Eighteen months ago, Aleut Kate Shugak quit her job investigating sex crimes for the Anchorage DA’s office and retreated to her father’s homestead in a national park in the interior of Alaska. But the world has a way of beating a path to her door, however remote. In the middle of one of the bitterest Decembers in recent memory ex-boss — and ex-lover — Jack Morgan shows up with an FBI agent in tow. A Park ranger with powerful relatives is missing, and now the investigator Jack sent in to look for him is missing, too.
Reluctantly, Kate, along with Mutt, her half-wolf, half-husky sidekick, leaves her wilderness refuge to follow a frozen trail through the Park, twenty thousand square miles of mountain and tundra sparsely populated with hunters, fishermen, trappers, mushers, pilots and homesteaders. Her formidable grandmother and Native chief, Ekaterina Shugak, is — for reasons of her own — against Kate’s investigation; her cousin, Martin, may be Kate’s prime suspect; and the local trooper, Jim Chopin, is more interested in Kate than in her investigation. In the end, the sanctuary she sought after five and a half years in the urban jungles may prove more lethal than anything she left behind in the city streets of Anchorage.
State of suspense: listen to more Alaskan mysteries in the Kate Shugak series.
©2011 Dana Stabenow (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
I have been waiting until all Stabenow's books are in audible format, so I have "read" some of the latter books before this one. This book was not as complex, but it is great to get to know the characters from the beginning. Gavin's performance is, as usual, top notch.
One inconsistency, though, is the variation in the story of the how Kate received her throat scar. In "Though Not Dead", the 4 year old was a random victim, whereas in this (first) of the series, the victim was the child of the perpetrator. This does not diminish from the impact of the book, however -- it must be difficult to keep facts consistent over the course of more than a dozen novels.
The best character in the story is Alaska itself. Stabenow takes you there and it is a fun trip. Also love the partnership between Kate and her dog, Mutt.
Please make ALL of Stabenow's books available!
I love mysteries, thrillers and horror - my escape! Since I spend roughly 4 hours a day commuting, Audible is my lifeline to sanity! I love it!
A fan of mystery/detective stories all my life, I've been looking for a new (to me) author/series to listen to. The Alaska setting drew me to Dana Stabenow and Kate Shugak. While a little short of compelling, I found the story interesting and the characters well-defined. I found myself drawn into their lives and caring about what happens to them. I'm going to try another in the series.
Marguerite Gavin does a great job bring Kate Shugak to like. Kate is a realistic and sympathetic character that I enjoyed reading about. The plot was strong and well developed as was the other characters. There was enough twist and turns to keep you guessing through out the book. I ususally read light and cozy mysteries and this was a bit darker. I spent an entire day listening to it. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
I'm one of those folks who has to go back to the begining of a series. In this case the downside of that was that this story starts to feel a little slow and a little old fashioned, although I'm sure it was leading edge when it was published.
The book has a strong sense of place and some deeply (although not subtly) carved characters who make you care what happens to them,
The plot is complicated enough to be interesting with being annoyingly clever.
Perhaps I'm just not used to the accent but I was distracted by the fact that the reader placed stresses in unexpected places. She did dialogue well but the descriptive pieces lacked focus. It seemed her voice needed a little more range.
I will continue with this series on audible.
I have been hooked on Dana Stabenow stories for many years now! This is the first in the Kate Shugak series. Finding this book at a used book store in Juneau AK was one of the best things to ever happen to me!
The story has me waiting for the next page, wondering what will happen to Kate and Mutt next. ANYONE who has lived in Alaska knows that life is different 'up there' and those environmental and social challenges influence people to act and do strange things. There could be no better story of life in the bush in my opinion.
I have both audio and paper versions and I never can get bored with either. Curled up in the recliner with a hot cup of tea or driving down the road listening to the same story where I left off at the paper version, I get the escape I am looking for. I couldn't be happier with the choice of listening to a Dana Stabenow novel.
Marguerite Gavin is the perfect balance to get the characters off paper and into your mind the way that Dana Stabenow intended. Their communication over the pronunciation and tone is what makes these two the perfect collaboration!
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (mystery) - A Cold Day for Murder introduces Kate Shugak, a native Alaskan and previous investigator for the Anchorage DA's Office who has retired to a quiet and peaceful life deep in the Alaskan wilderness. She is asked by Jack, her ex lover/boss, to conduct an investigation into the disappearance of two men who were last seen in her area. What follows is the typical murder investigation you've heard many times, but this one is set in Aleut territory with descriptive imagery of crisp winter mornings, snowmobile rides and encounters with wildlife. The investigation is interesting and the conclusion is somewhat unexpected. I enjoyed the author's treatment of the "past" between Jack and Kate.
PERFORMANCE - I have commented about this narrator before. She has a lovely voice, but she seems to lose her place while reading and then tack on the rest of a sentence as an afterthought. It doesn't happen enough to detract from the experience, but you will notice it when it happens.
OVERALL - This is the first book in the series, but it can stand alone. It is short (5 1/2 hours) and enjoyable, but there's nothing special about it except the Alaskan scenery. There is cursing and some violence, but not a lot. I don't plan to continue the series, except maybe an occasional book that may come on sale.
This is the first book I've read in this series or even by this author for that matter. It won't be the last. I really enjoyed it. I'm just sorry I won't be able to get them all on audible. I really like the narrator also. Very nice job all the way around.
Totally different setting and interesting characters.
Kate is sort of an Alaskan Kinsey Milhone, but even more independent, self-sufficient, and tough as nails.
Kate Shugak was performed the best - the narrator had to make her voice sound like it had been damaged.
In Alaska, that's going some.
No, I don't think so.
Her characters are interesting only from the anthropological standpoint: they project a clear and crude image of life among Alaskan Indians. The whole story revolves around her main character, but she doesn't pull her weight. So the story drags out, and it doesn't help that Stabenow's style is full of clichés.
I would prefer Jean Smart, a wonderful narrator.
Kate - she's independent and loves the outdoors, yet has needs like everyone else
I liked this book because I really grew to like Kate and I loved hearing about Alaska and the people and the customs - hearing in entertaining ways that were woven into the story. I ended and bought the 2nd in the series so that says something!
"Don't waste your credit on this one."
boring, predictable, repetitive, shallow. I wouldn't waste my time. oh well. on to another book.
This is a standard murder mystery lifted above the pack by excellent writing, unique environment and charismatic characters.
Kate is... irascible, bright, loyal, terse... All kinds of person and it shows in the personal conflict she manages to deal with with grace.
"Worse than waiting for paint to dry!"
Awful. I have given up on only two books in my life; and this is the 2nd. I really, really don't care about the method of heating for a shack in a native village in Alaska or how housing is transported, I certainly do not want a 5 minute description of each; just give me the story! Is there one? I'm in chapter 4 and NOTHING that is not on the front cover, has happened.
No redeeming qualities. Bin it.
"Dull and boring"
Absolutely no depth to the story or any of the characters. There was no suspense, no build up, no tension, the story just trotted along aimlessly then ended. Had it been longer, I would never have finished it.
It was ok. I can't blame the narrator for the boring story.
All of it. The story was just too weak. Most of the story was filling, linking together a few uninteresting events.
The synopsis is the most interesting part of this book. For a book that was only 5.5 hours, I nearly gave up after 3 hours thinking that the story was going nowhere, but I thought as I was over half way, I would plough through. I had to force myself to listen to the last hour, including the big (or not so big) reveal, so I could write a fair review. Normally when I reach the last hour of a book, I am listening anywhere and everywhere. I listened to the last 10 minutes, purely to delete it and move on to the next book.
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