From Publishers Weekly
After a dozen mysteries featuring Aleut sleuth Kate Shugak, including the Edgar-winning debut A Cold Day for Murder (1992), Stabenow's framework remains simple, sound and effective. Take a strong-willed, independent woman and pit her against the beautiful and dangerous Alaskan wilderness and those, mainly men, who try to compromise her independence. Give her a faithful companion, Mutt, a half-wolf mixed breed, and an abiding sense of loyalty and fair play. One of the pleasures of the series is the tension that arises from the characters' need for both privacy and dependence on others. The result is closeness without intimacy, superbly illustrated when the body of Len Dreyer, town handyman, turns up at the mouth of a glacier. Only then does it become clear that the victim was a complete cipher. Challenges and changes also mark Kate's relationships with teenager Johnny Morgan, son of her late lover, Jack Morgan, and with state trooper Jim Chopin. Kate's professional training and investigative skills make her an able adjunct for the undermanned state police, but this time her efforts render her and Johnny and Mutt targets for a killer. Stabenow is a fine storyteller, but it is her passion for the Alaskan landscape and the iconoclastic people who inhabit it that fires this series and lifts this latest entry to its pinnacle. FYI: Stabenow is also the author of the Liam Campbell (Nothing Gold Can Stay) and the Star Svensdotter (Red Planet Run) mystery series.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
On an eighth-grade field trip to Grant Glacier in Alaska, students discover a corpse in an ice cave beneath the glacier. With too many cases, State Trooper Jim Chopin hires Aleut PI Kate Shugak to investigate. After discovering that the victim had a secret life, Kate becomes the killer's next target. In this thirteenth Shugak novel, Stabenow simultaneously builds on the series' strengths and moves in new directions. As before, she effectively combines a challenging, suspect-filled mystery with a vivid sense of place and some witty commentary on Alaskans. The field-trip premise gives her the opportunity to develop teenage supporting characters and to reflect sensitively on teen concerns. Fans will also enjoy the first tentative steps toward a wary romance between Jim and Kate. The wilderness settings and Kate's rugged independence will continue to attract fans of Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series and Sue Henry's Jesse Arnold series (also set in Alaska). John RowenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved