Author(s): Stef Penney
10 A breathtaking tale of mystery, buried secrets and romance, set in nineteenth century frontier Canada - for fans of THE SNOW CHILD and A PLACE CALLED WINTER. 'Unquestionably atmospheric, evocative and rewarding' Independent on Sunday 'A tense and delicately written thriller' Observer Canada, 1867. A young murder suspect flees across the snowy wilderness. Tracking him is what passes for the law in this frontier land: trappers, sheriffs, traders and the suspect's own mother, desperate to clear his name. As the party pushes further from civilisation, hidden purposes and old obsessions are revealed. One is seeking long-lost daughters; another a fortune in stolen furs; yet another is chasing rumours of a lost Native American culture. But where survival depends on cooperation, their fragile truce cannot afford to be broken, nor their overriding purpose - to find justice for a murdered man - forgotten. The Tenderness of Wolves is a must-read historical epic, weaving adventure, suspense and humour into an exhilarating thriller, a panoramic romance and ultimately, one of the books of the last ten years.
Winner of Costa First Novel Award 2007. Shortlisted for Independent Booksellers' Book of the Year Award: Adults 2007 and CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award 2007 and British Book Awards: Waterstones Newcomer of the Year Award 2008 and Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2008.
Karen writes: The Tenderness of Wolves first won its category of "best first novel" in the UK's Costa (formerly the Whitbread) Awards and we al felt that a wise choice had been made by the judges. When it subsequently went on to win the overall Costa we were delighted. This completely absorbing novel is set in the north of Canada around the 1860s.The Hudson Bay Company's dominance in the fur trade is coming to an end as most of the animals have been hunted to near extinction. Two settlements, Dove River and Caulfield, are peopled by immigrants who have been driven out of their homelands. A trapper, Laurent Jammet, has been murdered, scalped in his cabin. His young neighbour Francis Ross inadvertently sees the man he believes to be the killer and takes off after the suspect without telling anyone his plans. Naturally Francis falls under suspicion in the small community. Other characters with their own interests in mind, pursue the tracks in the snow left by the murder suspect and Francis. It has everything this novel. It's a fine thriller, a love story; it has vivid descriptions of landscape and a wonderful cast of characters all deftly woven into a satisfying whole.
Stef Penney was born and grew up in Edinburgh. After a degree in Philosophy and Theology from Bristol University she turned to film-making, studying Film and TV at Bournemouth College of Art. On graduation she was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme and has since written and directed two short films. The Tenderness of Wolves is her first novel.