Coppermine by Keith Ross Leckie

Another fiction pick by Jean-Louis
(Viking Canada, 2010)

Keith Ross Leckie has written a very interesting novel based on a real Canadian adventure in the high Arctic. In 1913 a pair of Roman Catholic priests make their way north to bring their message to the Inuit of the Coppermine River for the first time. The novel follows the story of the murder of the two priests and its aftermath. Jack Creed of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police is dispatched to investigate and track down the killers. We follow him on his journey from Fort Norman, on through Great Bear Lake, and down through the Coppermine River to where he apprehends and brings to trial the two Inuit hunters who are accused of the murder.
Leckie has dedicated his writing career to bringing Canadian stories to the page and screen. As a scriptwriter he penned the David Milgaard Story,  the mini-series about the Avro Arrow, among others. He is dedicated to telling Canadian stories in a compelling and entertaining fashion. He readily admits that he has massaged the facts to make his novel work better but the end notes of the book explain where he has deviated from the strict historical truth.
The trial of Uluksuk and Sinnisiak forms the bulk of the second half of the novel and the twists and turns of this part of the story are nearly as hair raising as the first half’s adventures across the northern landscape.
Read this novel if you like a great adventure spiced with a Candian flavour. Discover a strange Canadian adventure and legal case which captured the attention of the world–all in the midst of the carnage of WW I which was simultaneously ravaging Europe.

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