In this latest installment in the Kate Shugak series, the possibility of drilling for oil in a wildlife preserve near the home of the dynamic Aleutian P.I. has battle lines drawn. Things heat up when a ranger at the preserve loses his job for political reasons, but when a passionate conservation spokesperson is found poisoned, the war begins in earnest.
In a gripping story both entertaining and tense, not to mention timely, Dana Stabenow brings to life the beauty and danger of living and dying in Alaska.
State of suspense: listen to more Alaskan mysteries in the Kate Shugak series.
©2002 Dana Stabenow; (P)2002 Books on Tape Inc.
"The series is known for its breathtaking portrayal of the Alaskan scenery and way of life, its complex characterizations and the wry humor that gives the stories their unique appeal." (Writers Write)
Found this book in a used book store and had never heard of Kate Shugak or the author. Loved the book and then found out it was a series. Made me go looking for all of them. So well written and grabs your attention and holds on. There are so many twists and turns that you don't realize who the killer is. In so many mysteries you can guess who did it, but not in a Stabenow book. I recommend all of her books.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
"A Fine And Bitter Snow" moves right along from "Singing For The Dead" continuing the "we're really a series now" feeling that has been there since "Hunter's Moon".
This book brings Kate back to the Park and gets her reinvolved with the regular cast of characters from the previous books. Kate is most fully herself in the Park. Seeing her in this environment shows how she has changed: her quite assumption that she can and should intervene in Park politics, the hole in her life where Jack used to be and her dawning recognition that, although she still values her solitude, she yearns for a man to share her life with.
I can also see what hasn't changed: Kate's loyalty to her friends, her refusal to be pushed into anything, her bravery in the face of danger and her practical compassion in her dealings with people in trouble.
"A Fine And Bitter Snow" gave me another opportunity to see Kate through Jim Chopin's eyes. Somehow this seems a clearer and more passionate view than I ever remember getting through Jack Morgan's eyes.
There is, of course a murder and Kate involves herself in investigating it. The death takes Kate back to her childhood and beyond, to the very early days of the Park being formed and shows once again that you can never leave your past behind you. The murder mystery is not particularly challenging but that is more than made up for by how well drawn the characters are.
I dislike murder books that seem fascinated with the murderer, revelling in the violence they do to others and relegating the victims to incidental plot devices. Dana Stabenow draws real people and describes real grief. In many ways, this makes her murders much more terrible than those of her more blood-thirsty contemporaries.
One of the ways that the people in the Park deal with grief is through holding a Potlach. Kate sets this one up (another way in which she is unconsciously stepping into her grandmother's shoes) and her choice of the picture as a Potlach gift sums up the focus on celebrating the person's life. The stories told at the Potlach reminded me of the ones that were told at the wakes my (Irish) grandfather's generation used to hold.
I'm hooked on Kate Shugak now and no longer constrained by books not being available on audible (at least in the US - there are still gaps in the UK) so I've downloaded the rest of the books and will be rationing them out at one a month (unless I give way to weakness and read more).
Fast pace...intense sexual moments but Dana Stabenow writing about Kate Shugack at her absolute finest!
Kate is amazing and real...Jim is hot and together they are explosive.
Yes, other Kate Shugack novels...she rocks it out of the park.
Mutt saves Kate by going back to the Roadhouse to get Jim, awesome! I can't potty train a puppy let alone train one to love and protect me!
And Buffalo George
Kate is back in the Park, recovering. When she discovers that the local ranger is about to be cashiered because he opposes administration policy on oil drilling, she springs into action. All the familiar characters are there--Mutt is my favorite. As always, Stabinow illuminates one of the contemporary Alaska issues--oil drilling in the natural environment. Oh, and there is some crime involved and Kate solves it. "Chopper Jim" evolves and becomes a character we can enjoy. Where's book #13?
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
I was very disappointed in books 9 & 10. I missed book 11. And I am so glad that in this book - book 12 - Kate is back where she belongs. She is at home in her Park. She is at home with Johnny. She is at home in her own skin.
What is good: Jim Chopin is growing as a character. He was almost cartoonish in some of the early books. He wasn't likable or intriguing. But in this book he becomes a person who is real and has both compassion and heart. I think he will become a character to love.
What is still missing: 1. Bobby in a bigger role. That character brings comedy and heart and I miss him. 2. Alaska as a character. In many of the earlier volumes Alaska takes a central role and becomes a character in itself. We explored the phenomenon known as break up, the salmon fishing industry, tribal politics, and so much more. We lost that in books 9 & 10 and it is still missing from this book.
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