Thursday, April 26, 2012
The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
The year is 1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on Dove River, a tiny isolated settlement in the Northern Territory, when a man is brutally murdered. A local woman, Mrs. Ross, stumbles upon the crime scene and sees the tracks leading from the dead man's cabin north toward the forest and the tundra beyond. It is Mrs. Ross's knock on the door of the largest house in Caulfield that launches the investigation. Within hours she will regret that knock with a mother's love -- for soon she makes another discovery: her seventeen-year-old son Francis has disappeared and is now considered a prime suspect.
In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the crime and to the township. But the question remains: do these men want to solve the crime or exploit it?
One by one, the searchers set out from Dove River following the tracks across a desolate landscape -- home to only wild animals, madmen, and fugitives -- variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for seventeen years, and a forgotten Native American culture before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good.
Hmmm this was an interesting book as I am still not sure what I thought of it. I found the style rather disjointed and struggled to follow it at times. I put this, partially, down to the time I was getting to read it as I didn't always get a nice long reading spell to get into it. Despite this criticism there was something about it that made me want to keep reading. If anything, that is the sign of a good story where you are kept drawn into the tale despite other issues going on around you. I did guess one of the big reveals quite early on but I think you were actually meant to (sorry I can't say any more than that or it will be a spoiler)! If you like all loose ends to be tied up in a book (and I am a bit like that) then you will be left frustrated at the end.
Would I recommend this book to people. I would if you already had it in your possession but I wouldn't necessarily search it out or keep it and give it to other people to read.
The history of Scots emigrating across to Canada and North America was interesting but despite the fact that the author is Scottish, she never tried to get the Scottish accents across in the book, at least, I couldn't hear them. Was this to appeal to a wider American audience!? I just felt it would have added to the authenticity of some of the characters if they appeared to be more Scottish at times.
In summary, an interesting read that was not a waste of time but don't rush out and buy it. Xx