Nik Kane (Lost Angel, 2006) finds that Alaska’s politics are as rugged as its terrain.
In a fifth floor office, security guard Baby Santos finds a handsome young man bending over a naked dead girl. Quickly dubbed The White Rose Murder after an embroidered flower on the corpse’s garter belt, the case becomes a local cause célèbre. The handsome young man, rising political star Matthew Hope, is soon arrested for the murder of legislative assistant Melinda Foxx, and neophyte private eye Nik Kane, a former cop who recently completed a 12-year prison stretch for a work-related shooting, gets the unenviable task of gathering evidence to clear his name. Kane’s police force mentor Jeffords sets him up with jobs like this, funded by Mrs. Richard Foster, a wealthy widow. As a Native Alaskan, Hope has been a hero to some (like Mrs. Foster) and a threat to many (like Alaska’s power brokers). Now Kane seems in line to inherit a large portion of his troubles. He receives death threats and more palpable intimidation as he gets closer to the corrupt politicos he holds responsible for the murder, and a mudslinging campaign against Hope accelerates. Meanwhile, Kane struggles to reach a detente with his ex-wife Laurie and repair his fractured relationship with his adult son Dylan, who’s working as an intern at the Capitol.
Despite the all-too-formulaic elements, Doogan’s noir narrative is gritty and lean, and his Alaska feels refreshingly authentic.