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.
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 enjoy all of Dana Stabenow's books, especially the Kate Shugak series. Marguerite Gavin is terrific at telling the story.
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.
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.
I've been intrigued by some of the other books in the series. It was highly recommended to me that I read the first few books to learn the background of Kate Shugak. I didn't find the story to be all that suspensful.
I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it instead of listened to it. I thought the narrator's voice didn't suit what I thought the protagonist should sound like. Kate seemed to be a no-nonsense country gal with an injury to her throat. Her voice should have been husky at the very least. I was distracted by Marguerite Gavin's interpretation, so much so that I didn't focus on the story the way I should have.
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!
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