A woman suffering from PTSD battles to clear her husband of a murder charge.
Meg Harris’ quiet life in northern Quebec is rudely interrupted by a phone call from a lawyer informing her that her husband, Eric Odjik, newly elected Grand Chief of the Grand Council of First Nations, has been arrested for the murder of his daughter Teht’aa’s boyfriend, who may have beaten Teht’aa so badly that she’s close to death in a Yellowknife hospital. Meg’s relationship with Eric, who had gone to Yellowknife for a meeting and to see his daughter, has been difficult ever since she suffered injuries she can’t talk about in a horrifying incident (A Cold White Fear, 2015). Though she’s rarely able even to leave home, she puts her fears aside and flies to Yellowknife, where she finds Uncle Joe Bluegoose, an important influence in Eric’s life, at Teht’aa’s bedside. She also meets Hans Walther, a pushy mining consultant who claims to be another of Teht’aa’s boyfriends. Meg can’t see Eric, who’s still incarcerated in the remote fly-in community of Digadeh. But when she learns that his lawyer wants him to plead out, she fires him and hires defense counsel Sally McLeod. While she’s using Teht’aa’s apartment, Meg meets Gloria, a cousin of Teht’aa’s with a major drinking problem and many secrets. In fact, some of those secrets and a suede embroidery decorated with sparkly purple flowers may provide the answers to many of Meg’s questions. Uncle Joe is staying with his son, who works for a diamond company and has very different ideas about the use of native lands for mining. While Teht’aa slowly recovers and Eric languishes in jail, Meg starts her own investigation, which will lead her and several family members to a remote island far north of civilization.
Plenty of well-developed characters and a storyline that raises pointed questions about land use. But the stunning beauty of the Northwest Territory is the real star of the story.