Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Not the Ones Dead by Dana Stabenow
Series: Kate Shugak #23
Published by Tantor Audio on April 13, 2023
Length: hours, minute
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Audible, Apple
A mid-air collision in the Alaskan wilderness between two small aircraft leaves ten people dead. Was it a bird strike, pilot error... or premeditated murder?
Then an eleventh body is found in the wreckage: a man shot gangland style, twice in the chest and once in the head.
In an investigation that reaches to the highest levels of government, justice may not be served, but Kate Shugak is determined that the truth will out, even at the risk of her life and the lives of those she loves most.
I have read all the books in the Kate Shugak series, and now we have book 23. The series begins with A Cold Day for Murder in 1992. The last few books were a 4 year wait between books.
I am thrilled to have more to read in this series. Many things have changed over time. In the beginning, Kate and Mutt were a team. Kate was quite independent, a very talented investigator with her native knowledge. She then had a relationship with Jack Morgan who at one time was her boss in the DA’s office in Anchorage. Now she lives with Jim Chopin, a retired Alaska State trooper she worked with many times. She also has Jack’s son in college and his girlfriend, Van, who both live with them at times.
Not the Ones Dead seems a different style to me than previous books. There are all the many and varied characters I have come to enjoy in the park. Covid is mentioned and its impact in the Park. The story just starts out with a bunch of events with different people, some known, some not, but many of them are not Kate centered.
Eventually, after some serious events like a mid-air plane crash, a murder, and interference with park visitors, Kate is hired to look into the plane crash being blamed on the older pilot, by his kids. Even then the different activities and problems in the park are shared in a scattered fashion which is not through Kate.
Kate does start putting together the events but she isn’t clear she can find out the truth or prove what is needed for the kids’ father to be exonerated or to help out Bernie with his problem. Jim is always on hand to support her and I love that. I really enjoy them as a couple. There are also a lot more pop culture sort of mentions of actual people currently in politics.
I really love all the characters in this world from over the years. The criminals are current event timely in their crimes and style. I love seeing Mutt who is back with Kate. Kate and Jim are readers and their reads are books I recognize. Johnny and his girl, Van have their parts in the story as they are growing up quickly. The aunties, as well as the traditions and culture in the park, is a community who takes care of their own people.
I loved reading this story because of my long connection. I think it might be a harder read for those without all the background. I missed having Kate do a smart investigation here. It’s mostly done by others, and the investigation firm she helped start with a “hacker” handling a lot of the data collection. Kate directed some things but it felt second-hand. Kate’s great instincts helped to bring law enforcement on scene when the bad guys tried to take out others.
I truly want more of this story with the characters I love, their relationships, the community in the park with the stunningly beautiful natural scenes. I appreciated the current relevance of problems woven into the plot. I would love to see Kate more at the center of things in the future.
- Sunday Post – 25 February 2024 @kimbacaffeinate @readingreality - February 25, 2024
- Leave No Trace by AJ Landau @JonDLand #JeffAyers @MinotaurBooks - February 22, 2024
- 🎧 The Boy Who Cried Bear by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong @tplummer76 @MinotaurBooks @MacmillanAudio#LoveAudiobooks - February 20, 2024