M. J. McGrath
The first novel in the hugely compelling Edie Kiglatuk series set in the high Arctic..
Nothing on the tundra rotted . . . The whole history of human settlement lay exposed there, under that big northern sky. There was nowhere here for bones to hide.
On Craig Island, a vast landscape of ice north of the Arctic Circle, three travellers are hunting duck. Among them is expert Inuit hunter and guide, Edie Kiglatuk; a woman born of this harsh, beautiful terrain. The two men are tourists, experiencing Arctic life in the raw, but when one of the men is shot dead in mysterious circumstances, the local Council of Elders in the tiny settlement of Autisaq is keen to dismiss it as an accident.
Then two adventurers arrive in Autisaq hoping to search for the remains of the legendary Victorian explorer Sir James Fairfax. The men hire Edie - whose ancestor Welatok guided Fairfax - along with Edie's stepson Joe, and two parties set off in different directions. Four days later, Joe returns to Autisaq frostbitten, hypothermic and disoriented, to report his man missing. And when things take an even darker turn, Edie finds herself heartbroken, and facing the greatest challenge of her life . . .
'A blazing star of a thriller: vivid, tightly-sprung, and satisfying on all levels. Encountering Edie Kiglatuk, the toughest, smartest Arctic heroine since Miss Smilla, left me with that rare feeling of privilege you get on meeting extraordinary people in real life. A huge achievement' Liz Jensen, author of The Rapture
'Edie is an ingenious and original creation but the most addictive character is the Arctic itself' Sunday Telegraph
'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
‘The best thing about female-authored thrillers is their ballsy heroines – and White Heat by debut novelist MJ McGrath is no exception . . . Dark and atmospheric, it’s an unusual twist on the usual crime novel’ Cosmopolitan
‘A chilling read . . . White Heat most resembles Peter Høeg's 1993 novel, Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow’ Evening Standard