Thursday, November 19, 2009

Review: The Tenderness of Wolves



In the late 1800s, the semi-frozen Canadian territory north of Sault Ste. Marie is no place to go wandering around with winter coming on.  Lakes and bogs are half frozen traps, snow storms obliterate trails and disorient travelers, and wolves are on the prowl.  But after a Scottish pioneer woman finds her trapper neighbor murdered in his cabin and her teen age son goes missing, she and a hodgepodge of others set of in various groups to solve – or cover up – the mystery.

There are several possible motives for the murder, everyone is a suspect, and side stories interweave themselves into the main tale.   But there are deeper levels to the book than simply solving a mystery.   As the characters track each other through the cold, bleak landscape, they ultimately find their own life paths.

 Stef Penney won the 2006 Costa Book of the Year Award for The Tenderness of Wolves. Part mystery, part adventure this is a smoothly written, complicated story that is sure to please readers looking for lots of plot but who want meat on the bones.

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