Best-selling Canadian author Adam Shoalts has a new book out and the release date is perfectly timed with Halloween. It is a spooky read, and after finishing it you might want to take a few days off before heading back into the wilderness. Boo!

This is Adam’s fourth book. His past work has been a blend of high-energy northern adventure, in a canoe, mixed with historical points of interest that highlights Indigenous and European exploration of Canada’s wild places. His interest all makes sense. He holds a Ph. D from MacMaster University where his research combined a curiosity in the natural world, history, archaeology and geography. When he’s not in the woods exploring and mystifying about our ecology, Shoalts is hanging out at some library researching who had gone and done the same thing before.

photo Adam Shoalts 

In Beyond the Trees, Adam paddles nearly 4,000 kilometres, spanning nearly four months, on a solo canoe journey across Canada’s arctic. And in his book Alone Against the North he embarks on a canoe expedition to an unknown river in northern Ontario.

His latest book The Whisper of the Night Wind has a similar format to the others. He heads north into Canada’s wilderness, in a canoe, and follows some ancient and adventurous canoe route into remote Labrador. But this book has a bit of a twist to it. This time he’s heading to the ghost town of Traverspine and the neighbouring ghostly Mealy Mountains to gain insight on a 100-year-old haunting by an enormous devil-like creatures no one could identify. Demonic cries heard in the darkened night, sled dogs missing from their posts, children stalked, strange-looking tracks found in the mud and snow, families bolting their doors and sleeping with axes and guns beside them. What was it?

photo Adam Shoalts 

To me, reading the book was like going back to my childhood watching an old adventure movie on a Sunday afternoon with my dad. Tarzan and Creature from the Black Lagoon comes to mind. Now blend that with a good R.D. Lawrence wildlife observation novel, and a bit of Farley Mowat’s tall tale novels. You’ve basically got a page turner for sure. And the ending, which I won’t spoil, is perfect.

Indigo has named Adam’s latest book “One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year,” It on CBCs Recommended Reads List for 2021, and Globe and Mail “Most Anticipated Books” list, and Amazon has already made it a #1 best-seller, and it was just released October 5th.

photo Adam Shoalts 

Throughout the canoe trip Adam and his canoe partner, Zach, go back and forth on whether they believe the Traverspine creature was some kind of uncommon animal to the region, like a barren-land grizzly or a polar bear inflicted with mange, to the actual devil himself. Adam also details other folklore creatures of wild areas around the world, like werewolves and wendigos. He uses eye-witness accounts of the Labrador beast from past villagers, medical doctors and even a wildlife biologist.

By the end of the book, it becomes obvious that something stalked and terrified the small hamlet of Traverspine a century ago, set in a wild and desolate landscape that Jacques Cartier labelled back in the 1500s as the land “God gave to Cain.” But what was it?

Check out my full Fireside Whisky chat/interview with Adam Shoalts on my KCHappyCamper YouTube channel.