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 . . .
Read an excerpt and reviews "M.J. McGrath’s White Heat is a tour de force, a book with a stunning grip on all the elements that make a mystery story great. The characters are unique and profoundly human, the plot wonderfully labyrinthine, and the sense of place beautifully—chillingly—evoked. I challenge any reader to pick up this marvelous novel and not be completely mesmerized."—William Kent Kreuger, author of Vermillion Drift
“M. J. McGrath’s WHITE HEAT pulls you along like a steel cable, inexorably welding you to the characters and a place that you’ll never forget.”--Craig Johnson, author of The Cold Dish and Hell is Empty
“An arctic setting so real it’ll give you frostbite.”--Dana Stabenow, author of A Cold Day for Murder and Though Not Dead: A Shugak Novel “With a poet’s confidence McGrath makes an unforgiving Arctic landscape, and then gives us a smart and strong yet vulnerable survivor in Edie Kiglatuk. You root for Edie. You can’t do otherwise. In her risk-all pursuit of truth resides the best in all of us.”--Kirk Russell, author of Redback: A John Marquez Crime Novel “Once in a blue moon a book comes along that exposes the world to us in a new light, makes us question everything: who we are, what we think we know, our beliefs and values, even the nature and purpose of our existence. WHITE HEAT is such a book. Seek it out and bask in it.”--James Thompson, author of Lucifer’s Tears
"White Heat, the first novel as MJ McGrath by the nonfiction author Melanie McGrath, is set on an island in the Canadian Arctic. Edie Kiglatuk, a hunters' guide and teacher, feels compelled to investigate fatal hunting incidents that Inuit elders want her to leave alone. Her quest, which takes her to Greenland, suggests the ostensibly random deaths are linked to a ruthlessly conducted race between nations, scientists and business empires to exploit the Arctic's resources. Although clearly indebted to Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow. White Heat is a striking debut, especially good at working glimpses of the Inuit way of life into its plot."--The Sunday Times