Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
No Fixed Line by Dana Stabenow
Series: Kate Shugak #22
Published by Tantor Audio on January 9, 2020
Length: 7 hours, 39 minute
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
t is New Year's Eve, nearly six weeks into an off-and-on blizzard that has locked Alaska down, effectively cutting it off from the outside world. But now there are reports of a plane down in the Quilak mountains. With the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board - responsible for investigating aviation incidents) unable to reach the crash site, ex-trooper Jim Chopin is pulled out of retirement to try to identify the aircraft, collect the corpses, and determine why no flight has been reported missing. But Jim discovers survivors: two children who don't speak a word of English. Meanwhile, PI Kate Shugak receives an unexpected and unwelcome accusation from beyond the grave - a charge that could change the face of the Park forever.
The Kate Shugak series is now up to 22 books and I have read them all. It begins with A Cold Day for Murder in 1992. There was a 4 year wait between books 20 and 21 so I am thrilled it is continuing a bit more regularly. I have been listening on audio to just the last couple and have enjoyed Marguerite Gavin.
I am so happy this series is continuing. Kate is her usual force in doing what is right. Jim was right there supporting her and wondering at how much he has changed because it is all about Kate for him. I don’t expect this to be a romance; I just expect the characters to have relationships of various types to add to the emotional complexity of the characters. But while their progression is achingly slow, I love them as a couple.
While I have hated their time apart in some of the books, including briefly in this story, I do appreciate how it gives us more of Jim’s point of view. I love how he has evolved and his plan for a new career is brilliant.
The events and case took partially from current events with immigrants and the opioid crisis playing a part. The criminal actions were horrific. Various things happened which all got intermixed in the end. There’s a plane crash where the only survivors are small children who don’t speak English.
Kate got named executor of the estate of a bad guy who tried to kill her more than once. It had to be a trap, so Kate got busy figuring it out. Luckily, when the bad guys try to get her this time around, Mutt is on the case and they don’t stand a chance. I worry Mutt will get shot (again) if she is not careful.
There are so many things I enjoyed about this from the world and characters I have loved for so many years, to the new and timely type of criminals, and the clever solutions Kate and Jim engineer. I love Mutt. And there are two mentions of the wonderful author Dick Francis, as well as other book references for Kate and Jim are readers. I enjoy the intelligence of the new generation in Johnny and Vanessa. I also love the traditions and culture of the park, the community which takes care of their own.
I have only starting listening to these on audio and it is a joy. Her character voices really worked for me. She made me feel all the characters and their emotions. I don’t know if her foreign language voices are accurate accents but they felt right. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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