There's something especially rewarding about following a regional mystery series - you're not only familiar with the characters but with the terrain. Often you've been introduced to unfamiliar territory, and are eager to learn more during a return visit. Such is the case with Dana Stabenow's sterling Kate Shugak series.
With this, the sixteenth in the series, we're reacquainted with Kate, a heroine with grit to spare, a 16-year-old foster son, and an Alaska state trooper boyfriend, Jim Chopin. We're also treated to one more narration by the splendid voice performer Marguerite Gavin who has recorded over 200 audiobooks including the first Kate Shugak and others in this series.
Check out Dana Stabenow's blog and you'll find that she, too, is thrilled with Gavin's work, saying" Good news for audio book fans......Marguerite Gavin is BACK as narrator!" How true! The voice Gavin has found for Kate captures not only her fierce independence but her strength. The sound is strong, sonorous, yet at times verges on a studied hoarseness that reflects tension or a frightening situation.
With Whisper To The Blood we find a Canadian gold mining company, Global Harvest Resources Inc., that has been buying up land inside Alaska's largest national park, simply known as "the Park." Residents don't care for this at all and remain unconvinced that it will be beneficial to them despite the efforts of a well liked ski champion Global Harvest has hired to bolster its pr. She's out there reminding everyone that gold is now selling for $900 an ounce, and the Company will be providing jobs for many.
However, it doesn't help a pr campaign any when murder is involved - one of the dead had been vocally opposed to the mine. No surprise that Jim Chopin is called on to solve the killings and that Kate will be by his side. Muddying the waters even further are attacks on snowmobilers. As usual Kate and Jim have more on their plates than most find in several lifetimes, and it's spine-tingling pleasure to find out what they can do about it.
Bestselling author and Edgar Award winner Stabenow demonstrates once again that she's tops in her field, springing surprises at every turn along with painterly descriptions of Alaska.
- Gail Cooke