Friday, December 21, 2012

The Boy in the Snow - M. J. McGrath

The Boy in the Snow is the second book in M. J. McGrath's Edie Kiglatuk mystery series - the follow up to her very successful fiction debut novel White Heat.

Edie is a wonderfully unique protagonist. She is half Inuit, half white and makes her home on remote Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, working as a guide. She has travelled 'down south' to Alaska with Sergeant Derek Palliser to support her ex-husband/his friend Sammy in his bid to run the Iditarod. But while out on a drive, Edie stumbles across the body of a baby, left in the forest. Her reporting the body to the police is only the beginning of her involvement - she can't let it rest and begins to investigate on her own - with the help of Derek.

Edie is canny, intuitive, dogged, determined and just a really engaging and different character. McGrath has chosen unique settings and backgrounds as well. McGrath has written non fiction on the displacement of Canadian Inuit. Her fiction narrative carries detail and descriptions that utilize that knowledge very effectively. Customs, culture and language and the landscape all play an important role in McGrath's story.

The plotting of the mystery in The Boy in the Snow is excellent as well - corrupt politicians, age old religious sects and more. But, this is truly a character driven series - one I will be adding to my must read list.

I chose to listen to this book. Now the reader was Kate Reading - not one of my favorites as I dislike her habit of drawing out her words. (She just narrated Cornwell's The Bone Bed) But it didn't bother me as much this time - I think because I was quite engrossed in both the story and the characters. Read an excerpt of The Boy in the Snow.

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