As debut crime novels goes, White Heat couldn't be much better. It has everything a good crime novel should have: strong plot, excellent characterization, vivid sense of place, a dollop full of history, culture and social politics, and a swirl of conspiracy. The book doesn't simply describe the world of Edie Kiglatuk - the small, tight knit community and the icy, harsh landscape - but places the reader into it. Edie is a wonderful creation - a headstrong woman who rails against custom and tradition at the same time as she tries to maintain them in the face of encroachment by the `white world'. The other characters, with their various traits and foibles, are also well penned. The plot is engaging and unfolds at a nice pace and manages to remain coherent to the end without falling apart or being overly reliant on coincidence. Where the book really shone was in the portrayal of the Inuit life and the rendering of the icy, harsh but beautiful landscape. Not only was I thoroughly entertained but I learned a fair bit about the realities and social politics of Arctic living. I've already recommended the book to friends and I'm hoping that there are more Edie stories in the pipeline.