Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow

Description from Macmillan:
New York Times bestselling author Dana Stabenow's latest finds Kate Shugak entangled in a bitter tribal rivalry and murder.
One hundred years of bad blood between the villages of Kushtaka and Kuskulana come to a boil when the body of a young Kushtaka ne'er-do-well is found wedged in a fish wheel. Sergeant Jim Chopin's prime suspect is a Kuskulana man who is already in trouble in both villages for falling in love across the river. But when the suspect disappears, members of both tribes refuse to speak to Jim. When a second murder that looks suspiciously like payback occurs, Jim has no choice but to call in Kate Shugak for help. This time, though, her Park relationships may not be enough to sort out the truth hidden in the tales of tragedy and revenge.
Jim is called out because a body has been found.  He tries to investigate but the villagers block his every move. An attempt was made on his life.  Thank goodness he can swim.  Another body is found in the opposite town.  Now it's a feud!  Kate is trying to figure out who is bringing in booze and drugs.  The miners are buying and it is starting to cause problems in the Park.  All these things come together towards the end.  I did not like the ending of this book!!!

An excerpt:

One

Two villages, where two rivers meet.
A geologic age before the runoff from Alaskan Glacier high up in the Quilak Mountains chewed through a granite ridge to form a narrow canyon fifteen miles long.
A millennium before, a massive earthquake exacerbated a fault in the ridge. Half of it cracked and slid off to the southwest. It left behind a V-shaped wedge between the confluence of two watercourses, which would one day be named Gruening River on the south side and Cataract Creek on the north.
The tip of the vee pointed due west. The surface of the wedge was flat and topped with a thick slice of verdant soil raised a hundred feet in the air by the earthquake. That earthquake had also fractured a way to the surface through the granite uplift for an underground spring. The spring’s outflow trickled down the south face of the wedge, over time carving a channel for a little stream too steep to support a salmon run and too shallow to be good for anything but watering the blueberry bushes that grew thickly along its sides. In spring, this slope was first to thaw, snow and ice giving way to a fairyland of wildflowers, the brash orange and yellow florets of western columbine, the shy blue of forget-me-nots, the noxious brown blooms of chocolate lilies, the elegant pink paintbrush, and the dignified purple monkshood.
By luck of the geologic draw, the land across the river remained largely undisturbed by the earthquake, remaining a flat marsh covered in thick grass, cattails, and Alaska cotton. Over time glacial silt carried downriver filled in the marsh, and alder, diamond willow, and cottonwood grew out to the water’s edge. The force and flow of the combined currents of river and stream undercut the banks to provide habitat for river otters, mink, and marten, and carved tiny tributaries to be dammed by beavers and colonized by salmon. Read more here.

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