I found this book really slow to begin with - and although the settler town and bleak landscape were compelling, I didn't find the characters endearing. And then bang - it gripped me and I was caught up in a story of fugitives, mysterious communities, Native American trackers, disappearing girls and freezing cold, unforgiving weather.
Just recently - in the last hour or so - he has started to remember things: he remembers trudging mile after mile along the banks of the river as it cut through the forest, further than he had ever gone in his life, following the trail of the man. He hadn't seen him again since that night at the cabin, and it stretched his skills as a tracker to their limit to follow the signs. But the land had been kind to him. Every time he thought he must have gone wrong - after walking for hours, scanning and searching and finding nothing printed on the ground, just when he thought he must have missed the man's turning - he would come across another signal: the blunt press of a moccasin in leaves, piss-melted frost in a hollow. He saw the man's spoor and scantly trace of his fires, hurriedly swept over. He did not know when he ate. He had never known anyone move so fast.