The Bone Seeker – M.J. McGrath – Review



“The stunning new Arctic-set Edie Kiglatuk mystery from the author of White Heat

Summer in the High Arctic. When young Inuit Martha Salliaq goes missing from her settlement, her teacher, ex Polar Bear Hunter Edie Kiglatuk enlists her police friend Derek Palliser to help search for the girl. But once a body is discovered floating in a polluted lake on the site of a decommissioned Radar Station, Edie’s worst fears are realised.

As the investigation into Martha’s murder begins, the Inuit community – and Martha’s devastated family – are convinced the culprits lie within the encampment of soldiers stationed nearby. Before long Sergeant Palliser finds evidence linking two of the men with the dead girl. But Edie and local lawyer Sonia Gutierrez remain unconvinced. Why are the military quite so willing to cooperate with the investigation? What has Edie’s boyfriend Chip Muloon, a simple academic researcher, got to hide? And why has the lake where Martha’s body was found been suddenly cordoned off?

A gripping, atmospheric thriller set in the Arctic’s long white nights, in The Bone Seeker the very personal murder of a young girl will explode a decades-long tale of the very darkest betrayal.”

3.5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publishers and this is my honest opinion of the book.

Edie Kiglatuk is spending the Summer teaching on Ellesmere Island and recovering from events that occurred last year. Hoping for a quieter pace it soon becomes apparent that this isn’t to be the case when one of her pupils goes missing. Persuading her friend, police chief Derek Palliser to search for the missing girl, they soon come across her body. With it they stumble into a murder investigation and a conspiracy, not helped by the presence of the military and the beliefs of the family of the murdered girl.

This is the third Edie Kiglatuk mystery but the first one I have read. There is a brief mention of a previous case but this did not spoil my enjoyment of the story.

The setting of this novel is fascinating, it’s not often I get to read novels set in the Arctic and I loved the descriptions of the landscape and the midnight sun. Another highlight of this novel was its characters. I found the Inuit people to be interesting and intriguing, and really enjoyed reading about their customs, beliefs, clothing and diet, even if I wouldn’t necessarily relish trying such delights as Walrus head or fresh blood soup myself! Edie is a character I think you grow to like, she certainly has her flaws but her actions are driven by the desire to do the right thing.

The mystery itself was two fold and the two strands joined together well to create an engaging story. For fear of giving spoilers away I won’t go into too much detail but they both pull the story along at just the right pace. Also there is a political point to be made, in particular about how the Inuit and other indigenous people have been and to an extent still are treated by governments and one which it is important to make.

I will look out for more from M.J McGrath and Edie Kiglatuk in the future.


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