Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Review of The Boy in the Snow by MJ McGrath (Pan, 2012)
The first Edie Kiglatuk story, White Heat, was one of my reads of 2012 so I was looking forward to reading The Boy in the Snow. However, the tale did not live up to expectation. While the premise is an interesting one, focusing on political ambition and corruption, sex trafficking, and property development, the plot was too full of holes and there was a constant stream of plot devices (unlikely coincidences and connections, police incompetence, stupid actions, blind luck) to be convincing. What saves the book is the character of Edie Kiglatuk, who I think is a marvellous creation, the sense of place and lifestyle, general atmosphere, and the pace and suspense. The latter meant the narrative rattles along at a fair clip with a series of tension points and intrigue that kind of steam-rolls over the poor plotting. This produced a tale that was engaging and frustrating in equal measure. Where the book really took a nose spin, however, was the denouement, which was weak and unconvincing. Overall, an interesting read as long as one overlooks the weaknesses in the plotting. Nonetheless I plan on reading the next Edie Kiglatuk tale as I like the character and the settings.