2017 Arthur Ellis Award, Best First Novel — Winner
A dark and suspenseful noir thriller, set in the Yukon.
As winter closes in and the roads snow over in Dawson City, Yukon, newly arrived journalist Jo Silver investigates the dubious suicide of a local politician and quickly discovers that not everything in the sleepy tourist town is what it seems. Before long, law enforcement begins treating the death as a possible murder and Jo is the prime suspect.
Strange Things Done is a top-notch thriller — a tense and stylish crime novel that explores the double themes of trust and betrayal.
2017 Women in Film “From Our Dark Side" Contest — Winner • 2015 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel — Winner • 2014 Telegraph/Harvill Secker Crime Competition — Shortlisted • 2014 Southwest Writers Annual Novel Writing Contest — Silver Winner • 2014 Criminal Lines Crime-Writing Competition — Shortlisted • 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Longlisted
Elle Wild grew up in a dark, rambling farmhouse in the wilds of Canada where there was nothing to do but read Edgar Allan Poe and watch PBS mysteries. She is an award-winning short filmmaker and the former host of Wide Awake on CBC Radio One. Her debut novel, Strange Things Done, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Wild lives on an island in the Salish Sea.
[A]n entertaining story that captures much of the surrealism of the North and the colorful characters drawn to it.
[A] highly readable, slick and professionally executed thriller.
A remote Canadian community hunkering down for a grim, lonely winter is the perfect setting for this atmospheric crime novel.
The Girl on the Train meets Robert Service.
What a wonderful dark, quirky, and complex debut novel this is. Canada’s north was never more sinister. Jo Silver is a character who needs more than one book.
Elle Wild’s Strange Things Done is a boisterous tale of small town eccentrics, dark secrets, and strange things done in the bush, all delivered in crisp, expert prose. Wild’s suspenseful tale of murder and mayhem in the Yukon delivers on its promise of noir thrills and chills.
The title is perfect, the characters fully developed, the plot well-paced and gripping, but this is above all a novel about setting. And what a setting it is. Dawson City, Yukon, as the tourists flee and the long, dark, lonely winter settles in. The airport and roads close, the winds blow, and the snow piles up, trapping those who remain in town, including a journalist haunted by a tragic mistake and so determined not to make it again that events begin repeating themselves. This is the Dawson City of relentless gamblers, heavy drinkers, tattooed bar girls, ruthless miners, and people who’ve reached the end of the road and find there is nowhere left to go. The perfect setting for a novel about conflicted people and dark ambition.
It's easy to see why this is an award winner. It's a well-spun thriller, set in a closed community, with the cold, snowy weather bringing in an extra element of menace.