A Fatal Thaw (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow

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A Fatal Thaw (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow

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Buy A Fatal Thaw (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Best read after the first book in the series but it's a well-written and engaging story.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Head of Zeus
ISBN: 978-1908800404

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Roger McAniff bought a new Winchester rifle and went out to test it - and nine people were dead by the end of the day. But - only eight of them had been shot by McAniff and one - Lisa Getty was shot by someone else. McAniff wouldn't have it - he was almost insulted by the thought that he might have missed someone - but ballistic tests proved that in this instance he wasn't the killer. Kate Shugak was given the job of tracking down the unknown killer. It wasn't going to be easy, not least because she apprehended McAniff and every conversation began with a statement that she could have saved time and money if she'd killed him. That's not Kate's way though.

We first met Kate Shugak in A Cold Day for Murder and everything we said about that book applies just as much - if not more - to A Fatal Thaw. Yes, it's a couple of decades since it was first published, but the Sandy Hook massacre in late 2012 points up the fact that such shootings are not something which used to happen. It's not gun control which is the issue here, but the problems which can be caused in a close community when one person believes that 'do what thy will' should be the whole of the law. And, no, we're not talking about the killer.

I did wonder if the series was going to be formulaic. Much of the story depends on Kate's knowledge of and links to the community in the Alaskan National Park and I had an awful sense of deja vu when Kate was shot at in the local town. Of course, it might be that it really is an occupational hazard. Then there was the fact that I was pretty certain about who the killer was - and why - from very early on, but surprisingly it didn't matter. You'll be pretty certain that Kate Shugak knows too, but the story of how she proves it is a darn good one.

There's an incidental bonus in the story and it's about the rituals which any community develops to celebrate, to get them through the bad times and to help the people who suffer. There's a beautiful. moving finale as you realise that Kate Shugak believes - and believes deeply - in justice. It's just that it might not be the justice which the government would recognise.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

The book reads well as a standalone, but if you're planning on reading more than one (and it would be a waste not to) you'd be best beginning with A Cold Day for Murder. The spoilers are not massive, but a name which shouldn't might just ring a bell.

Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak Books in Chronological Order

Buy A Fatal Thaw (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Fatal Thaw (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow at Amazon.co.uk


Buy A Fatal Thaw (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Fatal Thaw (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow at Amazon.com.

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