Finished March 23
The Boy in the Snow by M.J. McGrath
This novel is part of a series featuring Edie Kiglatuk. Here Edie finds herself down in Alaska from her home in Ellesmere Island helping her ex-husband Sammy in his bid to race the Iditarod. Sergeant Derek Palliser is the other member of Sammy's support team. Edie is out for a walk when she sees a spirit bear and follows it, losing her way. When she gets back on track, she finds a small baby dead in a spirit house, but it is unclear who placed him there.
Edie's search for the truth and for justice for the small boy lead her to political corruption, the dark underworld of human trafficking, and immense danger for herself and her friends.Edie does things she's never done before, like driving a truck, and uses her wayfinding and tracking skills to learn more about the young women in danger here.
The Iditarod is the background and the reason for Edie being in Alaska, and while never the focus for action, characters revolve around it, whether they are directly involved, or not.
There is also a focus on the fear of the "other", here a splinter group of Russian Orthodox believers that, because others don't understand their beliefs and they live apart from the community, are vilified and blamed for behaviours and actions they have no relation to.
The quest by some in this novel for power is one of both sheer determination and complex planning, as they try to stay ahead of events and have backups for anything going wrong.
Edie's own differences and reactions are something they didn't plan for, and she becomes the unravelling.
A very different environment with unique characters.