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Young, Scott.

Toronto, Macmillan, 1988. 256pp. cloth, $19.95, ISBN 0-7715-9907-2. CIP

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Ian Dempsey

Volume 17 Number 1
1989 January

The cold climate almost does in the murder. This is not a traditional whodunit, trying to use the exotic setting of the Northwest Territories as a one-dimensional backdrop. You are not played with and kept guessing right up to the end. Instead, it is the story of a murder, almost buried by the overwhelming presence of the northern landscape.

The book takes you out into the winter in the north and docs this very well. In this vast while land, the details of the crime are uncovered realistically and predictably through a methodical, plodding investigation by a dogged investigator. There are only a couple of suspenseful moments, but that's real life.

The Investigator is Matteesie (Matthew) Kitologitak. an Inuit RCMP officer, one of a rare breed. He has moved up in the white man's world down to an Ottawa position with the Department of Northern Affairs, but lands back in his old territory to solve the murder of a prominent leader.

The author has tried hard and tried consistently to have us view the world, the white man's world, through the mind of a northern native-a demanding task for a non-Inuit native of the south. It's a demanding exercise for the reader, too. The colourful characters and monochromatic wintry setting are the strengths of the book. Not a gripping, can't-put-down book, but useful for students who are investigating Canadian crime and detective literature. Some hinted-at sex and lots of bad words.

Ian Dempsey, Galt Collegiate Institute, Cambridge, Ont.
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