2017 Arthur Ellis Award, Best First Novel — Winner
A dark and suspenseful noir thriller, set in the Yukon.
As winter closes in and the roads snow over in Dawson City, Yukon, newly arrived journalist Jo Silver investigates the dubious suicide of a local politician and quickly discovers that not everything in the sleepy tourist town is what it seems. Before long, law enforcement begins treating the death as a possible murder and Jo is the prime suspect.
Strange Things Done is a top-notch thriller — a tense and stylish crime novel that explores the double themes of trust and betrayal.
2017 Women in Film “From Our Dark Side" Contest — Winner • 2015 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel — Winner • 2014 Telegraph/Harvill Secker Crime Competition — Shortlisted • 2014 Southwest Writers Annual Novel Writing Contest — Silver Winner • 2014 Criminal Lines Crime-Writing Competition — Shortlisted • 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Longlisted
Wild's debut novel is set in the Yukon's Dawson City, just as the freeze-up isolates the town, leaving its eccentric (and often fairly inebriated) citizens stuck with each other until spring. Journalist Jo Silver has come to take over the town's tiny newspaper, running away from the guilt she feels about her coverage of a serial murder case at her last job at the Vancouver Sun. Shortly after arriving and too drunk to remember the details, Jo takes a ride home from one of the locals and lands right in the middle of a murder investigation. Murders and disappearances start to rack up, and her determination to investigate several prominent members of the town and strange nighttime activities at a gold mine make Jo a target for both the town's moody and mysterious RCMP sergeant and the killer. The local residents are of the independent oddball variety one would expect in a remote outpost, particularly Jo's roommate/landlady, Sally, an exotic dancer easily underestimated but a cracker-jack smart survivor. Although the ending feels too abrupt and pat, the killer's motivation too thin, this is an entertaining story that captures much of the surrealism of the North and the colorful characters drawn to it.