New York Times best-selling author Dana Stabenow's latest, Bad Blood, finds Kate Shugak entangled in a bitter tribal rivalry and murder.
In Alaska, 100 years of bad blood between the villages of Kushtaka and Kuskulana come to a boil when the body of a young Kushtaka ne'er-do-well is found wedged in a fish wheel. Sergeant Jim Chopin's prime suspect is a Kuskulana man who is already in trouble in both villages for falling in love across the river. But when the suspect disappears, members of both tribes refuse to speak to Jim. When a second murder that looks suspiciously like payback occurs, Jim has no choice but to call in Kate Shugak for help. This time, though, her Park relationships may not be enough to sort out the truth hidden in the tales of tragedy and revenge.
©2013 Dana Stabenow (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
This 20th book in the story of Kate Shugak and Alaska is another winner, though much of the story is actually about Jim Chopin. The plot, straight out of Shakespeare, involves the feud between two villages in the Park, and the problems of young love in the midst of feud fueled by profound cultural and socio-economic differences.
This book ends with a rather controversial ending that I will not describe or comment on to avoid spoiling the book. Suffice it to say, it's a shocker.
But even knowing that, I am extremely glad to have read this book, and, as usual, Marguerite Gavin's superb narration adds to the enjoyment and understanding.
I love the Shugak series. I listen to them again and again...but I won't bother with this one. It's stuffed with poofy purple prose and so much description that one is ready to gag on it.
In general, it's a Romeo and Juliet rehash with star-crossed lovers from two different villages that have traditionally feuded with each other. Gack. I don't care for this kind of storyline. I might as well be reading about a grizzly dating a beaver.
We've also got multiple murders, bootlegging, Erland Bannister is once again on the loose (he's tried to kill Kate before), and Jim Chopin is losing his ability to interact with hostile locals. His skiff is sabotaged, leading to a sinking in an icy cold river and potential hypothermia. Some one -- or everyone wants him to stop investigating the man who drowned in a fish wheel and the man who died, nailed into a crawlspace.
I don't need to hear stuff reiterated. Hearing the same details repeated inside of 5 or 10 minutes regarding Chopper Jim or Kate or two villages having a pissing match gets old. Really old. I usually listen to these books in a day, two at most. It took me a week to keep interested in this long enough to get to the bitter end.
It ends with a cliffhanger that's definitely dirty pool. Bullets are flying and two characters are hit. Then it ends. If my favorite character dies, I won't return to these books.
Wait for the next volume so that you can find out right away who lives, dies, whatever. It would also be a good idea to switch back to the ebook version so that you can flip pages with rapidity instead of listening to hours of blaah. A print version should be only an hour's read. At the very least, use your iPod and jack up the speed to "faster, must go faster!"
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.
Unlike other reviewers of this book, I liked the cliffhanger. Dana has never shied away from shocking twists -- like letting Jack die! For me it makes the books far more real and likable. Life isn't easy, perfect or rolled up into little pretty packages in the end. In life loved ones die, people hurt one another and we often hate our jobs. That is something Ms Stabenow does well. Am I anxious to know the outcome from this cliffhanger? Yes, I am. And I like that.
Regarding the rest of the book. This mystery was less interesting to me than the last two. And, unfortunately the things I like best about the Kate Shaguk series are mostly absent. There was less development of the Jim/Kate storyline; Johnny was absent, and Bobby too; Alaska is less of a character in this story. So, I cannot give it more than 3 stars.
I love the Kate Shugak series and was under the impression this was the last book. The ending was a terrible shock and I was royally p***ed…then after checking Diana Stabenow's web site, I find that she's working on the 21st book in the series!! Thank god! That shocking ending was the only reason for a lost star on the story. Love Kate and Mutt and Chopper Jim!!
I recently found this series and have listened to most of her books. They are an easy entertaining listen. I assume she ended the book this way to make the reader anxious to read the next book to see how it turns out. I felt cheated and will never buy a book by Stabenow again.
finished the story
The narration was much better in this book than in the last one. Liked the story; did not like the ending but I guess I'll have to see. Have liked all of the Kate Shugak novels. Read/listen to them in order.
It is always a pleasure to hear the voice you had in your mind for the character when you read the books. Marguerite Gavin provides a great voice for Kate and the story is engrossing.
“Favorite authors- Nevada Barr, Craig Johnson, Louise Penny. Narrators, Marguerite Gavin, , George Guidall.”
If she had finished the book
Not Dana Stabenow
I've been a fan of Dana Stabenow's books for many years and this is the first tme she's disappointed me. She left the story hanging like the last season episode of Dallas. Shame on you Dana, it's not like you have to force your readers to return by leavng a story unfinished!
Well written and performed. My favorite characters and setting by this author. Hope to see more in the future!
Great series! Read them all again. I would definitely recommend.
Please don't let this end, is all I can say. It is a great series, with great characters. I listen to books all day while working.
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