Wolf Summer!

After 199 years, the wolf has returned to Denmark. Big wolves, similar in size to Timber Wolves, cross the border from Germany. The first was spotted back in 2012, which was interesting, as I was living way north – practically in white wolf country – in Qaanaaq, at the top of Greenland. I did live in polar bear country, and bought a shotgun at the supermarket – as you do – at the suggestion of a local hunter. The area around Qaanaaq is a denning area for bears. But, despite bears coming in the night, I didn’t see one, and no wolves in the two years I lived there. But, wolves were in Denmark, and it made the move back a little more palatable.

The Danish nature was/is rewilding.

But wolves have a habit of stirring up trouble, regardless of statistics, and that got me wondering. The idea of Paint the Devil was born, and as the debate really kicked off earlier this year, the book started to write itself.

There are always two sides to a story, but Paint the Devil has a third – the story of the wolves, something the main character: wildlife biologist Jon Østergård has to take into consideration as he navigates through the heated debates and opinions dividing the community of Thyrup, a small (fictive) village on Denmark’s west coast.

So, without further ado, here’s the blurb, the links, and the cover for Paint the Devil, available for pre-order and scheduled for release in October.

As the wolf debate heats up during Denmark’s hottest and driest summer on record, wildlife biologist Jon Østergård and his teenage daughter relocate to the West Jutland village of Thyrup, to study problem wolves in a community divided by fear, belief, opinions and violence.

Jon quickly discovers that his experience of wolves in Greenland means nothing in a farming community fighting to have their voice heard in an increasingly divisive national debate.

Pressed by politicians demanding an objective report on one side, and locals on the other, Jon risks losing his way as the debate turns ugly, and his daughter is drawn into a family convinced that extreme action is necessary to protect their livelihood. 

Sporadic wildfires flare up in the surrounding countryside, and the flames force a small pack of wolves closer and closer to the village.

Available from Amazon

USAUKCanada and Australia

Seaweed & Secrets

Seven Graves One Winter is set in the settlement of Inussuk on the west coast of Greenland. Inussuk doesn’t exist, but the strange pieces of art shaped and crafted from seaweed, bones, skulls, pebbles, and sinew do, or at least they did when I visited “Inussuk” in 2010. 

As I write in the book, it wouldn’t take much of a detective to locate the real Inussuk on the map in Uummannaq fjord, but I like the fact that the location of the settlement is a little mysterious, hidden for a while. But I will never forget the people I met, the sound of the surf breaking on the black sand beach, and the fin whales passing by as I was treated to coffee in the artist’s house.

All the characters in my books about Greenland are fictitious, but each of them share a common grounding in Greenland, the country, and its people.

The Heart that was a Wild Garden

I’m having fun with this one – imagining Constable David Maratse as a parent. There’s a lot of sadness and hope in The Heart that was a Wild Garden, it even starts with a funeral. But the themes are relevant, and, without giving too much away, I’ve experienced elements of this story in Greenland, to varying degrees.

The Heart that was a Wild Garden is available from Amazon for pre-order, and is due for release in October. It is the 5th in the series of Greenland short stories featuring Maratse, but it is set way into the future.

You can find it here:

USAUKCanada, and Australia

And get the bigger picture here:

A Cold Binge

I’ve had a few mails about which books to read in what order.

Confession time – I turned to Goodreads to figure it out.

If we stick with Greenland and the Arctic, then thriller readers looking for a bit more action should definitely start with The Ice Star. It’s here that we meet Constable David Maratse for the first time. However, crime readers who are looking for an alternative – read “cold” – setting, should perhaps start with Seven Graves One Winter, although, and this is where it gets a little tricky, there are, currently, four short stories that are set prior to the events in Seven Graves One Winter, and The Ice Star for that matter.

Readers don’t need to read any of the short stories (Katabatic, Container, Tupilaq, or The Last Flight) to enjoy Seven Graves One Winter, nor do they need to read The Ice Star. But, the definitive reading order – as of July 2018 – would be this:

Of course, that’s not all the books – either planned or written.

Confused? Don’t be. Goodreads can help, and give you an idea if you even want to begin. 😉 ‘Cos it ain’t over yet.