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White Heat by M. J. McGrath
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White Heat (2011)

by M. J. McGrath

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A friend asked me today why I liked this book. I think I like exotic locations, cultures, and personality. This novel is a murder mystery set in the far north arctic where the Inuit make a life. The protagonist is an unusual woman of unusual skills and of great character. I look forward to reading more in this series. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
The first in a series with Edie Kiglatuk, a spunky Inuit teacher and hunting guide, who tries to find out who killed two guys who claimed to be hunting in the wilds of the Arctic. Of course, there was more to their stories, but in the meantime Edie's beloved step-son becomes embroiled and is a possible suspect. The reader learns a lot about Edie's family and community, and is eager for more in future books. ( )
  sleahey | May 5, 2015 |
Interessiert dich die Arktis? Wolltest du schon immer mal wissen, wie es sich bei den Inuits lebt? Und Krimis gegenüber bist du auch nicht abgeneigt? Dann ist dieses Buch praktisch ein Muss :-) !
Edie, erfahrene Jägerin, verliert einen ihrer Gäste bei einer Exkursion. Alles deutet auf Mord hin, doch die Behördenvertreter zeigen nur wenig Interesse an einer weitergehenden Untersuchung. Die Angelegenheit wird als Jagdunfall zu den Akten gelegt, doch als kurz danach ein weiterer Gast verschwindet, für den Edies Stiefsohn Joe verantwortlich war und Joe sich unmittelbar darauf offenbar das Leben nimmt, ist Edies Jagdinstinkt geweckt. Sie beginnt mit der Suche nach den wahren Hintergründen und Verantwortlichen und bringt sich damit selbst, ohne es zu ahnen, in Lebensgefahr.
Wer einen reinen Krimi erwartet, womöglich sogar einen Thriller, wird sich bei dieser Lektüre mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit schwer tun. Denn einen umfangreichen Teil des Buches nehmen die Beschreibungen des arktischen Lebens ein. Mit Edie als zentraler Figur werden die Lebensverhältnisse der Inuits, ihr Umgang untereinander zwischen Freunden, Verwandten und mit den ‚Südlern‘ erklärt. Wie es durch die unterschiedliche Auffassung von Recht und Gerechtigkeit zu Missverständnissen kommt, wie mühevoll versucht wird, sich an die moderne Welt anzupassen ohne die eigene Identität zu verlieren - all dies liest man mit Interesse und auch Spannung, doch wird die eigentliche Krimihandlung dadurch beinahe zum Nebenschauplatz degradiert.
Deshalb: Wer einen reinen Krimi lesen möchte, sollte lieber ein anderes Buch zur Hand nehmen. Alle anderen erwartet eine spannende und auch informative Lektüre und – jede Wette – wer sich von Mahlzeiten wie Robbenporridge, vergorenem Walrossdarm (igunaq), Blutsuppe und anderen Köstlichkeiten nicht abschrecken lässt, wird sich die Arktis auf die Liste der Länder setzen, die man unbedingt noch besuchen sollte. ( )
  Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
This is an excellent first book by McGrath. Set in the Canadian Arctic region the main character is Edie Kiglatuk, a hunter and guide living with the traditions of the Inuit culture. This is a story of crime woven with the complexities of culture and of relationships. When a her ex husbands son dies, she sets out to solve the reason behind his death. A crime in the setting of snow, ice, seasons, culture, tradition, and greed. It is a well told tale which had me enthralled throughout. I would recommend this as a good read. ( )
  greatbookescapes | Nov 20, 2014 |
White Heat is one of the best evocations of place that I have read in a long, long time. I'm fortunate that I decided to read the book in the summer; otherwise, I might have gotten frostbite. McGrath paints a fascinating portrait of the Inuit people high up in the Canadian Arctic: what the typical village is like, the typical home, transportation, medicine, education, Inuit customs and history, and more. All this information blends seamlessly into the story. Some of the information is disturbing, some of it makes good appetite suppressants (I'll never visit the area to sample its cuisine), and all of it is fascinating.

Add in an intriguing mystery that has everything to do with the landscape, a remote chapter of its history, and bad guys whose motives are unclear, and you've got two-thirds of an excellent mystery.

The final third is the cast, and McGrath has created two very memorable characters in Sergeant Derek Palliser and Edie Kiglatuk. Palliser falls in love with the wrong women and spends a lot of time studying lemmings instead of doing police work, but that doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with how well he does his paying job. This man has depth.

What Edie Kiglatuk has goes way beyond mere depth. This woman is an ex-polar bear hunter-- one of the best in the entire area before she began drinking too much. To be a polar bear hunter, you have to be smart, you have to be able to think and react quickly, you have to know your terrain, and you have to be brave. Edie is all of these. She's also an excellent teacher, and I loved the scenes showing how she manages to teach her class of Inuit children how to survive in their own world as well as the world of the white man. If Edie has a flaw, it's her emotional entanglements, and those can and do lead her astray.

After reading the digital short story "Edie Kiglatuk's Christmas," I had the feeling that I would really enjoy the series, so I'm very glad I bought the first two books. When I'm ready to risk fictional frostbite once again, I have the second book, The Boy in the Snow, waiting for me. ( )
1 vote cathyskye | Aug 3, 2014 |
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Während sie einen Brocken vom Eisberg schmolz, um Tee zu kochen, grübelte Edie Kiglatuk darüber nach, weshalb diese Jagdexpedition so vollkommen erfolglos verlief.
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Investigating the murder of an adventurist under her watch, half-Inuit Arctic guide Edie Kiglatuk teams up with police sergeant Derek Palliser when she realizes that the victim's tour group was searching for something specific.

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