Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Stef Penney, THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES
Read this debut novel last year and recently re-read; it stands up to a second read. This is one of my favorite historical murder mysteries. Set in 1867 in the Northern Territory, a trapper named Laurent Jammett is murdered. 17-year-old Francis Ross disappears and becomes a suspect; his mother goes on a trek through the cruel snowy landscape to find him and discover the truth. Told in chapters that shift in point-of-view among Mrs. Ross, Francis, Andrew Knox, Elizabeth Bird, the story of the Jammett murder is only the first layer; behind it are other murders and kidnappings that put people where they are when the book begins. First line: "The last time I saw Laurent Jammett, he was in Scott's store with a dead wolf over his shoulder." A-.