Whisper to the Blood
St. Martin's, Feb 17 2009, $24.95
Aleut private detective Kate Shugak homesteads in the “Park” and though mentored by her grandmother to become the leader of their tribe and head of the Niniltna Native Association, she is more of a loner than a charismatic leader. Thus her personal issues are even more irritating to her as she struggles with the demands of her teenage foster son Johnny Morgan, and her State Trooper boyfriend Jim. However, their “bullying” her seems mild compared to the pleas of the four widow "Aunties" who are the ethical conscience of the residents of the “Park” and play on her scruples. She ignored their concerns before (see A DEEPER SLEEP) to her regret but still prefers to discount their latest apprehensions.
Canadian mining firm, Global Harvest Resources Inc is planning a large operation in the national park that impacts all the homesteaders. The Park residents are angry and some forms of vigilant justice surface with vicious snow machine robberies harming victims. On top of that, two homicides have further divided the developers from the locals. Kate investigates the murders and the violent robberies.
As always with the rugged regional Shugak mystery the investigation is excellent and the heroine’s personal problems with relationships enhance her as a person with flaws. The eccentric cast augments the prime story line by providing insight into living in the Alaskan wilderness. That barren landscape comes alive as Dana Stabenow escorts her readers to the rugged side of Alaska that the recent election failed to showcase (see A DEEPER SLEEP).