The mining is still an issue – and with gold at $900 an ounce there’s an awful lot of good-will going around. Doesn’t hurt that the mine hires a cute, bubbly Alaskan champion skier to preach to good word. And sleep her way into agreement, maybe. All well and good until she ends up dead.
Meanwhile Kate Shugak, investigator with the subtlety of a broad-axe, has been shanghaied onto the Association Board, where she makes a fool of herself. Also meanwhile, the rate of lawlessness has skyrocketed in the Park, as vigilante justice becomes the mode of choice. And Kate is out of the loop. Why? She’s not living further out than she used to, but no one is bringing her the news anymore. Not even the aunties, who spent the last book mad at Kate for not arranging the death of a wife-killer.
Justice, without law. A staple of this series. A factor with the killer in this book. And we find out some interesting things about what really went on last book.
Now other people are arranging their own justice, without law. It isn’t pretty.
Other not pretty things about this book: (trigger warning for rape)
Kate hasn’t decided if Jim will be her live-in boyfriend, and he just takes her to bed while she’s fighting and saying no. And then says explicitly that is isn’t rape. And Kate agrees. Um. No. Because, Jim says, he came at her while she was cooking and she shut off the fire, which means she knew what was about to happen. So… she planned to go for a long run with Mutt and work off the mad? she planned a major argument and didn’t want the food to burn while she was distracted? she knew the local policeman she was romancing would not hear the word no? Jim knew that Kate could not, in fact, fight off all male attackers because she’s got the scars from previous fights – and the short hair from when her braid became a factor in a fight.
I still liked the book, a lot, but I wonder if this will be addressed in the next books, the way some issues from last book were addressed here. And I’m sure that some people will drop the series entirely.