Friday, November 20, 2009

Village of the Ghost Bears-Stan Jones

Village of the Ghost Bears
Stan Jones
Soho, Dec 2009, $24.00
ISBN 9781569476062

Inupiaq Alaskan state trooper Nathan Active is camping with his beloved Grace when they find a corpse in a creek. The pike had eaten away the face of the deceased.

Soon afterward someone sets a fire to the recreation center in the remote village of Chukchi. Eight people including the police chief die in the dealdy inferno.

Nathan investigates both cases of homicide. At the same time, apparent polar bear poaching, an illegal act as the animal is protected by law, makes his inquiry much more dangerous and convoluted especially the body in the brook inquiry.

The latest Nathan Active police procedural (see Frozen Sun) is a terrific Alaskan thriller that hooks the reader early with its stark beautiful description of remote Alaska mostly from an aerial view. Nathan is his super self working exciting twisting investigations into homicides and poaching that look like Bridges to Nowhere except for his diligence, and his romance enhances the plot as he turns to a native healer for advice. However, Alaska owns this super tale as Stan Jones provides a deep look at a remote part of the state.

Harriet Klausner