Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Cold Day for Murder (Kate Shugak #1), by Dana Stabenow (author), Marguerite Gavin (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, ISBN 9780425133019, October 2011 (original publication 1992)

Kate Shugak left her job as a detective on the Anchorage police force, and retreated to her late father's homestead in a national park in the interior of Alaska. That apparently isn't remote enough, though. Her ex-boss, Jack Morgan, and an FBI agent find her and ask her to take on a case of two missing people. The first is a Park Ranger with powerful connections--and whom Kate was previously involved with. The other is the previous FBI agent that went looking for him.

With one missing six weeks, and the other missing two weeks, there's not really any chance that either is alive.

Kate is Aleut, and her grandmother is a respected leader in the community. Her grandmother pushes Kate to be a force for preserving the old ways; her younger cousins hope and expect her to be a leader for modernization. Meanwhile, Kate is mainly still trying to recover from the traumatic events that led her to quit the Anchorage police department.

But she can't turn away from Jack Morgan's plea that she take up this search, in a place no one else he can send is able to do it as well, or perhaps at all.

There's a lot going on here, emotionally, as Kate wrestles with her demons, the competing demands she faces, and where the evidence is leading her. I'm not doing justice to the book, but Kate Shugak is a tough, humane, interesting character.

Recommended.