Smilla Jaspersen cannot believe that the death of her seven-year-old friend Isaiah was the result of an accidental fall. She tries to convince police to look at the event more carefully, but they refuse and she is warned not to pursue an investigation of her own. When she persists, she finds that Isaiah and his mother had been supported by an unusually large pension paid by a large company, the Cryolite Corporation. Isaiah’s father, an Inuit, had died during one of two mysterious expeditions to Greenland carried out by the corporation; his death, she also finds, was somewhat mysterious.
In Copenhagen, aided by clues from a former auditor for the Cryolite Corporation, by her Danish father, by an investigator for the prosecutor, and by a shipping broker, as well as a newfound lover she calls the mechanic, she finds that there were two mysterious voyages to the west coast of Greenland carried out through the Cryolite Corporation. On of three men who headed these voyages is a blind Inuit genius; when he gives Smilla information he is killed and she almost dies in a fire which destroys an old wooden sailing vessel. She is sure that there is a criminal plot under way, and that drugs are part of it.
Smilla manages to sail on the KRONOS, which sails for an unknown destination. Two further attempts are made to kill Smilla, and although she finds heroin on the ship it is clear that the real purpose of the voyage is not to obtain or to sell drugs. When...
(The entire section is 466 words.)