KILLING GROUNDS by Dana Stabenow


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 Drift fisherman Calvin Meany is the kind of guy who bullies his wife, beats his son, drives a family away from its fishing site so that he can take it over, cuts his neighbor's nets in the hope of driving her off too, and breaks a strike against a big seafood buyer by continuing to fish with his indentured relatives. So it's no wonder that Kate Shugak, putting in time as a deck boss in sunny Cordova, finds him floating in Alaganik Bay stabbed, strangled, beaten, and drowned, as if whoever killed him wanted to make absolutely sure, or was just having a really good time. The problem with this summertime Alaska idyll is that Meany's death is greeted with such unanimous acclaim--``Did you see the body?'' his anxious widow asks Kate; ``Are you sure he's dead?''--that it's hard to get worked up over the hunt for his killer among the happily bereaved family, the neighbors whose land Meany had tirelessly sought to buy out from under them, and the subsistence fishers and small commercial rivals he made life miserable for. Like Breakup (1997), Kate's eighth is best approached as a leisurely guided tour of still another unexpected corner of the Yukon State, with crime and punishment taking a backseat, along with the large, colorful cast of extras.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1998
ISBN: 0-399-14356-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1998


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