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The Boy in the Snow (The Edie Kiglatuk Arctic Crime Series) [Paperback]

M. J. McGrath
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Feb 2013 The Edie Kiglatuk Arctic Crime Series (Book 2)

When Arctic guide Edie Kiglatuk stumbles across a body abandoned in the Alaskan forest, she little imagines what her discovery will lead her to.

With the local police convinced the death is linked to the Dark Believers, a sinister Russian sect, Edie's friends insist she leave the investigation to the proper authorities. But remaining in the area as part of the support team for her ex-husband Sammy’s bid to win the famous Iditarod dog sled race, Edie cannot get the image of the frozen corpse out of her mind.

While Sammy travels across some of world's toughest and most deadly terrain, Edie sets off on an investigation which will take her into a dark world of politics, corruption and greed – as a painful secret in her past finally catches up with her . . .


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pan (28 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330517767
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330517768
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 600,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘Half-Inuit Edie, who debuted in White Heat, here finds herself at mortal risk from the cold, so masterfully described that it chills the reader. McGrath adds an element of Inuit spirituality to this fast-moving mystery of corruption and cover-ups, meeting expectations established by the compelling series opener’ Booklist

'Acknowledged as one of our most gifted younger writers, McGrath’s first thriller - featuring Arctic guide Edie Kiglatuk - was the exceptional White Heat, published last year to deserved acclaim. This second confirms just how good this Essex-born writer with a taste for Alaska really is . . . The snow-laden wastes of Alaska are so brilliantly evoked that it almost make you shiver reading it, and the plot is every bit as chilling, laced as it is with politics, sects and modern greed' Daily Mail

The Boy In The Snow is a thrilling chiller . . . Wrap up warmly. M. J. McGrath's earlier Arctic-set outing White Heat may have borrowed its title from an old James Cagney film but was in every other respect a totally original piece of work, demonstrating for a first novel an authoritative grasp of the thriller idiom. That book made people sit up and take notice but inevitably raised expectations for its successor. Has McGrath managed to match her achievement with The Boy In The Snow, the second book to feature her female Inuit hunter turned sleuth Edie Kiglatuk? . . . As anybody who has read McGrath's earlier book will know she is an author with a quietly impressive command of character. Edie is a heroine with whom it is extremely easy to identify, however alien her lifestyle will be to most of us. Yet the author's real skill is in the astonishing evocation of the frigid landscape, along with the sharply conjured details of Inuit life. What's more, McGrath is able to keep all these elements satisfyingly balanced, even as the tormented past of Edie begins to invade the present. The burying of secrets in both the physical and metaphorical sense in a snowbound landscape is hardly a new idea but McGrath makes us feel we are encountering it for the first time. This is turning into a series that readers will want to follow with close attention’ Barry Forshaw, Daily Express

‘Outstanding . . . McGrath has a firm grasp on a little known culture, its values and language, and excels at bringing to life such characters as conniving Anchorage mayor Chuck Hillingberg and his power-hungry wife, Marsha. This affecting novel should melt even the most frozen human hearts’ Starred Publishers Weekly review

'The exotic setting of the Canadian High Arctic gave [M. J. McGrath's] debut, White Heat, a distinctive flavour. Richly realised, it’s a gripping story that hinges on the collision of two very different ways of life, and features an Inuit hunter/guide as protagonist' Val McDermid, on her favourite new crime writers

‘M. J. McGrath is a home grown ice crystal, an Essex girl whose crime fiction is chillier than any Scandi’s. So this is a welcome return for Inuit sleuth Edie Kiglatuk . . . This book is far more than a tale of exploitation: it reaches into the still-surviving beliefs and customs of remote peoples and explores their relationship to the encroaching modern world . . . McGrath’s writing is richly saturated in Inuit language and legend: a deeply satisfying and imaginative read’ Independent

‘The seasonally appropriate The Boy in the Snow is not a book by the latest Nordic writing sensation. M. J. McGrath is English, with a terrific gift for the atmospheric portrayal of cold, ice and snow — and of the people who live in those climes. Her sleuth heroine, the Arctic guide Edie Kiglatuk, who is half Inuit, stumbles across a child’s frozen body. She doesn’t believe the police view that a Russian sect is to blame. Against the backdrop of her former husband’s participation in Alaska’s famous Iditarod dog-sled race, her stubborn inquiries lead her into dangerous political territory. Kiglatuk is beguilingly different and the setting awesome’ The Best Crime/Thriller Books of 2012 feature, Marcel Berlins, The Times

About the Author

M. J. McGrath was born in Essex. As Melanie McGrath she is the author of critically acclaimed, bestselling non-fiction (Silvertown and The Long Exile) and won the John Llewelyn-Rhys/Mail on Sunday award for Best New British and Commonwealth Writer under 35, for her first book Motel Nirvana. She writes for the national press and is a regular broadcaster on radio. Her first novel White Heat was longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award. Melanie lives and works in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The follow-up to Melanie McGrath's High Arctic-set White Heat is even more assured, building on and adding considerably more depth to the brilliantly conceived Edie Kiglatuk, a recovering alcoholic Inuit, sometime-teacher, sometime-unofficial (and frankly unwitting) crime investigator.

TBITS is set in Alaska, far to the south of Edie's home on Ellesmere Island. A character in White Heat pointed out that Alaska is closer latitudinally to California than it is to Edie's home, and from the get-go there's a sense that Edie, who is here to support her ex on the 1000+ mile Iditarod dog sled race, is deeply out of place, and, indeed, longing to be home.

But that's not to be, for within pages of the book's opening Edie is embroiled in a mystery which becomes only deeper the more she probes it, and which will eventually place her and her closest friends in the greatest personal danger. Russian Orthodox dissenter (and just possibly Satanist) cults, people traffickers, corrupt local politicians, Evangelical Christian cops, child prostitutes... all make their appearance in a tale which gets darker at each turn of the page.

Two things in particular contribute to the book's success. Firstly, McGrath's research is impeccable, and very, very deep; the result is a sense of place, and of society, that's utterly believable. From the description of the conditions faced by the Iditarod's mushers to the deeply disturbing depiction of Alaskan politics and business practice, everything feels utterly authentic.

And secondly, not only has McGrath created a great character in Edie, Edie's friendship with Ellesmere Island's policeman, Derek Palliser is the precisely the kind of sexually-charged (although Platonic) yet feisty-bordering-on-comabtive relationship which lies at the heart of some of the very best crime fiction.

I personally can't wait for the third volume in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writing 30 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a clever story with deep resonating comment on modern life. The main characters of the first book, White Heat are transposed into Alaska during the annual dogsled endurance race.
The star again is native hunter and Arctic guide Edie Kiglatuk clearly out of her comfort zone. This aspect is presented factually and not overplayed; her ability to adjust and adapt is championed as she takes on a new case. Finding a dead child in the forest she sets out to uncover the truth and find justice for the little one.
Along the way she has to overcome prejudice and tackle corruption within the local police department, unscrupulous business and political ambition, religious extremism and cult beliefs with sex slave people trafficking.
This makes for a complex and engrossing novel, the story is expertly woven into a cracking read with a strong sense of danger and clever plot twists.
The person of Edie is well drawn and realistic. Not only surviving within a modern age but adjusting and confronting where others comply, always able to draw on her own native instincts and the spirit world.
The book is a stand alone thriller that throws background light onto our imperfect modern world; it does this in an entertaining way without signposting issues or preaching a greener way.
The author is clearly at home in this world and allows the reader to gain insight like a good guide. Her passion is reflected in excellent prose and rich language, humour prevails throughout but the real star of the book is the Arctic north.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Effective Setting, Dull Plotting 13 May 2013
By HeavyMetalMonty VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In many ways, this story reminds me of 'The Tenderness of Wolves' by Stef Penney. Both tales are set in the far north of the American continent, both take great pains to describe the landscape and geographical features of the snowy wilderness, both feature red herrings that aren't vital to the plot (but lead the reader to a false conclusion, thus guaranteeing surprise when the truth is revealed), both - while meticulous in their creation of vivid setting - fail to build three-dimensional protagonists/antagonists whose personalities develop as the story progresses, both have a Native American interest, both make frequent and in-depth references to snow, both fall short of providing a rounded, satisfying reading experience.

'The Boy in the Snow' has some redeeming qualities, mainly the power of its setting, which is masterfully described. One of the book's irritating characteristics is a reliance on adverbs (the result of either choosing weak verbs or falling into childish writing habits). The characters aren't as fleshed out as they might have been. They fail to develop significantly in response to obstacles faced and pain suffered. Dialogue, also, doesn't quite ring true.

In a nutshell, the book's descriptions of non-human phenomena are beautiful, while its understanding of the human experience is lacking.

Too much setting, not enough plotting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great evocation of the landscape and lifestyle 14 Aug 2013
By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the second book featuring Edie - a native inhabitant of Northern Canada. In this novel she goes south to Alaska where her ex-husband is involved in a dog-sled race (the Iditarod).She is back-up crew but becomes involved in local big business and politics when she finds the frozen body of a small baby.

The plot of this book is OK. It is nothing special and on occasion becomes tricky to follow because it becomes a bit fragmented. What boosts the story to its four star rating is the descriptive writing of the landscape and the Alaskan environment. This is really powerful writing and I was gripped by the evocation of the landscape combined with the understanding of how that affects the lifestyle and way of thinking of the local people. The author cleverly contrasts Edie's point of view with that of the local politicians and other non-Natives in order to emphasise how differently they think. He then introduces the religious cults which have grown up from the Russian immigrants. We could have done with more understanding of exactly what the religious people believe but their way of life is introduced as another alternative. The author is not naive and the Native American lifestyle is not portrayed as completely idyllic but it is described and seen in the context of the environment and harsh living conditions.

This is a fascinating novel despite the plot being a bit weak. Had the plot been as strong as the descriptive writing then this would have been an outstanding read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a really good read
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an easy read with a good plot. I had not heard of the author before but will be looking to read more.
Published 1 month ago by julie Minton
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
Meandering storyline, flat characters who you never get to 'know' and none of them particularly empathetic. Read more
Published 5 months ago by rainforest
4.0 out of 5 stars South to Alaska
The Boy in the Snow is the second book in a series featuring Edie Kiglatuk, an Arctic guide. This time she has come south to Alaska to provide backup to a competitor in the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by elkiedee
5.0 out of 5 stars Whole new look at Alaskan literature - great book
The Boy in the Snow is the second book in M. J. McGrath's Edie Kiglatuk mystery series - I loved White Heat so was delighted to see this one in print. Read more
Published 9 months ago by rhosymynydd
5.0 out of 5 stars As cold as ice
Edie Kiglatuk is in Alaska, far away from Ellesmere Island her native home. She is supporting her ex-husband Sammy Inukpuk as he takes part in the Iditarod dog-sled race in memory... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Plucked Highbrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Differently Gripping
This book was gripping from beginning to end and the story spoke to me in a number of different ways. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Wendy Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot stuff in the cold arctic
There aren't too many thrillers set in the colder parts of Alaska so this book fits into a niche market for lovers of Nordic crime thrillers with a boost. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Michael Watson
4.0 out of 5 stars The Boy In The Snow
The Boy In The Snow is the second novel in the Edie Kiglatuk series by author MJ McGrath. Edie Kiglatuk is in Alaska assisting her ex-husband in a race. Read more
Published 12 months ago by John Forrester
5.0 out of 5 stars Chiller Thriller
From the non-fiction work of author Melanie McGrath it is clear she has in-depth knowledge of the hostile Arctic environment and the cultures of those who live there. Read more
Published 13 months ago by D. Elliott
3.0 out of 5 stars The pre-quel was better.
Like all stories, they tend to amble somewhere in the middle. I found this did but it was OK overall. I was glad I finished it though. Read more
Published 13 months ago by zooooo
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