Dead in the Water (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow
|Dead in the Water (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's the third book in the Kate Shugak series first published in the nineties. This time it's largely on water, but like the other two books which I've read two decades have not aged the story and they're darned good reads.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: December 2012|
|Publisher: Head of Zeus|
|External links: Author's website|
Kate Shugak is a native Aleut living in an Alaskan National Park and she's currently an investigator for hire. I hesitate to call her a private investigator as so far she's been hired by a government agency, but at just over five feet tall and just over thirty she's the best man when it comes to sorting out what's been going on. This time it's the case of two crew members lost from a ship off the coast of Alaska some months before. Their families want to know what happened to them. That's how Kate came to be signed on as a deckhand on the Avilda. They're crabbing in some of the nastiest and most dangerous conditions you can imagine. And it's not just the weather that's the problem.
Dana Stabenow grew up on a fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. What's in this book isn't the product of research, or a couple of nice, safe day trips. This is what it's really like out there and there were occasions when it was the weather that had me gnawing my fingernails - never mind the story. You'll need to be wrapped up warm just to read the book. As with all Dana Stabenow's books, Alaska - the land or the sea - is a major character in the story. It's a place that fights back against being tamed. Another major player is the cultural difference between the incomers and the native Alaskans: it's subtle and it's well done.
The story is well done too, but it's probably more thriller than whodunnit because there's not a lot of doubt about who the baddies are right from the off. There are some neat twists about the 'why' and the 'how' and the joy of the characters is that even the bit players come of the page fully formed. I do have a minor niggle though - Kate's half wolf/half husky pet, Mutt, was absent from the story, and I did miss her.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.
This book works well as a standalone, but there is some benefit from reading in chronological order, so you might like to start with A Cold Day for Murder.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dead in the Water (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Dead in the Water (A Kate Shugak Investigation) by Dana Stabenow at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.