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The Shaman's Knife

The Shaman's Knife

by Scott Young

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his second appearance (after Murder in a Cold Climate ), RCMP Inspector Matteesie, that captivating ``great brain of Arctic crime,'' investigates a brutal double murder in an Inuit settlement on Victoria Island. He has a personal interest in this particular crime: his 90-year-old mother, matriarch of the settlement's extended ``kin group,'' was accidentally knocked down by the murderer and suffered a concussion. Since she is the only witness to the crime, Matteesie believes her life is in danger. A handcarved falcon on the handle of a knife belonging to the local shaman, which he says is missing, a fact which Matteesie's mother had mentioned, appears to be the pivotal clue, and the community fears that shamanistic magic played a part in the murders. Matteesie uncovers past incidents of rape, incest and arson, as well as evidence of contemporary drug dealing and loan sharking, before a spring festival--complete with throat singers, knuckle hopping and drum dancing--provides the stage for a violent climax. Detailing village life in vivid images as richly carved as the most intricate ice sculpture, Young has found his niche with this startlingly original variant of the regional crime novel. ( May )
School Library Journal
YA-Set primarily in the Northwest Territories of Canada, this mystery provides insight into Eskimo culture. Matteesie, a police inspector and full-blooded Inuk, is called in to investigate the brutal stabbing of a teenaged native and his aging mother. Shortly after being assigned to the case, he finds out that his 90-year-old mother, who was visiting clan in the area, was also seriously injured in the incident. In the course of interviewing suspects and witnesses, tracking down clues, interacting with his convalescing mother, and considering motives, Matteesie leads readers through a fascinating and detailed exploration of the Eskimos' lifestyles, religious beliefs, psychology, and relationships with the ``white'' culture. There's plenty here to involve YAs.-Jessica Lahr, Edison High School, Fairfax County, VA

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Crime, Penguin Series , #2
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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