During the third week of January, the town of Algonquin Bay in Ontario experiences a freak warm front. There is a thick fog blanketing the area pushing up the temperature and bears are coming out of hibernation. When a mechanic discovers a mauled arm in the snow, the first assumption is that someone has fallen victim to a very hungry bear.
Detective John Cardinal and his partner Lise Delorme search the area and discover other body parts strewn around. The lack of blood on the snow indicates that the owner was dead and dismembered before the bears got to him. The victim isn’t a local so the first thing the detectives have to do is find out who he is. As if things aren’t difficult enough, the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) has decided to become involved. Cardinal and Delorme are convinced that they are hindering the case by feeding them disinformation about the victim. But why?
A week or so later another body is found in the woods. A young female doctor, new to Algonquin Bay, strangled and posed in a position that suggests she was raped. Two murder victims within days have to be connected. The striking similarity of the death of the doctor to that of another woman several years earlier lead Cardinal and Delorme to Quebec separatists and acts of terrorism from thirty years ago.
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