Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: Strange Things Done by Elle Wild

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 852 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (Sept. 24 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B010V3MHDI

Book Description

 A dark and suspenseful noir thriller, set in the Yukon.

"What a wonderful dark, quirky, and complex debut novel . . . Canada’s north was never more sinister." —IAN HAMILTON, author of the internationally bestselling Ava Lee series

As winter closes in and the roads snow over in Dawson City, Yukon, newly arrived journalist Jo Silver investigates the dubious suicide of a local politician and quickly discovers that not everything in the sleepy tourist town is what it seems. Before long, law enforcement begins treating the death as a possible murder and Jo is the prime suspect.

Strange Things Done is a top-notch thriller — a tense and stylish crime novel that explores the double themes of trust and betrayal.

2015 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel — Winner
2014 Telegraph/Harvill Secker Crime Competition — Shortlisted
2014 Southwest Writers Annual Novel Writing Contest — Winner
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Longlisted

Elle Wild’s Strange Things Done is a boisterous tale of small town eccentrics, dark secrets, and strange things done in the bush, all delivered in crisp, expert prose. Wild’s suspenseful tale of murder and mayhem in the Yukon delivers on its promise of noir thrills and chills. (Gail Anderson-Dargatz, author of The Cure for Death by Lightning and A Recipe for Bees)

What a wonderful dark, quirky, and complex debut novel this is. Canada’s north was never more sinister. Jo Silver is a character who needs more than one book. (Ian Hamilton, author of the internationally bestselling Ava Lee series)

The title is perfect, the characters fully developed, the plot well-paced and gripping, but this is above all a novel about setting. And what a setting it is. Dawson City, Yukon, as the tourists flee and the long, dark, lonely winter settles in. The airport and roads close, the winds blow, and the snow piles up, trapping those who remain in town, including a journalist haunted by a tragic mistake and so determined not to make it again that events begin repeating themselves. This is the Dawson City of relentless gamblers, heavy drinkers, tattooed bar girls, ruthless miners, and people who’ve reached the end of the road and find there is nowhere left to go. The perfect setting for a novel about conflicted people and dark ambition. (Vicki Delany, author of the Constable Molly Smith series)

[A]n entertaining story that captures much of the surrealism of the North and the colorful characters drawn to it. (Publishers Weekly)

A remote Canadian community hunkering down for a grim, lonely winter is the perfect setting for this atmospheric crime novel. (Library Journal)

About the Author

 ELLE WILD grew up in a dark, rambling farmhouse in the wilds of Canada where there was nothing to do but read Edgar Allan Poe and watch PBS mysteries. She is an award-winning short filmmaker and the former writer/host of the radio program Wide Awake on CBC Radio One. Her short fiction has been published in Ellery Queen Magazine and her articles have appeared in The Toronto Star, Georgia Straight, and Westender. Wild’s debut novel, Strange Things Done, won the Arthur Ellis Award 2015 for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel, and was shortlisted in multiple contests internationally. Recently returned from the U.K., Wild currently resides on an island in the Salish Sea named after the bones of dead whales.

My Review

Strange Things Done is the first novel from Canadian author Elle Wild. It won the 2015 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel.

 I really enjoyed Strange Things Done. I must confess that I really do not know much about the Yukon. I have not been further north than Prince George in British Columbia. I don't really think most people know how vast the distances are between places in Canada's North. And how small and isolated many communities are. Strange Things Done reminded me of that. I didn't realize that Dawson City was completely cut off from the rest of the world during the winter.

Dawson City is a fascinating place. Everyone has heard of the Klondike Gold Rush. There are people still mining there today. And it is preserved as an old mining town, just like Barkerville in BC. It mostly depends on summer tourism for its economic survival though at the present. It is a town filled with old buildings and people who are looking for something different in life than in the cities down south like Vancouver. Some are running away from something. Or looking for a new start in life.

Jo Silver is looking for a new start in life. She is in the Yukon to be the editor of a small newspaper in Dawson City. People start dropping like flies. There are many secrets in this dark tale of Canada's North. As Jo investigates and discovers these secrets everyone starts to worry about the big freeze up that is happening. Nobody wants to be stuck in Dawson City all winter with a murderer.

Great first novel by author Elle Wild. I really enjoyed the ending. I highly recommend Strange Things Done.

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