Lund excels at sketching compelling portraits of his thriller’s sprawling cast, such as Kelly Ann Kinnear, a park ranger with a “fondness for frequent and diverse sexual encounters,” and Special Agent Lance Whitney, a “self-described body builder whose ego was more inflated than his biceps.” As he surveys Lake Superior’s secrets, though, Lund doesn’t always develop his people. His interest in local color, and his dedication to capturing the essence of his North Shore milieu, at times slows the narrative momentum, as A Climate for Death touches on political campaigns, climate change, intelligence agencies, the machinations of energy companies, and the tragic fate of Isle Royale’s wolf population. Lund knows his region cold and takes great pains to reveal it.
The novel builds to a satisfying ending that justifies the title, complete with a whiff of noir fatalism. Still, that large cast and the story’s wide sweep may prove demanding for readers who don’t relish keeping a pen and pad on hand to keep dates, characters, and events straight. Fans of twisty, complex thrillers with a chill in their bones and an interest in how political power shapes our lives and our world should find this title to their liking.
Takeaway: Crime thriller fans will enjoy the intricately woven mystery wrapped in a vastly diverse cast of characters.
Great for fans of: Lin Enger’s Undiscovered Country, William Kent Krueger’s Thunder Bay
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A