Sunday, June 15, 2008

Skeleton Lake-Mike Doogan

Skeleton Lake
Mike Doogan
Putnam, Aug 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399154928

Nik Kane was an Anchorage police detective until he was convicted of a crime and spent seven years in prison. When he was exonerated he took a job as a security firm investigator. On his latest case, he was shot and almost died; his son, who was pursuing the same murderer, did die. Nik’s wife wants nothing to do with him; so his sister the nun allows him to stay with her while he recuperates.

While healing, Nik flashes back to his youth. In 1967 his father walked out and never came back; his mother never told him why. He thinks of 1985 when he was a rookie and someone assassinated tough police officer Danny Shirtleff with two bullets to his head near Skeleton Lake. Nik and his partner Jackie Dee never learned why Danny was uncover by a make out place; the case went cold without the slightest suspect surfacing. To pass time while recovering, Nik goes over the files he has from the Shirtleff murder.

The story line skips around between the three dates with each representing something critical that happened to Nik; these actually represent three storylines that merge brilliantly though it is somewhat confusing into a strong character driven tale. Readers will learn more about Nik’s past that motivates him in the present as Mike Doogan provides a strong shrewd tale that his fans will appreciate.

Harriet Klausner