Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Length: 384 pages
About: Canadian wilderness murder and kidnapping
Style: 1st person
1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead man’s cabin head north
towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township – but do they want to solve the crime or exploit it?
One-by-one the assembled searchers set out from Dove River, pursuing the tracks across a desolate landscape home only to wild animals, madmen and fugitives, variously seeking a murderer, a son, two
sisters missing for 17 years, a Native American culture, and a fortune in stolen furs before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good.
Siobhan Redmond captivates in this gripping rendering of Stef Penney’s award-winning debut. She reads with warmth, wit and understanding, deftly characterising the small Canadian township and its
inhabitants. Redmond’s keen sense of suspense complements Penney’s superb story-telling ability, bringing this panoramic, romantic and exhilarating thriller to life.
I don’t pretend to be particularly brave, and in fact long ago gave up the notion that I have any remarkable qualities, but I am surprised at
the calmness with which I look around the cabin. My first thought is that Jammet has destroyed himself,
but Jammet’s hands are empty, and there is no sign of a weapon near him. One hand dangles off the side of the bed. It does not occur to me to
be afraid. I know with absolute certainty that whoever did this is nowhere near – the cabin proclaims
its emptiness. Even the body on the bed is empty. There are no attributes to it now – the cheerfulness and slovenliness and skill at shooting, the generosity and
callousness – they have all gone.
This is a literary book that it's very easy to be gratefully sucked into.
For full review click here
The Guardian, Nicholas Lezard, 3rd March 2007
Not so good
No prize on Earth can erase the embarrassment of the ending of this otherwise quite fine book. Her editor should have gotten her out of that cliche-ridden, logistical mess.
The Wasington Post, Carolyn See, July 20th 2007
About the author
Born in 1969 in Edinburgh She turned to film-making after a degree in Philosophy and Theology from Bristol University. She made three short films before studying Film and TV at
Bournemouth College of Art, and on graduation was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme. She has also written and directed two short films; a BBC 10 x 10 starring Anna Friel and a
Film Council Digital Short in 2002 starring Lucy Russell.