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The Shaman's Knife

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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 become 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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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 become 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.

30 review for The Shaman's Knife

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    The nature of this mystery is less of a "who dunnit?" and more of a "what happened?" The ending is not wholly a surprise, what becomes of interest however is how all the bits and pieces of information about the event fit together. That being said, the mystery component of this book is really just a structural vehicle for what otherwise is an interesting peek into a culture that most probably have little exposure to. The real treat is learning about the details of daily life, social customs, ceremon The nature of this mystery is less of a "who dunnit?" and more of a "what happened?" The ending is not wholly a surprise, what becomes of interest however is how all the bits and pieces of information about the event fit together. That being said, the mystery component of this book is really just a structural vehicle for what otherwise is an interesting peek into a culture that most probably have little exposure to. The real treat is learning about the details of daily life, social customs, ceremonial traditions, logistical barriers, governmental history, and everything else concerning life in remote northern Canada and the Inuit who have lived there for centuries. Being from the U.S. Southwest and the lands surveyed by Tony Hillerman's novels (which this book's character has been paralleled with), I can understand and relate to the interesting little details of day to day life included in those books. Hence why it is neat in a way to gain insight in a similar manner to a region that is wholly foreign and removed from what I have ever experienced. Only in a few areas did I feel that characters' actions seemed a bit out of character and forced for the sake of plot progression. Otherwise the narrative flowed well and the dialog was generally transparent. All in all it was an enjoyable read, and learning that this book is part of a series lends me to be motivated to locate and read the others, as the character and world built within were worth spending time with.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jack Heath

    Synopsis: Matteesie is Inuit and with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He hears of a double murder. His grandmother?

  3. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    THE SHAMAN’S KNIFE (Pol. Proc-Insp. Matteesie Kitologitak-Alaska-Cont) – DNF Young, Scott – 2nd in series Prime Crime, 1993, US Paperback – ISBN: 014014353X First Sentence: Just before I flew out of Goose Bay in Labrador early that Monday morning, I heard a brief news item on the radio another passenger was carrying. Inspector Matteesie Kitologitak is an Inuit; one of the few in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He hears a news story of a double murder, but it becomes even more significant when he THE SHAMAN’S KNIFE (Pol. Proc-Insp. Matteesie Kitologitak-Alaska-Cont) – DNF Young, Scott – 2nd in series Prime Crime, 1993, US Paperback – ISBN: 014014353X First Sentence: Just before I flew out of Goose Bay in Labrador early that Monday morning, I heard a brief news item on the radio another passenger was carrying. Inspector Matteesie Kitologitak is an Inuit; one of the few in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He hears a news story of a double murder, but it becomes even more significant when he learns his grandmother had been attacked by the perpetrator. It started well. Inuit policeman, ancient grandmother, hints of shamanism, Artic north setting—all elements that should have made a fascinating read. They didn’t. I did love the information on the Inuits and their customs and on the other people who live in such a harsh climate. There was some development of the protagonist, although I found I didn’t care that much for him. He is in a loveless marriage so ever woman he meets is viewed as potential prey. While this may be an accurate reflection of male thinking, it was boring as an element of the story. The rest of the characters were flat. In fact, flat was the word that kept coming to mind as I read 97 pages of the book. The story is told in first person and much of it is protagonist’s mental narrative. There was no tension to the story and I found myself bored. When I hit that point, it’s time to move on to the next book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    #2 in the Matteesie Kitologitok series. Sadly, due to the death of the author, this is also the end of the series. Inspector Matteesie is the highest ranking Inuit in the RCMP. The local color of life north of the artic circle is fascinating and although the quantity of description (and Inuit names for people and places) slows the pace of the book, I found the experience well worth the time spent. Matteesie Kitologitok investigates a brutal double murder in an Inuit settlement. He has a personal #2 in the Matteesie Kitologitok series. Sadly, due to the death of the author, this is also the end of the series. Inspector Matteesie is the highest ranking Inuit in the RCMP. The local color of life north of the artic circle is fascinating and although the quantity of description (and Inuit names for people and places) slows the pace of the book, I found the experience well worth the time spent. Matteesie Kitologitok investigates a brutal double murder in an Inuit settlement. He has a personal interest in this particular crime: his 90-year-old mother was 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 provides the stage for a violent climax.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I enjoyed the details of life in the North so much that I was willing to overlook other flaws. Not so fond of the first person point of view by a white author of a Native protagonist; not at all fond of the protagonist's relationship with his wife and the fact he has a mistress; the characters are a bit flat; the plot adequate but not inspired. Still, I'd give another one in this series a try before giving up entirely.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I enjoyed this book. Matteesie is a very interesting native character and I enjoyed the insights into the challenges he faces, from his job, his relationships, and the prejudice he experiences as a native working for the Mounties in Canada. The mystery is not quite as interesting as the environment, though. But the mystery also seems to have a logical conclusion, with the solution arising from a breakthrough that makes sense. Worth a read!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan smith

    i love 'inuit' books, e.g. dana stabenow - something about alaska and canada get my juices flowing - scott young is the singer neil young's father, if that means anything - he creates a great native detective - his writing keeps me reading !

  8. 4 out of 5

    J Burles

    Some strange geographical information but enjoyed reading about the north, and life in northern communities.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Natverse

    Oh yes, I will be reading all of Scott Young's works as I fix 'em up as e-books. :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    Liked it! The insight into the indigenous people's lives was particularly interesting, plus it was a good police procedural.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maurean

    well, I tried. I read the first four chapters (pg. 56), and just couldn't find any reason to finish. (If you enjoy Tony Hillerman, you may enjoy these Matteesie tales; It just wasn't my thing.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

  13. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leah Smith

  15. 5 out of 5

    Fran Irwin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Philip

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  18. 4 out of 5

    Greer Lawson

  19. 5 out of 5

    SUE SKINNER

  20. 5 out of 5

    Noemi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Ryder

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather Pearson

  28. 4 out of 5

    gabrielle m. thompson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Corona

  30. 5 out of 5

    Paul Charest

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