BREAKUP by Dana Stabenow


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 Spring has come to Kate Shugak's Alaskan park, and the snow is melting, along with every trace of social inhibition among the human and animal residents. Item: Kate has close encounters with two grizzlies in two separate incidents on the same day. Item: a 747 jet engine falls from a passing plane's cargo bay onto her spread, spreading it out just a little more. Item: the pointy- heads who arrive to survey the wreckage find a ripe corpse just beyond Kate's property line. Item: Kate, reluctantly taking her friend Mandy Baker's visiting Brahmin parents off Mandy's hands and on a tour of the park--she ends up landing a handsome fee for this service--shepherds them into still another grizzly attack, the discovery of another body, and (when they stop for a well- earned drink) a shooting feud between two families who just can't agree on a right-of-way for their neighboring homesteads. Still on tap is a disgruntled wife who takes her husband hostage and a Niniltna tribal council argument about whether the tribe ought to contract with a mental-health group for an on-site counselor. (By this time, you'll swear nobody ever needed one more.) It's no wonder that Kate is joined by every other important character in her seventh appearance (Blood Will Tell, 1996, etc.) in a rousing chorus of ``I hate breakup.'' Readers will find much more to like in this easygoing, farcical series of not-very-mysterious riffs--even though every separate plot seems like an afterthought, and the whole parcel a circus with Kate more bemused audience than ringmaster.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1997
ISBN: 0-399-14250-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1997


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