Jennifer (JC-S)'s Reviews > The Tenderness of Wolves

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
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Jun 24, 10

bookshelves: owned
Read from June 23 to 24, 2010

‘Perhaps the wolves saved them from a fate worse than death.’

In the Canadian winter of 1867, near the remote settlement of Caulfield, Laurent Jammet is found murdered. His body is discovered by Mrs Ross, whose first-person narrative is one thread of the story. Mrs Ross’s son, Francis, is a friend of Laurent Jammet. When Francis doesn’t return home after Jammet’s murder, he becomes a suspect.


A search for Jammet’s murderer is soon organised. The searchers include Mrs Ross and Donald Moody, representing the Hudson Bay Company. Others join the search as well, and the community is reminded of an earlier search for two young sisters who disappeared some years earlier.
Solving Jammet’s murder is not the only truth being sought, and there are a number of other mysteries to be explored and motives to be understood. The wintry landscape both hides and preserves the pasts of some characters, as well as some of the evidence.


‘Doesn’t it always matter, finding the truth?’

It’s a challenge at times to follow the various narrative strands, but it becomes easier as the story progresses. There are a number of sub-plots which add different dimensions to what otherwise might be a straightforward murder investigation. The weather, the past and the country each play a part in the story.


I enjoyed this novel and while I fleetingly wished that all loose ends had been tied off at the end, I realised that would not have worked. Not for this novel.


‘The sound is inescapable; quiet but insistent, like conscience.’

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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