Friday, August 1, 2014

Off the Shelf: The Bone Seeker by M.J. McGrath {+ Giveaway}

large_The_Bone_SeekerWhen author M.J. McGrath has a new installment in her Edie Kiglatuk Mystery series, I know I’m in for a wild Canadian arctic adventure that will be hard to put down.

In her latest release, THE BONE SEEKER (Viking; On Sale: July 28, 2014; $27.95; 978-0-670-78580-3), McGrath has her intrepid Edie Kiglatuk discover one of her students dead in a toxic lake. Thanks to the lovely Angela at Penguin Group, I have a copy of THE BONE SEEKER to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more details.

Here is some early praise for the book:

         “The chills McGrath’s third Edie entry sends down your spine will rival those brought on by any Nunavut winter.” — Kirkus (Starred Review)clip_image001
        “[THE BONE SEEKER is] filled with cultural tensions, gorgeous Arctic spring scenery, and pulsing suspense.” — Booklist (Starred Review) clip_image003
        “McGrath effectively evokes the spare Arctic landscape and brings life to the people who have inhabited it for generations.” — Publishers Weekly

Edie Kiglatuk, the fearless Arctic heroine from McGrath’s WHITE HEAT and THE BOY IN THE SNOW, is back in THE BONE SEEKER: An Edie Kiglatuk Mystery, the third book in the acclaimed series.

Edie is working as a summer school teacher in the town of Kuujuaq when one of her favorite students, Martha Salliaq, goes missing. When the young woman is found dead and brutally defiled in nearby Lake Turngaluk, Edie teams up with Sergeant Derek Palliser to uncover the truth behind Martha’s murder and find justice for her traditional Inuit family.

As it happens, Lake Turngaluk is feared and avoided by the residents of Kuujuaq—the lake was contaminated years ago when it was used by the Defense Department during the Cold War as a Distant Early Warning radar station. Now, it’s the latest project of Sonia Gutierrez, a bullheaded lawyer from the “south.” Gutierrez and Martha’s father, Charlie Salliaq, have struggled for years to begin the cleanup process, but Martha’s death brings this to a halt, much to Sonia’s and Charlie’s frustration.

In the tightknit community of Kuujuaq, the local Inuit families are distrustful of any outsiders (qalunaat, as they call them) and the Salliaqs are quick to blame their daughter’s death on the rowdy soldiers who recently set up a base just south of the lake. Edie and Derek, however, need hard evidence before they can make an arrest. Edie, half-Inuit, and Derek are both considered outsiders, hampering their efforts. But just as it seems they’re making progress, the Defense Department seizes control of the investigation, the crime scene, and Martha’s body.

As Derek and Edie continue the investigation in secret and Gutierrez searches through old records in the hopes of restarting the cleanup of Lake Turngaluk, all three begin to suspect that Martha’s murder is just part of a much larger and darker secret that dates back to the building of the Cold War-era radar station. 

Why are the local Inuit families so reticent to talk about the hard days of the past when “bad spirits” caused widespread miscarriages? Why does Charlie Salliaq refuse to discuss his days working at the radar station? And why is the Defense Department so intent on keeping Martha’s body? Edie, Derek, and Sonia must all risk their own lives to uncover the truth.

Set against the stark and haunting beauty of the Canadian Arctic, THE BONE SEEKER is a thrilling and skillfully written mystery that shows how an isolated Inuit community continues to be haunted by its dark history.


M. J. McGrath is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books of nonfiction. Her fiction debut, WHITE HEAT, was long-listed for the UK’s CWA Gold Dagger for best crime and mystery novel of the year. She received the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for Best British Writer Under 35. 

Her second novel, THE BOY IN THE SNOW, was a (London) Times Best Crime/Thriller Book of 2012. A full time writer, McGrath has enjoyed teaching creative writing at Roehampton University in London, at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the USA and at The Arvon Foundation. After spells living in Las Vegas, Nevada and Nicaragua, she is for the time being settled in London and on the Kent coast.  

For more on McGrath and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


This giveaway is for one print copy of THE BONE SEEKER. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end Friday, Aug. 8.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner from this giveaway will have 72 hours to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. The email will have ‘Thoughts in Progress M.J. McGrath’s Tour’ in the subject line, just so you know what to watch for (in case it goes into your spam folder).

Thanks for visiting here today. Have you read any of the Edie Kiglatuk Mystery series? If a book’s setting is all about ice and snow, what time of the year do you enjoy reading it the most?

*This post contains affiliate links. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. If it's all about ice and snow I'd probably read it right now. It's darn hot around here. Thanks

  2. Sounds like a fascinating read with lots of history, culture thrown in. Land contamination is everywhere, even here in MN.

  3. Between the lake and the body, sounds like a bit of a government conspiracy going on!

  4. Reminds me of the movie Thunderheart. And McGrath attended UNC Wilmington from my home state.

  5. that cover wouldn't let me sleep if it was in the same room with me :)

  6. After reading the review about this book, must add it to book list.

  7. Mason - So glad you enjoyed this. I think McGrath is very talented, and I like her protagonist a lot. There's such an effective use of setting and context too. Thanks for reminding us of this series.

  8. I love mysteries and this sounds like a good one—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  9. The locale and the mystery are captivating and intriguing. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Oooh! This book sounds so exciting! I hadn't heard of MJ McGrath but I'll keep an eye out for her books now. Thanks!

  11. I like reading books with a winter setting anytime of the year.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.