The Shaman's Knife (Crime, Penguin)

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9780140143539: The Shaman's Knife (Crime, Penguin)

Matteesie's back, with a case that hits even closer to home. When he hears about a brutal double murder in the tiny Arctic village of Sanirarsipaaq, Matteesie knows that he'll soon be on his way to investigate, as it's a natural case for him to pursue. But once he finds out that the "old Inuit woman" found injured at the scene is his mother, tracking down the killer becomes more than just his professional duty. As a native Northerner, Matteesie knows that small communities have many secrets and there are many places to hide. It will take all his knowledge of Inuit ways - and the help of the local shaman - to find the killer.

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From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Inuit Mountie Matteesie Kitologitak (Murder in a Cold Climate, 1989) takes a personal interest in the killing of Dennis Raakwap and his grandmother--because the killers, running out of the murder scene, ran into Matteesie's 90-year-old mother, critically injuring her too. Despite rumors that implicate noted carver/shaman Jonassie Oquatoq and his twin brother Lovering, an Anglican priest, Matteesie and local corporal Alphonse Bouvier soon focus on a scandal-ridden Davidee Ayulaq, his sister Debbie (whom he was once convicted of raping), and her two current rivals--pint-sized newspaper-stringer Byron Anolak and Davidee's best buddy, hulking Donald (Hard Hat) Thrasher. The tangled, forgettable plot is only a pretext for more of the wonderful local details and colorful characters--especially waitress/siren Margaret Johanson and her daughter Maisie, who threw a football player out a window--that made Young's debut so memorable. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Published by Penguin Books 1994-05-01 (1994)
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