Not the Ones Dead by Dana Stabenow @danastabenow @HoZ_Books @AriesFiction

Posted April 13, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

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 @danastabenow @HoZ_Books @AriesFictionNot the Ones Dead by Dana Stabenow
Series: Kate Shugak #23
Published by Tantor Audio on April 13, 2023
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 336
Length: hours, minute
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

About Dana Stabenow

Dana Stabenow was born in Anchorage and raised on 75-foot fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. She knew there was a warmer, drier job out there somewhere and found it in writing.

Her first science fiction novel, Second Star, sank without a trace (but has since been resurrected as an e-book), her first crime fiction novel, A Cold Day for Murder, won an Edgar award, her first thriller, Blindfold Game, hit the New York Times bestseller list. The Land Beyond, the final third of her historical trilogy about Marco Polo’s granddaughter, Silk and Song, was published in October 2015.

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Posted April 13, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 16 Comments

16 responses to “Not the Ones Dead by Dana Stabenow

  1. I’ve read a few books from this series and thought they were really good; and I always like that Alaskan setting! I need to go back and read the rest of these books now. If only I had more time to read. ;D

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  2. I used to love this series and it’s been years since I’ve read any of the books. I really need to get back to it. This sounds really good!