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The Boy in the Snow: An Edie Kiglatuk Mystery    by M. J. McGrath order for
Boy in the Snow
by M. J. McGrath
Order:  USA  Can
Viking, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

M. J. McGrath's The Boy in the Snow follows White Heat as the second in her series starring Canadian High Arctic native Edie Kiglatuk. Now Edie has left Autisaq on Ellesmere Island. She is on a mission in Alaska to back up her ex, Sammy Inukpuk, in the Iditarod, the famous dog-sled race, traversing '1150 miles through some of the toughest terrain on the planet.'

But of course, Edie is distracted from the race when, prompted by a spirit bear, she finds the corpse of a baby boy in the snow on Old Believer land. Old Believers originally came from Russia and 'broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church hundreds of years ago'; they avoid their worldly neighbors and have a bad reputation in the community as Dark Believers. The police officer who interviews Edie seems to feel he already has all the answers and is uninterested in what she observed at the scene. He arrests an Old Believer, Peter Galloway.

Of course Edie investigates, in between performing chores related to the race. She learns that the Old Believers had been harassed ever since they refused to sell land to a property developer. The latter has ties to Anchorage Mayor Chuck Hillingberg (about to enter the race for Alaska governor) and his ruthless wife Marsha. When another infant's body is found Dark Believer Fever escalates in the media. But why were both babies tattooed with the Russian word for Mine?

As Edie seeks and follows a trail to reveal the dead infants' origins, danger closes in on her, Sammy and their close friend Derek. Only their well honed Arctic skills assure their survival to tell the world about God's Little Error. I enjoyed The Boy in the Snow very much (especially Edie's reactions to qalunaat culture) and intend to follow this excellent series.

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