Friday 28 October 2016

Book Review: Strange Things Done

Strange Things Done is Elle Wild's debut murder mystery novel set in Dawson City, Yukon.  Like
most people who move to Dawson City, Jo Silver is trying to escape her past.  She arrives in Dawson just before freeze up to take over the local newspaper.  When a local MP dies mysteriously the night Jo arrives, she wonders if she's ready to be trapped in her new community all winter long.

My favourite part about the book was certainly the setting.  By spending time researching and living in the Yukon, Wild was able to include brilliant sensory details.  Buildings, rivers and the permeating cold were realistically recreated on the page.  Local characters seemed grown from the harshness of their surroundings.

Jo Silver's background formed an interesting side mystery to the story, although I found it a bit hard to relate to such a hard-boiled, hard-drinking journalist.  Her weaknesses of self-doubt and distrust helped create some empathy.  However, her decisions to break the law, take enormous risks and continuous running outdoors in inappropriate clothing were sometimes difficult to swallow.

The story is filled with action and has a satisfying conclusion.  The reader is left with several questions about Jo Silver which would work nicely into a sequel or series.

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