Hold the Dark (Hardcover)
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September 2014 Indie Next List
“In a remote Alaskan village where wolves have been taking the local children, a mother calls for a stranger to help locate her missing son. This is the beginning of a harrowing tale of loyalty, dark secrets, and violence, set in the uttermost regions of the Alaskan frontier. Giraldi weaves a sinister story that involves family secrets, ritual, and the wildness of a remote land. Perfect for lovers of the works of Cormac McCarthy and Donald Ray Pollack.”
— Helen Gregory, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO
At the start of another pitiless winter, the wolves have come for the children of Keelut. Three children have been taken from this isolated Alaskan village, including the six-year-old boy of Medora and Vernon Slone.
Stumbled by grief and seeking consolation, Medora contacts nature writer and wolf expert Russell Core. Sixty years old, ailing in both body and spirit, and estranged from his daughter and wife, Core arrives in Keelut to investigate the killings. Immersing himself in this settlement at the end of the world, he discovers the horrifying darkness at the heart of Medora Slone and learns of an unholy truth harbored by this village.
When Vernon Slone returns from a desert war to discover his son dead and his wife missing, he begins a methodical pursuit across this frozen landscape. Aided by his boyhood companion, the taciturn and deadly Cheeon, and pursued by the stalwart detective Donald Marium, Slone is without mercy, cutting a bloody swath through the wilderness of his homeland. As Russell Core attempts to rescue Medora from her husband's vengeance, he comes face to face with an unspeakable secret at the furthermost reaches of American soil--a secret about the unkillable bonds of family, and the untamed animal in the soul of every human being.
An Alaskan Oresteia, an epic woven of both blood and myth, Hold the Dark recalls the hyperborean climate and tribalism of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone and the primeval violence of James Dickey's Deliverance.