donderdag 11 mei 2017

"A Cold Day for Murder" by Dana Stabenow

"Yes, it was a great park, a spectacular park, a national treasure, everyone agreed, not least those who lived there. You just couldn't get at it."
Kate Shugak is one of the most original detectives you'll ever meet. She's Aleut, 30 years old with raven black hair and a raspy voice, and at about 1.50 m really tiny. Kate used to work as a police investigator, until she was nearly murdered while saving a child. She still has the huge scar from ear to ear to remind her of the event. Since then, she's lived a solitary life in a huge national park in Alaska, with her half-wolf, half-husky, Mutt.

Mark Miller, ranger and son of an important congressman, has disappeared and so has the investigator who went out to look for him. The FBI turns to Kate, because she knows the terrain like nobody else. She accepts reluctantly, but soon regrets her decision as her own family turn out to be involved with one of the missing persons. But Kate is intent on finding out the truth, whatever the outcome.

The story takes quite a while to get going. The author spends a long time providing the setting and describing the scenery and the characters, which is always a good thing in my opinion. But it takes about half the book until the story really gets going, and that's a bit too much for a mere 190-page novel. But once the investigation actually starts, "A Cold Day for Murder" turns out to be a fine mystery novel. Kate is an interesting protagonist and the clash between the cultures of the native Alaskans and the 'modern' world -which Kate is caught between- is really interesting. It's the first in a 20-part series, and I'm sure I'll read at least some of the sequels.

Author: Dana Stabenow
Title: A Cold Day for Murder
Publisher: Head of Zeus, London
Year: 2013 (orig. 1992)
Number of pages: 193 p.
IBN: 9781908800398

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