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On Craig Island, a vast landscape of ice north of the Arctic Circle, three travellers are hunting duck. Among them is Inuit hunter and guide, Edie Kiglatuk; a woman born of this harsh, beautiful terrain. The two men are tourists but when one of them is shot dead, the local Council of Elders in is keen to dismiss it as an accident.


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On Craig Island, a vast landscape of ice north of the Arctic Circle, three travellers are hunting duck. Among them is Inuit hunter and guide, Edie Kiglatuk; a woman born of this harsh, beautiful terrain. The two men are tourists but when one of them is shot dead, the local Council of Elders in is keen to dismiss it as an accident.

30 review for White Heat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    In her fiction debut, M.J. McGrath blows this one out of the water (or shall I say, ice?) with an excellent novel set in Canada's far North. Using the Canadian Arctic as its setting and utilising the nuanced characters found therein, McGrath creates a stellar novel that has the reader feel as though they are there, living with the Inuit and not sitting on the sidelines like a useless 'qalunaat' (white man). Using authentic language, skills, foods, and techniques, McGrath brings to live a story t In her fiction debut, M.J. McGrath blows this one out of the water (or shall I say, ice?) with an excellent novel set in Canada's far North. Using the Canadian Arctic as its setting and utilising the nuanced characters found therein, McGrath creates a stellar novel that has the reader feel as though they are there, living with the Inuit and not sitting on the sidelines like a useless 'qalunaat' (white man). Using authentic language, skills, foods, and techniques, McGrath brings to live a story that has you guessing to the last page. Being Canadian, the stigma of generalising the Inuit is common. They live in the snow, eat seals, and hunt all year-round. However, McGrath (a Brit, no less) gives them life and tells the story of their struggle in the far North, as well as illustrating their intricate way of daily life. She adds a murder mystery to the story, which makes the book even better and has you guessing from the get-go until you put it down at the end. Politics (both within the town and between the Inuit and 'the southerners') also plays a key role and opens the eyes of the reader, wherever they may find themselves living. These are not stupid people, but they are highly misrepresented. They have their maladies, as do we all, but their ingenuity and adapted way of life left me wanting to know more (I was pleased to see another book comes out soon). McGrath keeps the mystery on the front burner while educating the reader throughout. I was so pleased to see fresh take on this group of misunderstood Canadians and how they see themselves fitting into the larger Canadian and world picture. Kudos Ms. McGrath! I am so eager to read your next novel and learn even more. I would HIGHLY recommend this to someone who likes a new take on the murder mystery genre. Well worth your time!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    Having read all of Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak mysteries set in Alaska, MJ McGrath's Edie Kiglatuk series seemed quite similar although the latter is based on arctic Quebec, across the sea from Greenland. Edie has some of the same issues of alcoholism and a dysfunctional love life, but is more of a hunter/guide and less of a detective. Her police contact Derek Pallister was pretty weak, and had to be constantly prodded to action by Edie. Two men, masquerading as tourists, die under mysterious ci Having read all of Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak mysteries set in Alaska, MJ McGrath's Edie Kiglatuk series seemed quite similar although the latter is based on arctic Quebec, across the sea from Greenland. Edie has some of the same issues of alcoholism and a dysfunctional love life, but is more of a hunter/guide and less of a detective. Her police contact Derek Pallister was pretty weak, and had to be constantly prodded to action by Edie. Two men, masquerading as tourists, die under mysterious circumstances and then Edie's stepson appears to commit suicide as a consequence. The local characters are quite colorful, especially Aunt Martie and old man Koperkuj, and the book delved into some of the serious problems faced by the Inuit. The underlying rationale for the deaths, when finally clarified, seemed far fetched. Unlike Stabenow's focus on tasty foods, like fry bread, the meals in White Heat were gross.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rob Kitchin

    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 tradit 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    "White Heat" is the first in a mystery series set on Ellesmere Island which is next to Greenland though it's actually part of Canada. The protagonist is Edie Kiglatuk, an Inuit woman who makes her living as a hunting and fishing guide. Edie becomes caught up in a mystery when one of the two men she is out guiding for is shot by someone out in the middle of nowhere. She tries to get him back to the village for medical help but he ends up dying along the way. His assistant goes along with the loca "White Heat" is the first in a mystery series set on Ellesmere Island which is next to Greenland though it's actually part of Canada. The protagonist is Edie Kiglatuk, an Inuit woman who makes her living as a hunting and fishing guide. Edie becomes caught up in a mystery when one of the two men she is out guiding for is shot by someone out in the middle of nowhere. She tries to get him back to the village for medical help but he ends up dying along the way. His assistant goes along with the local mayor in deciding that the dead man must have been killed in a ricochet from his own rifle but Edie knows this is a load of bull but has no idea why they are trying to cover it up. Things go from bad to worse when someone Edie loves is found dead and the reason for his death is reported as suicide, though Edie KNOWS this is also not true. So bodies are stacking up, people are going missing and Edie is on the hunt, trying to figure it all out. Edie is aided by the Ellesmere Island police sergeant, Derek Palliser, who is caught in with his own issues. Someone is leaving their dogs running wild and his lemming research is being ruined. He is also nursing a broken heart when his girlfriend Mischa leaves him at the end of summer. He is not all that willing to help Edie at first but with more bodies piling up and more evidence of foul play in the so-called suicide, Derek has no choice but to do what he can to help Edie. The mystery in this one was so-so but the setting and the characters were so interesting! I found myself sharing little tidbits of Inuit lore with my family that I learned in this book. I will be looking for the next in the series because I really enjoyed getting to know Edie and about life above the 60th parallel. I'm from southern USA where we rarely ever get snow or ice so I found the descriptions just fascinating. Recommended for those that like a light mystery and are interested in learning about the Inuit culture.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Raven

    Set in the icy wastes of a small Inuit community in the High Arctic on Ellsemere Island and the fictional Craig Island this is a tale of the harsh realities of survival and murder. The story centres on a community facing the common woes of an indigenous people subjected to their dependence on a larger sovereign state, in this case, Canada, and highlights the social problems of drink and drug dependency that these and similar indigenous communities across the globe suffer. This, for me, was proba Set in the icy wastes of a small Inuit community in the High Arctic on Ellsemere Island and the fictional Craig Island this is a tale of the harsh realities of survival and murder. The story centres on a community facing the common woes of an indigenous people subjected to their dependence on a larger sovereign state, in this case, Canada, and highlights the social problems of drink and drug dependency that these and similar indigenous communities across the globe suffer. This, for me, was probably the most interesting aspect of the book as McGrath documents the day-to-day lives of these inhabitants referring often to the minutiae of their daily routines, language and life within this unrelenting environment, drawing on her established reputation as a non-fiction writer. The depiction of the landscape and the sheer grind of existence living with these climatic conditions was captured perfectly throughout and it did amuse me somewhat that a character refers to one day with a temperature of -25 as ‘balmy’! So these aspects of the book should have created a perfect backdrop for a gripping tale of murder in the Arctic wastes… However, the main plot line was a disjointed and slightly unbalanced affair focusing on the character of Edie Kiglatuk, a part-time teacher and guide, and opening with the murder of a tourist she is accompanying on a visit to the island. As the town council are keen to sweep this incident under the carpet and the body count continues to grow, including one of Edie’s nearest and dearest, Edie finds herself drawn into a dangerous conspiracy concerning the tapping of natural resources in the Arctic region by an unscrupulous business organisation. This leads Edie to a seemingly suicidal mission to mainland Greenland to uncover and expose this conspiracy putting herself and those within her community at great danger. To be honest I found the plot a bit turgid with the central conspiracy not really gripping me in the way that I think it should, and I felt that at times some fiercer editing was needed with some passages meandering on losing this reader’s interest. In terms of characterisation, aside from Edie who was a well-drawn and empathetic character, the other protagonists were less effective particularly the male characters, and I think that maybe McGrath focused to much on the factual construct of the book leaving gaps elsewhere, which would hinder the engagement of the reader with the overall story line. I think this is something that McGrath overcomes in the follow up book ‘The Boy In The Snow’, but for me, despite the strength of the historical, political and cultural aspects of ‘White Heat, I was a little disappointed with this debut.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    I seriously tried to read this book but I struggled through it and finally gave up on page 187. I know I was halfway through it but the book could not keep my attention. I am not a reader who gives up on a book very often, I never start a book I don't think I can't finish, so I was kinda upset with myself for not finishing it but it was too slow for me. For the first 100 pages, I don't really remember much. Just recently in the book, the action just started picking up and the victims started pil I seriously tried to read this book but I struggled through it and finally gave up on page 187. I know I was halfway through it but the book could not keep my attention. I am not a reader who gives up on a book very often, I never start a book I don't think I can't finish, so I was kinda upset with myself for not finishing it but it was too slow for me. For the first 100 pages, I don't really remember much. Just recently in the book, the action just started picking up and the victims started piling up and Edie is starting to investigate them so I am starting to get excited about reading the book but really folks, I am on page 187 and I have a total of 381 pages and I don't think I can do it. Who do I think would like this book? If you are interested in the Arctic landscape, the author does a brilliant job describing it for the reader. If you interested in learning something about the Intuit culture, this book talks about their language including some of their words with the English version, their way of thinking, some history, and their way of living. Is this book for me? no, sorry I have to move on. But it could be a book you enjoy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    White Heat is beautifully written. The author did a wonderful job of describing the area in which the story took place. As I was reading, I really felt like I had been dropped in the Arctic region. Her descriptions of the landscape make me want to visit there myself someday. I also really liked her characters. Edie was so believable and not without fault. I want to know more about her and I hope that the author visits her again. I also enjoyed the friendship that develops between Edie and Derek. White Heat is beautifully written. The author did a wonderful job of describing the area in which the story took place. As I was reading, I really felt like I had been dropped in the Arctic region. Her descriptions of the landscape make me want to visit there myself someday. I also really liked her characters. Edie was so believable and not without fault. I want to know more about her and I hope that the author visits her again. I also enjoyed the friendship that develops between Edie and Derek. It was appropriately not romantic and therefore more believable. While I enjoyed this one, I thought it was a bit long. There was definitely some content that could have been cut out as I felt it was not necessary to the advancement of the story. I listened to the audio version and I enjoyed the Kate Reading's (the narrator) voice. Her accent in pronouncing the Inuit names and dialect gave the story a genuine feel.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Mystery set in the Canadian arctic. First in a series, so the plot lagged a bit from alot of character backstory. I liked the descriptions of the arctic and the interactions of the characters in the Inuit town. The mystery didn't really take off until almost halfway through the book. Hopefully, the next book's plot will be paced a little better.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I got a hair behind on my reviews and have been trying to find some time to say a bit about White Heat. This book must have been under my radar before I heard about it on The Readers but it's definitely Simon, who made me run to the shelves to scoop this up to read. His enthusiasm sparked my interest and I can say I was not disappointed. What captured me most about White Heat was its Arctic setting and Inuit culture and heritage. You can not read this without being just a tad curious about what t I got a hair behind on my reviews and have been trying to find some time to say a bit about White Heat. This book must have been under my radar before I heard about it on The Readers but it's definitely Simon, who made me run to the shelves to scoop this up to read. His enthusiasm sparked my interest and I can say I was not disappointed. What captured me most about White Heat was its Arctic setting and Inuit culture and heritage. You can not read this without being just a tad curious about what the Inuit are all about. For lover's of Swedish mysteries, you won't find a colder place than Autisaq. Edie Kiglatuk, half Inuit, half white, hunter guide, is one kick-ass character and I loved her no nonsense attitude, spirit, survivor instincts, and just a bit of femininity that shone through. Yep, it's a mystery, so there's a murder, a whole bunch of characters with motive to cast suspicion and enough events to speculate the motive. It's action packed, humorous at times, and yet all is not happy for our Edie. She's got family issues in the closet and out, some solid characters in supporting roles including one great mutt, Bonehead, real good at warning when there's bear about. There's a theme of silent film, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin weaved throughout that will make you go hunting these old classics. I learned quite a bit; found myself looking up words, to familiarize myself with animals, food, etc, part of Kiglatuk's daily life. Lemmings, particularly were appealing. I also used my atlas to pinpoint the locale. White Heat is a debut that begs for the next in the series. I'll be on the list. Thanks Simon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I won this book as a First Reads giveaway. The imagery in this book is phenomenal. The author brings you to a world that most people never see in there lives, well except on television. The main character Edie is an Inuit and she is investigating some deaths that occur in the Arctic near her home. No, she is not a detective she is a teacher and a hunter.While most people want to forget what happened and call it an accident she needs to know the truth. Throughout her investigation Edie becomes clo I won this book as a First Reads giveaway. The imagery in this book is phenomenal. The author brings you to a world that most people never see in there lives, well except on television. The main character Edie is an Inuit and she is investigating some deaths that occur in the Arctic near her home. No, she is not a detective she is a teacher and a hunter.While most people want to forget what happened and call it an accident she needs to know the truth. Throughout her investigation Edie becomes closer to one of two detectives in the area. Derek Palliser tries to stay out of everybodies business. At heart he is a scientist not a policeman. He is obsessed with Lemmings and there "habits." He would rather be studying the rodents than trying to solve most crimes, especially the small town ones. Throughout the story the author touches upon some touchy subjects of out time. For example, she talks about the ice melting and how the animals are changing there habits. All of this can be attributed to global warming. Don't worry this books is not just about global warming and politics, it is a good mystery/crime novel that takes place in a magical setting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Bettie's Books Bettie's Books

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tien

    Edie Kiglatuk is only half Inuit. Add to that, she is also a woman. Even if she's one of the best guides in the community, she's not really given the respect she deserves. And after sticking her nose into the last death in the area which became a murder conviction of the victim's wife, she's not well liked in the community. The book opens with Edie in the midst of her guiding 2 foreigners when one of them was shot and ended up dead. While she was pressured to let the thing go as a hunting acciden Edie Kiglatuk is only half Inuit. Add to that, she is also a woman. Even if she's one of the best guides in the community, she's not really given the respect she deserves. And after sticking her nose into the last death in the area which became a murder conviction of the victim's wife, she's not well liked in the community. The book opens with Edie in the midst of her guiding 2 foreigners when one of them was shot and ended up dead. While she was pressured to let the thing go as a hunting accident, there were things that bothered Edie about it. It wasn't until someone she loved died that Edie felt there were bigger things at play and she wants justice done. I really like Edie with her broken past and even as she's trying to better her life, she'd fall down now and again but got back up again. Her tenacity in being her better self and for answers is both admirable and rather scary; but she's looked danger right in the eye and charged ahead. Thankfully, she had help, albeit reluctant ones to begin with. Police Sergeant Derek Palliser tried to enforce the law but... there are only so much one man can do in a hard country. They didn't see each other very much but when they do meet, it's rather sweet & funny. A complex mystery with many unexpected players set in a beautifully harsh country peopled with broken but tough characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Linda Baker

    I was looking around hoopla for something to download and listen to while working on an extended project; a project requiring little or no actual thought. White Heat popped up and since it was narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Kate Reading, I thought I would give it a try. Little did I know that White Heat would be one of those books that remind me just why I love to read. Books offer me the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture of a place that I will never visit. White Heat is se I was looking around hoopla for something to download and listen to while working on an extended project; a project requiring little or no actual thought. White Heat popped up and since it was narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Kate Reading, I thought I would give it a try. Little did I know that White Heat would be one of those books that remind me just why I love to read. Books offer me the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture of a place that I will never visit. White Heat is set in the Canadian High Arctic region among the Inuit People. Edie Kiglatuk is a half-Inuit, half-Caucasian part time teacher and hunting guide. She is divorced, a recovering alcoholic and an accomplished hunter who is not not quite accepted in the community. Not accepted, even though she has lived there all her life. White Heat opens with Edie leading a hunting trip for two men from the US, men that she doesn't much like. The trip goes as bad as it can get when one of the men is shot and a blizzard sets in. Shortly afterward Edie loses someone to suicide who is very dear to her; she is convinced that the two events are related but community leaders are anxious to shove it all under the rug. I have to admit to almost total ignorance of the Inuit culture and the people who live in such a cold, dark, alien and deadly place. McGrath has the power to paint a vivid picture through her words of both landscape and people. Like most indigenous people in places where the white man rules, the Inuit have more than their fair share of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and despair; all of which play a part in the story of Edie's quest for the truth. Edie is a pint-sized, resourceful dynamo who is as stubborn as they come. She does get some help from her friend, policeman Derek Palliser, but precious little from anyone else, especially her no-good ex-husband. There are so many things that I enjoyed about White Heat; the descriptions of place and culture, the full-bodied secondary characters and of course Edie herself. I did feel that the mystery at the heart of Edie's quest for the truth was overly convoluted. McGrath gets bogged down at times with minute accounts of Edie's every action and thought. Edie is extremely competent but reckless and seems to get out of tight spots with sheer luck on several occasions. Those are the only quibbles I have but keep me from giving a full 5 Star rating. I would recommend White Heat to mystery fans, especially those looking for something a little different. RATING- 4 Stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Miles

    Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton – not the first thing that comes to mind when reviewing a book set in the desolate regions of the Arctic but believe you me, these famous Hollywood stars of the classic silent era all have one thing in common – they perform almost on a daily basis in Autisaq in the Arctic – more often than not comforting “White Heat’s” protagonist Edie Kiglatuk in her front room. A well established and published non-fictional author (Long Exile, Hopp Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton – not the first thing that comes to mind when reviewing a book set in the desolate regions of the Arctic but believe you me, these famous Hollywood stars of the classic silent era all have one thing in common – they perform almost on a daily basis in Autisaq in the Arctic – more often than not comforting “White Heat’s” protagonist Edie Kiglatuk in her front room. A well established and published non-fictional author (Long Exile, Hopping), Melanie McGrath is a relative newcomer when it comes to fictional titles – indeed “White Heat” is her first foray into the world of make-believe. Although a terrific and powerful work of fiction, McGrath blends her immeasurable knowledge of the Arctic and Inuit to deliver a novel that encompasses many of the realities and problems faced by the Inuit community - crime, the harsh environment, education (or lack thereof) and political corruption. In 1953 the Canadian Government relocated three dozen Inuit from their established homes in Hudson Bay - North East of Canada – to Ellesmere Island – a barren and underdeveloped strip of land – with the promise they could return home. McGrath writing under the name MJ McGrath briefly touches on this piece of history in “White Heat” as Edie travels the region in a quest for truth and justice. “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 . . .” Full Review on my blog http://www.milorambles.com/2011/03/14...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Annmarie

    A compelling, gritty debut mystery set in the frozen tundra of the arctic, on Canada's far northern Ellesmere Island, close to Greenland. I found the descriptions of the rapidly changing, harsh, beautiful location and of the way of life of the rugged, troubled residents to be fascinating; the murder mystery was pretty good. 3.5 stars overall. I've read that the British author, who has previously written nonfiction, is at work on a second mystery featuring the appealing main character, Edie. I an A compelling, gritty debut mystery set in the frozen tundra of the arctic, on Canada's far northern Ellesmere Island, close to Greenland. I found the descriptions of the rapidly changing, harsh, beautiful location and of the way of life of the rugged, troubled residents to be fascinating; the murder mystery was pretty good. 3.5 stars overall. I've read that the British author, who has previously written nonfiction, is at work on a second mystery featuring the appealing main character, Edie. I anticipate it will be even better. Half-Inuit Arctic guide and hunter Edie Kiglatuk is leading a routine hunting trek with two qalunaat, or whites, when one is shot while she is off making tea for the group. Edie's beloved stepson Joe, in training to be a nurse, comes by snowmobile to help since a blizzard grounds the available planes, but the man dies anyway. Despite their doubts, Edie and Joe acquiesce to the Tribal Council's decision that the death was self-inflicted, a hunting accident. The Council doesn't want one of the only profitable sources of income on the Island, the guiding, to be impacted by suspicious death investigations. Edie decides not to rock the boat, since gaining the patriarchal Council's approval to be a guide was difficult enough despite her enormous skill as a hunter and guide, and she needs the part time guiding jobs to pay for Joe's schooling. But Joe is more doubtful, and when another guiding trip goes wrong, more deaths prompts the fierce and independent Edie to start investigating with the reluctant help of Inuit police sergeant Derek Palliser, who would much rather be researching lemmings. The numerous threads of the plot feature culture clashes between Inuit and whites, past injustices, energy corporations' interests in exploring the Arctic, drug use and the high suicide rate on the Island, Greenland, NASA's presence on the island, and more. Edie and Derek are very believable and sympathetic characters, despite their various personal failings, and their love of their arctic landscape is contagious. I won an advance readers copy through First Reads. The book was a great accompaniment to my vacation trip to Canada (but not northern Canada!).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    Edie Kiglatuk, half Inuit, half qalunaat (white), is a hunter, guide and part-time school teacher. She is, in fact, the only licensed female guide, which is not terribly popular, but she is the best. When a man is shot while she is boiling berg water for tea, the death is ruled an accident in spite of what she thinks. As she tries to figure out what actually happens, the plot and intrigue thicken nicely; there is more going on than meets the eye. I really didn't expect to like this book more than Edie Kiglatuk, half Inuit, half qalunaat (white), is a hunter, guide and part-time school teacher. She is, in fact, the only licensed female guide, which is not terribly popular, but she is the best. When a man is shot while she is boiling berg water for tea, the death is ruled an accident in spite of what she thinks. As she tries to figure out what actually happens, the plot and intrigue thicken nicely; there is more going on than meets the eye. I really didn't expect to like this book more than perhaps 3 stars given that it's a thriller. However, it was consistently a four star read for me. The writing works well, the characterization good, the pace right, the story rather fresh given the location and the lifestyle of the high arctic on Ellesmere Island. That said, there was nothing so extraordinary about it that it took it to five stars for me, but I plan to read the next book in the series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    This murder mystery takes place in a part of the world that most of us don’t know anything about. They call it the high Arctic. It is in northern Canada. There are 100 days of the year where the sun doesn’t rise at all. The main interest for me in this book is to learn about the people who live in that part of the world. The book contains a good deal of history and culture of the Inuit people. The mystery is not much better than average. This is the first book in a series and so I undoubtedly got This murder mystery takes place in a part of the world that most of us don’t know anything about. They call it the high Arctic. It is in northern Canada. There are 100 days of the year where the sun doesn’t rise at all. The main interest for me in this book is to learn about the people who live in that part of the world. The book contains a good deal of history and culture of the Inuit people. The mystery is not much better than average. This is the first book in a series and so I undoubtedly got it for a dollar or two in the hopes that I would get into the rest of the series. At this point I would say that’s not going to work. This book has satisfied my desire to learn about The people who live up on top of the world where it is so cold they don’t really have snow but they have rocks and ice. It is not very clever That one of the major bad guys is a white guy who has pretty racist feelings about the natives and their beliefs and way of life. The other major bad guys are drugs and alcohol. I recommend anyone considering this book Should use the audible version so that someone else can miss pronounce all the native language and names that are sprinkled throughout the book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Though I haven't marked any of Dana Stabnow's books as read in GRs, I think I've read at least one of them. So I thought I'd try one of McGrath's book located in the frozen north. I had the same trouble with native names as I do when listening to audio books, but Kate Reading, the reader, was good; so I kept at it. First of all I wondered how McGrath gained her information about Inuit culture. She says she has visited the area, but writing this book would require a lot more delving into than jus Though I haven't marked any of Dana Stabnow's books as read in GRs, I think I've read at least one of them. So I thought I'd try one of McGrath's book located in the frozen north. I had the same trouble with native names as I do when listening to audio books, but Kate Reading, the reader, was good; so I kept at it. First of all I wondered how McGrath gained her information about Inuit culture. She says she has visited the area, but writing this book would require a lot more delving into than just a visit. Nevertheless, I accept that she has done the research to write three books in this series. The plot moves very slowly-- that's where I credit the reader for my finishing the book. Also, there seems to be very little joy in the lives of the Inuit characters. All the drinking is upsetting to me, but I fear that is common in the culture as it is in the Native American culture. That is the result of white, western people moving into an area and destroying land, livelihoods and way of life. Still, the plot was intriguing and kept me wanting to learn how it would turn out. My library has the other two books in the series in audio, and I plan to listen to them--at least try another one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicolemauerman

    I think if this book had a different setting I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much. Taking place in the high Arctic, White Heat is a murder mystery. Edie, a mid-thirties woman it the one who is left to question the Inuit elder’s decision to sweep these murders under the rug. I learned a lot about the Inuit culture by reading this book. I thought that part was pretty fascinating. However I thought the ending was kind of confusing. I couldn’t really keep the names straight and I kept having to r I think if this book had a different setting I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much. Taking place in the high Arctic, White Heat is a murder mystery. Edie, a mid-thirties woman it the one who is left to question the Inuit elder’s decision to sweep these murders under the rug. I learned a lot about the Inuit culture by reading this book. I thought that part was pretty fascinating. However I thought the ending was kind of confusing. I couldn’t really keep the names straight and I kept having to refer to the map in the front to figure out where exactly Edie was or was headed. On the whole this book was good.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Found in Parade 12 Great Summer Books, July 10, 2011. An enjoyable read, but no great art here. Edie Kiglutak is a likeable enough hero, and one that we root for throughout the book, but there is just something missing. She suffers the loss of her stepson, and soldiers on to find his killer. The most interesting part of the story for me proved to be McGrath's insights into Inuit culture. From Edie never locking her door to burial practices to the life lived close to the land, I felt I had a behind- Found in Parade 12 Great Summer Books, July 10, 2011. An enjoyable read, but no great art here. Edie Kiglutak is a likeable enough hero, and one that we root for throughout the book, but there is just something missing. She suffers the loss of her stepson, and soldiers on to find his killer. The most interesting part of the story for me proved to be McGrath's insights into Inuit culture. From Edie never locking her door to burial practices to the life lived close to the land, I felt I had a behind-the-scenes look at an entirely unique way of life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3 1.2 Loved all the tidbits about the Inuit culture. Well written book that is more character and setting based than story based, though the story was also interesting. Loved the setting, all the ice and exploration of Arctic scenery and animals.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    From BBC Radio 4 Extra: On an island hunting trip, Inuit tourist guide Edie finds herself and her family embroiled in a murder. Adaptation read by Denise Gough.

  23. 4 out of 5

    annapi

    Half-Inuit Edie Kiglatuk lives on Ellesmere Island working as a part time teacher and guide. While she is leading two white men on a hunting trip, one of them is shot and killed. The Council of Elders brushes it away as an accident, but Edie knows it can't be, and starts nosing around herself. My biggest problem with this book was just the pacing. It was so slow, I kept getting distracted by other books. The mystery was a good one, rather complicated, and kept my interest enough to keep coming ba Half-Inuit Edie Kiglatuk lives on Ellesmere Island working as a part time teacher and guide. While she is leading two white men on a hunting trip, one of them is shot and killed. The Council of Elders brushes it away as an accident, but Edie knows it can't be, and starts nosing around herself. My biggest problem with this book was just the pacing. It was so slow, I kept getting distracted by other books. The mystery was a good one, rather complicated, and kept my interest enough to keep coming back to it. The small-town politics and life in the fictional town set in the very real Ellesmere Island was interesting. The only time I rolled my eyes was when Edie goes to Greenland and gets caught by the Russians - how she gets away was just unbelievable to me, kinda reminiscent of Smilla's Sense of Snow when the action starts to get preposterous. Other than that, it was a pretty solid story, and I might just read more of the series to see if it gets better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Solid, good writing by every metric. I found this mesmerizing for a crime novel and the scene-setting was particularly well-done. I felt like I was reading it very slowly, and although I'm sure there's room for improvement, I think my reluctance was actually just that I didn't want to see anything bad happen to these people; a credit to the characterization.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Allison ༻hikes the bookwoods༺

    This book is an interesting spin on the cozy mystery with its Arctic setting. I enjoyed being immersed in Edie's world, but there were too many people involved in the mystery's conclusion. It's not a "whodunnit" if the "who" is actually about four or five different characters!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Awful.Slow...and going nowhere.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    Synopsis: in Canada's north, three people are hunting. Among them is Inuit guide Edie Kiglatuk. One of the tourists is shot dead. An accident?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Green

    White Heat is a mystery novel about Edie Kiglatuk, an Inuit woman living in northern Nunavut, who begins investigating a series of deaths in her small town after a loved one appears to commit suicide. Edie is a former polar bear hunter turned local guide and part-time teacher with a history of alcoholism. After two local deaths – one a qallunaat (a foreigner) and one an apparent suicide – Edie believes that something larger is happening beneath their noses. Determined to bring it to light, Edie White Heat is a mystery novel about Edie Kiglatuk, an Inuit woman living in northern Nunavut, who begins investigating a series of deaths in her small town after a loved one appears to commit suicide. Edie is a former polar bear hunter turned local guide and part-time teacher with a history of alcoholism. After two local deaths – one a qallunaat (a foreigner) and one an apparent suicide – Edie believes that something larger is happening beneath their noses. Determined to bring it to light, Edie begins an investigation into the events of her own time as well as her family’s history. When I first started reading White Heat, I thought that M.J. McGrath must be Inuit herself – the setting and the culture were so detailed and realistic that I felt entirely immersed. I was quite surprised to find that the author is not in fact Inuit; she is a researcher and a writer of nonfiction, and I can definitely tell that she has brought that skill to her fiction writing. White Heat did not come across as an idealistic imagining of the North, nor did it feel like a series of complaints against it. Instead, I truly felt as though I were there, meeting real people and witnessing real culture. Edie speaks often of the difference between Inuit and qallunaat (non-Inuits, usually white people). She observes behaviors that I would never consider, such as wearing watches, or what type of coat someone wears. The author also often observes the food that Edie eats (things like caribou tongue, blubber, and walrus gut), and it helped maintain the setting – I never found myself passively imagining Edie eating a sandwich or chicken noodle soup. Instead, I was able to consistently imagine Edie as a real person and an Inuit, and with the differences of her culture highlighted, I was better able to see the similarities between my culture and hers – the conflict among step families (Edie and Willa), the tendency to avoid unpleasant investigation when I’d rather stay home (Derek), and mental illness and substance abuse. Aside from the realistic setting and developed culture, Edie is undoubtedly one of the best-developed characters I have read. She is incredibly stubborn and often makes choices that seem like poor ones in the moment, but her own determination wins out in the end, and she absolutely would not be the heroine of the novel otherwise. Edie struggles with alcoholism, and I felt this struggle was portrayed well – she demonstrates that her alcoholism is an ongoing struggle, not something she has “overcome”. At one point in the book, it also directly hampers her ability to pursue leads, and I liked that it was shown to truly be a problem for her, unlike many books that treat alcoholism as a character trait rather than an illness. Derek too exhibits character flaws while still remaining likable. Derek is the local law enforcement, and while he demonstrates a tendency to “get along” rather than aggressively pursue possible violations of the law, he still has a strong moral core, and when Edie spurs him into action, Derek proves to be a worthy ally to Edie. Even the minor character of White Heat, though, show good development. Edie’s ex-husband Sammy is still an alcoholic with a history of violence, and he often stands in the way of Edie’s investigation, but still deeply loves his family and wants the best for him, even if he does not know what that might be. Edie’s step-son Willa blatantly dislikes Edie, but as the past is revealed, his disrespectful attitude is given a context, and he is still given the opportunity to act as an ally. I admire M.J. McGrath’s ambition in the plot of White Heat – there are multiple murders, many lines of investigation, two locations, many guilty characters, and many that are (for the most part) innocent, even if you don’t think they will be. However with so many threads running, about two thirds through the novel I felt as if we had wandered away from the main plot. It did come back around and all the conflicts were resolved by the end, but I nearly lost track of things towards the end, and struggled a little with the resolution. I was rather disappointed by this – there was so much of the novel that was done extraordinarily well, and I was hoping to give this book a 10 out of 10. I definitely enjoyed reading White Heat, but the complexity of the mystery nearly got in its own way. See the original review here

  29. 5 out of 5

    Devyn

    As soon as a read the word Inuit, I new I had to read this book. I didn't expect White Heat to be so complex and suspenseful! I have a sore spot on my bottom lip from chewing on it on the very last stretch of the book. Man, that ending was so fulfilling! I'll admit that I fell a bit in love with Derek. I can usually guess what will happen next, or who killed such and such- not so with this book. Everything was so foreign and unfamiliar that I was basically just along for the ride. I found out stuf As soon as a read the word Inuit, I new I had to read this book. I didn't expect White Heat to be so complex and suspenseful! I have a sore spot on my bottom lip from chewing on it on the very last stretch of the book. Man, that ending was so fulfilling! I'll admit that I fell a bit in love with Derek. I can usually guess what will happen next, or who killed such and such- not so with this book. Everything was so foreign and unfamiliar that I was basically just along for the ride. I found out stuff when Eddie did, and not anytime sooner. Which was a nice change for once.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    This is the first of the Edie Kiglatuk mysteries set in Canada’s high Arctic. Everything begins when an American hunter is killed while on a hunting expedition guided by Edie, a half-white, half-Inuit woman. Her community of Autisaq on Ellesmere Island wants to dismiss the death as an accident, but Edie is left uneasy, and when more deaths occur, she decides to investigate. I liked the character of Edie. She is a strong-willed, intelligent woman, though she certainly has her flaws. She struggles This is the first of the Edie Kiglatuk mysteries set in Canada’s high Arctic. Everything begins when an American hunter is killed while on a hunting expedition guided by Edie, a half-white, half-Inuit woman. Her community of Autisaq on Ellesmere Island wants to dismiss the death as an accident, but Edie is left uneasy, and when more deaths occur, she decides to investigate. I liked the character of Edie. She is a strong-willed, intelligent woman, though she certainly has her flaws. She struggles with alcoholism, by her mid-twenties, having “already drunk away her hunting career and . . . [being] well on the way to drinking away her life”. The other character who is well-developed is Derek Palliser, a police officer upon whom Edie occasionally relies for help. Derek is unmotivated except by his interest in lemmings and so has to be pushed to do anything. Unfortunately, many of the other characters are mere caricatures of corrupt officials, unscrupulous whites, and greedy businessmen. The “bad guys” are extreme in their behaviour. The book begins slowly, though the pace increases once Edie starts her investigation. Then the mysteries pile up becoming very convoluted with several villains; it is sometimes difficult to remember who did what to whom. At times the plot becomes rather farfetched. What also becomes frustrating is Edie’s frequent stumbling upon clues that inevitably take her closer to solving the several mysteries. What impressed me most about the book is its rich detail about Inuit life and culture. I was amazed to learn that the author is British. She certainly has an understanding and appreciation for the Inuit. She details the realities of life north of the Arctic Circle: a harsh environment, poverty, alcoholism, fossil fuel exploration, and the effects of climate change. The latter is emphasized with several references to the impact of global warming on the lives of both the people and the wildlife. What will be remembered by many readers is the food: Edie eats seal-blood soup, caribou tongue, fried blubber, and fermented walrus gut. What I remember is a comment about gratitude: “Gratitude is a qalunaat [white] custom . . . Inuit were entitled to help from each other. Gratitude didn’t come into it.” I learned not only about how to conduct an Inuit search but about another dark chapter in Canada’s history: Canada’s forced relocation, in 1953, of Inuit from their traditional home on the eastern coast of Hudson Bay to Ellesmere Island, the most northerly landmass on the planet. The author of this novel wrote a non-fiction book about this relocation. I will certainly be checking out this book entitled The Long Exile: A Tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic. Two other books in this series have been published: The Boy in the Snow and The Bone Seeker. Though the first book has flaws, I found it of sufficient quality that I will read at least the second in the series. Please check out my reader's blog (http://schatjesshelves.blogspot.ca/) and follow me on Twitter (@DCYakabuski).

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