance of a spirit animal Edie stumbles across the body of a baby in the snowy forests near Anchorage.
Even though Edie is warned off several times, forced by her hunter instinct she can’t let it lie and she keeps investigating the case herself.
In this arctic landscape everyone leaves traces and Edie follows them all.
This is a tight crime story that involves big business in conflict with ecological questions, spin-addicted polticians in the run for political posts, the remnants of the cold war, a prostitution ring and a sect called the Dark Believers. At the same time there is a very touching and interesting insight into Iniuit cultural backdrop and beliefs as well as Edie’s sometimes quite funny view of the Alaskans, which she only can see as “Southerners”
M.J. Mc Grath fabricates a dense universe of a frosty landscape, in which Edie’s character uses snow colours to describe people’s hair, where the sound of different kinds of snow leaves crisp echoes in your head and where Inuit spiritualism and ecology clash with modern commerce and politics.
This book kept me reading breathlessly until the last page. This author is definitely someone to keep an eye and I now want to read the first instalment of this series.
The only criticism I have is that in the end there were maybe too many people involved in the crime.
(Paperback is due for publication 28th February 2013)
Pan Macmillan/Paperback/£7.99/9780330517768
Christina Steils