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

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The Blood is Floeing

Here’s a teaser, the opening paragraph from Blood Floe.

Even in the unfathomable dark of the polar winter there is always light. The moon reflecting on the surface of the sea ice, the green and white curtains of the Northern Lights twisting across the black night sky, the stars, pinpricks of light scrutinising the tiny villages and settlements dotted along the west coast of Greenland, the houses casting warm yellow squares onto the snow through thick-paned windows, the tiny red lights of the radio mast glowing above the graveyard on the mountain’s knee above the settlement of Inussuk, and a cigarette burning a bright orange, a smouldering flame just a few centimetres from the lips of the man wearing a headlamp, that he shined with slow drifts of his head to the left and right, as he searched for that damned dog that shunned the harness and refused to be trained.

Available for pre-order at just 0.99 from Amazon

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Seven Graves One Winter

This is it then, Constable David Maratse is going into retirement … and launching a whole new series of crime books!

Crazy, I know, but this is how it is going to work. He thinks he is being invalided off the force, but it just isn’t going to go his way – not at all.

Settling into the life of a subsistence fisherman in a remote Arctic community in Greenland? Never gonna happen! It’s time to get busy, dig some graves!

Seven Graves One Winter is the first in series of true crime books set in Greenland. More news as soon as I have it!

Until then, if you’d like to pre-order, here are the links on Amazon:

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The Shaman’s House

In the eyes of the Danish government, Konstabel Fenna Brongaard has switched sides and gone rogue. The collateral damage she left in her wake in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, has been brushed away by a shadowy figure known as The Magician. In return for his assistance, Fenna is tasked with entering the United States in the wake of a Presidential assassination, with one clear goal: to apprehend the assassin. As her list of allies grows thin, Fenna teams up with the man responsible for the death of her Sirius Patrol partner. Together, they must get the assassin out of North America and to a safe house in a remote country. Fenna knows the end game is in sight, and, if she is to survive it, she needs to choose the terrain and the location.

She chooses Greenland.

She chooses the Shaman’s House.

The stakes are higher, the action more intense, and the environment raw, wild, and lethal.

The final installment in the Greenland Trilogy is now available for pre-order at a special pre-order price.

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Beg leave to inform, proceeding South

Chris and Ninja on the mountain, Uummannaq

One of my favourite and most battered books is Roland Huntford’s The Last Place on Earth. When I inherited my team of dogs in Uummannaq, Greenland, I experienced a sharp learning curve, and even sharper canine teeth. Along with the seven dogs, the hunter threw a frozen seal into the bargain. The deal was I would look after his dogs for the winter, learn to drive a team, and he would pick them up again in the summer.

He never came back.

That seal though… the idea was I could cut chunks out of it, and feed the blubber to the dogs when the temperature dipped below minus 17 celsius. This happened a lot, but not before the seal knocked me off my feet every time I opened the shed door. Seals are very streamlined, and, with its flippers frozen to its sides, my seal shot out of the shed like a torpedo every time I braved the weather to feed the dogs. Something had to be done.

I found the answer in Huntford’s book. Amundsen and his men shot seals in Antarctica when preparing food caches for their race to the pole. The trick was waiting until the seal was frozen and sawing off the flippers to make a flat base. The Norwegians made a food depot, using the seals – noses up, flippers at their sides – as the walls of the cache. I read this passage three times before I put down the book and grabbed my saw.

The dogs howled as I went about my work, turning my torpedo into a four foot high popsicle with long, leathery whiskers. I rolled the seal into the shed and slid it into the corner. The dogs chewed on the flippers and blubbery chunks after dinner.

Life in the Arctic is all about firsts. This was the first time I had owned a team, the first time I sawed through a seal, and the first time I truly felt I was following in the famous Norwegian’s footsteps.

Curious or horrified? You can get a flavour of Greenland by reading The Ice Star, available for Kindle eReaders, Kindle apps, and in paperback from Amazon:

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The Sands of Sacrifice


I am not the only writer with a “good luck tradition”, but I might be one of the few where the tradition can potentially lead to the complete destruction of the manuscript. When I have my final rough draft I stick it in my backpack and drive to the beach. The West Coast of Denmark has one long, broad, fantastic beach, with plenty of waves. The tradition involves tossing the manuscript onto the sand at the surf line and grabbing it before the waves surge onto the beach. If I manage to get it before it is sucked out to sea, then I presume the story to be good enough to edit. If I get wet, and a struggle ensues, then I know that I am invested in the story, and will do what it takes to get it ready for publication.

It took me about three and a half years to reach the point where I was ready to toss The Ice Star into the sea, I am pleased to say it only took a few seconds to decide to grab it!

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If you just want to sample the book, you can find it on Amazon:

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There’s no going back!

the-ice-star-25pctThe Ice Star is released tomorrow, and there’s no going back! This is it then, sink or swim.

Will Fenna capture reader’s imaginations?

Will I?

What happens if she does?

What happens if I do?

These are questions I haven’t asked before – haven’t felt the need to. But The Ice Star is doing pretty well just now, moving up the charts in “military thriller” and “international crime and mystery”. I haven’t seen this interest in my other books – it must be the genre.

And what a genre! There’s a lot of competition, and a lot of books competing with the readers’ interest and doing their best to grab their attention.

This is it though.

It’s time to test the ice!

The Ice Star is available for pre-order from Amazon at a reduced price. Spoiler(ish) alert – it’s serious all of a sudden.

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ice-star-thunderclapThe Ice Star is a little over two weeks from launch. So this is it then, crunch time. Time to bite the bullet, duck and cover, or just sit back and ride the wave. Is it going to break through the ice, sink, or swim?

I have no idea.

But I could use your help.

If you would like to support the launch of The Ice Star, then please feel free to click on the link to the Thunderclap page, and click to add your support.

The more I think about it, the more I get excited about promoting Greenland, and the fate of the North Pole (oops, small spoiler) through the actions of Fenna, Dina, Kula and Maratse.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Frost Bite and Frozen Corpses

the-ice-starI have killed again.

I’m not proud of the fact, but I have lost track of the body count – it’s not huge, but enough. It got a little rough all of a sudden, racing by dog sledge to the endgame. It’s a thriller – of that I have no doubt. But the political machinations took me by surprise, as have the characters. I mean, the Greenlander – Dina, she has more guts than I will ever have! She shows it too.

And then there is Fenna – Konstabel Brongaard herself. She has shown what she is capable of, and yet, she’s human. A woman in a man’s world – it’s a cliché she is doing her best to turn around, without sleeping with the leading male protagonist. And why not? Well, she is the main protagonist!

Between the description of the sledge patrol, when nature shows its teeth, and the build up to the first “car chase” (it’s a little different than your usual fare), there is plenty to occupy Fenna. She really is in a bind – literally to begin with, and then, well, literally again.

You know, at this point, even I’m not sure she is going to make it.

The Ice Star is available for pre-order from Amazon at a reduced price. Spoiler(ish) alert – Canadians are cool, really, and I could imagine Ryan Gosling playing a role in The Ice Star.

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The Dog Star(s)

img_9042_2The Ice Star isn’t the first thriller to feature sledge dogs, but it might just be the first thriller to build a plot around sledge dogs and the men (and women – spoiler) that work with them.

Konstabel Fenna Brongaard is the first of her kind – the first female member of the Sirius Sledge Patrol. She’s also the first patrol member to be accused of killing her partner. The sledge dogs in the story play an integral part in letting the reader discover just who Fenna is, what makes her tick, and literally driving the plot forwards, from scene to scene.

Without dogs The Ice Star would be mostly ice. The dogs then are the real stars!

They shine brighter than life, much like the Sirius star itself.

The Ice Star is available for pre-order from Amazon at a reduced price. Spoiler(ish) alert – no real dogs were harmed in the writing of The Ice Star.

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