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White Heat

It’s dawn on the frozen sea beside Bylot Island, far north of the Arctic Circle. Three travellers and a dog team are hunting duck: two men on a tourist trip to experience the Artic whilst it’s still left, and their guide, sassy ex-drunk, Edie Kiglatuk. When one of the men is shot dead in mysterious circumstances out on the sea ice, the local Council of Elders in the tiny northern settlement of Autisaq, dependent on the revenue from visiting hunters and naturalists, is keen to cover it up as a hunting accident. They shrug and sayAyaynuaq, “it can’t be helped”; Ayaynuaq, “Let sleeping dogs lie”.


All her life Edie has been hearing that word, but now she’s heard it once too often. Defying the growing mood against her, the accidental detective determines to discover what really happened.


WHITE HEAT is an environmental detective adventure story set in a vast world of ice and rock; a world of tracks and never-rotting bones, a world where there is everywhere but nowhere to hide. It’s a world of spirits and ancestors where stories never die and the snow both conceals and exposes the evidence of human misadventure. But it’s a world that’s fast changing too. As Russians, Americans, Canadians and Danes battle it out to secure mining and oil prospecting rights in the world’s last unclaimed territory, the Arctic is fast becoming the scene of the new Cold War.


WHITE HEAT is 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


This is a novel in which the cold seems to leak from the page, leaving you chilled, both by its suspenseful plot and by the epic descriptions of this vast white landscape. For those seeking a palate cleanser after the sensationalist high-violence of Stieg Larsson, this quietly compelling tale of ice and intrigue should be high on their list.

Daily Telegraph

Territories: UK: Mantle/Macmillan US: Viking Czech: Euromedia
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