I enjoyed this. It could have benefited from being a tad longer, with a little more time to establish characters, but on the whole it was an enjoyable and unusual whodunnit.
The blurb reads ‘Somewhere in the hinterlands of Alaska, among the millions of sprawling acres that comprise “The Park,” a young National Park Ranger has gone missing. When the detective sent after him also vanishes, the Anchorage DA’s department must turn to their reluctant former investigator, Kate Shugak. Shugak knows The Park because she’s of The Park, an Aleut who left her home village of Niniltna to pursue education, a career, and the righting of wrongs. Kate’s search for the missing men will take her from self-imposed exile back to a life she’d left behind, and face-to-face with people and problems she’d hoped never to confront again.
The first novel in the popular Kate Shugak Series, A Cold Day for Murder established Dana Stabenow as a new voice in Alaskan mystery writing, and earned her an Edgar Award.’
Stabenow does have a talent for characters and atmosphere and here we meet a succession of the varied residents of Anchorage, several of whom have a motive for killing a Park Ranger and the young detective who came to investigate his disappearance.
Before reading this the only thing I knew about Alaska was that it was cold, but Stabenow has deftly painted a portrait of a harsh yet beautiful part of the world where the inhabitants have to strike an uneasy balance between preservation of the natural way of life and progress.
It’s an impressive debut. I would have loved it to have been a little longer though. I look forward to reading more of Kate Shugak and the wilds of Alaska.