M.J. McGrath’s character Edie Kiglatuk is an expert animal tracker which comes in handy when trying to find a missing girl. In The Bone Seeker, Edie teaches at a local high school when Martha, one of her students, goes missing and turns up dead in a Lake that the locals fear is haunted.
Edie has to postpone her teaching to team up with her friend and local policeman Derek Pallister. Derek is considered an outsider because he’s not 100% Inuit, while Edie is able to work closer with Martha’s family to find out what happened.
Martha’s father is the elder in the area and he’s been working with a lawyer to get the area cleaned up. In the height of the Cold Way, this area of the Arctic was used for military storage and it seems that there were lots of pollutants left in the ground which caused many of the locals to become infertile or suffer early deaths. Being so remote makes everything about life harder, but especially fighting the government.
McGrath leaves the reader guessing about what will happen in this mystery and what the military has spent years covering up. But does any of this have to do with Martha’s murder? Its a question that I asked throughout the book and McGrath doesn’t giveaway much until the very end. All the different pieces weave together and Edie and Derek have a hard time determining which clues are important for Martha and which need to be handed over to the lawyer working with the locals.
Throughout, McGrath sprinkles details about the Arctic life and how impossible it is to survive for most people. This is my second Edie Kiglatuk novel and I now believe that McGrath is showing the culture as it is. Edie is a simple woman with simple ways, but a mind that doesn’t let anything get past it.
Read May 2015