Today I’m including two novels in one Recommended Read post. What both novels have in common is a wilderness backdrop – one which is as dangerous as it is beautiful. The first of these novels is set in British Columbia, Canada, while the second is set in the Alaskan Bush.

I’m not expecting to visit either location (oh, for a TARDIS or something of that ilk!), so I really enjoyed being immersed in them through the writers’ words and local knowledge. Oh, and the stories were pretty good, too. 😉

The Wind WeepsThe Wind Weeps by Anneli Purchase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Andrea leaves big-city boredom in Ontario to search for love and adventure on B.C.’s rugged coast. As she seeks independence and romance, the love of two men and a relationship with a woman lead her into the world of commercial fishing. She is drawn into a rough life alternating between savage beauty and serenity.

But adventure turns to terror and Andrea’s survival is threatened. Will her newly acquired wilderness skills be enough to save her life? This is a pure Canadian tale of love, betrayal, and triumph, told with gusto, humour, and bold insight.

My review
The main appeal of this book for me was the promise of being immersed in the author’s landscape – that is a character in itself! However once Andrea began her story, I found it hard to leave the book alone. While I may have found Andrea’s decisions rash and impulsive (even irritating, sometimes) she does, at her core, simply want to fit in and be liked and loved. She is doing her best to learn; she is endearing and human.

But as the story progresses, the menace of control begins, hinting at a lurking violence. It’s like in the horror movies … you can barely watch, but you have to know how it unfolds, and how the characters will handle their difficulties. Will they quake and crack under the pressure, or will they find determination and the strength to survive?

The Wind Weeps is easy to read, partly because it’s well-written, and partly because the story keeps you hooked on its line right until the last sentence … and beyond.

The sequel, Reckoning Tide, is now out – and safely ensconced in my TBR pile!

Fire And Ice (Liam Campbell, #1)Fire And Ice by Dana Stabenow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Newenham, Alaska, is a long way from the big-city comforts of Anchorage, where Sergeant Liam Campbell was an up-and-coming state trooper with everything going his way. But that was before his life unraveled.

Transferred in disgrace to this rough-and-tumble fishing town on the shores of Bristol Bay, Liam knows Newenham is the end of the line. It’s also his last shot at getting his life back.. He’s about to come in for a very rough landing.

Stepping onto the airstrip at Newenham, Liam walks into a crime scene: a body torn apart by the propeller of a Piper Super Cub. As if that isn’t enough of a welcome, the woman bending over the corpse is Wyanet Chouinard, the only woman Liam ever truly loved – and soon to be his prime suspect.

Next, a man is held hostage in the town’s only decent burger joint–held for shooting out a jukebox that was playing Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville.

And Liam still doesn’t have his uniform on.

My review
With an interesting mix of characters, multiple crimes, humour, tricky relationships, and an insight into Alaskan life, Fire and Ice held my attention right until the last sentence.

I purchased book two in this series (So Sure of Death) just minutes after finishing Fire and Ice. I’ve since read that one, too, and can happily state that it was another solid 4-star read for me! The next in the series awaits . . .


Do you like reading about locations you may never have the chance to visit? Do either of the books appeal to you? Or perhaps you’ve already read one or both of them?

– Joanna