Booklist reviews Permafrost

“There are plenty of mysteries in this tight, taut novel. Why does the narrator decide to try to find a missing man, a fellow he knows only slightly (they went to school together back in Scotland, more than 20 years ago)? Why did the missing man come all the way to the U.S.(to Michigan, it appears), only to drop off the map? Even such details as the narrator’s full name (he’s identified only as Tom) and the time in which the book is set are murky (internal evidence points to the mid-1990s). We know that Tom is extremely wealthy, but beyond that, Robertson seems intent on keeping a lot of the particulars of his story hidden in the shadows. That could easily have come off as coy or just plain annoying, but here it works: the narrator has a mystery to solve, and we, too, have our own mystery: Who is this wealthy man named Tom, and why does he care? We find answers, of a sort, but it’s the journey that proves captivating, as we ride along with the narrator, who, by looking for the missing man, is forced to re-examine his own past. Skillfully written and, ultimately, deeply satisfying.”

— David Pitt,