The murder of a teenager rocks a remote settlement in Canada’s high Arctic.
Summer brings many changes to Ellesmere Island, on the northern edge of Nunavut. The ice thins, dovekies return to build their nests on the cliffs, and people flee inland to their summer campgrounds. Droves of unataqti (soldiers) swarm into Camp Nanook on maneuvers. Edie Kiglatuk (The Boy in the Snow, 2012, etc.) moved north from Autisaq to Kuujuaq at the beginning of the season to teach summer school. Her teaching stint ends when 15-year-old Martha Salliaq’s body is found in Turngaluk, known to the Inuit as Lake of the Bad Spirits. Now Sgt. Derek Palliser, the senior of the two members of the Ellesmere Island Native Police, needs Edie’s help. Although the government in Ottawa sees him as a Nunavut native, the Inuit consider Palliser, a Cree, to be qalunaat, an outsider. Edie serves as his pipeline to the people who can help him solve Martha’s murder, starting with the girl's father, Charlie Salliaq. Although Edie is only half Inuit, she still has access to Charlie, whom she addresses as avasirngulik, in deference to his position as tribal chief. But Edie is plagued by doubts about her ability to help Derek solve the case, about her relationship with Chip Muloon, a researcher from the University of Calgary, and about how her role as deputy will affect her relations with the rest of the native population. Those doubts persist even after two unataqti are charged with Martha’s murder. Something in the speed with which Col. Al Klinsman seems willing to jail two of his own—and his hostility to Sonia Gutierrez, the Salliaqs' lawyer—makes Edie think the case isn't as simple as Camp Nanook’s commanding officer suggests.
The chills McGrath’s third Edie entry sends down your spine will rival those brought on by any Nunavut winter.