Nile Nightingale is on the run. Fleeing across the border to rural Quebec, he seeks refuge at an abandoned church where his junked-up, overstimulated mind realizes that he has just witnessed a body dropin a bloody sack tied with Christmas ribbon. The contents, unconscious but still alive, turn out to be fifteen-year-old Céleste Jonquères, who has been beaten and slashed, like wild game, to slowly bleed out.
From his hideout, as he nurses his patient back from the brink and begins to face his own life, he pieces together what he has stumbled into. Animal rights activists, Céleste and her beloved grandmother have taken on a vicious poaching ring, operating from Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains and dealing in bear and other animal parts for the international market, with the collusion of corrupt rangers and police. Her grandmother has died suspiciously. And now that Nile has saved Céleste from the dead, the poachers and their accomplices in this small town have taken notice and are cautiously, but inexorably, closing in. Featuring two brilliant misfits as unlikely sleuths and by turns comic and darkly tragic, this haunting thriller is a neo-noir tour de force, abounding in puzzles and mysteries from a missing cat to the fate of the Eastern cougar.
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