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Cecil Younger is a defense investigator working out of Sitka, Alaska. Though most of Younger's clients are defendants, this one is the victim of a crime. Louise Roots wants Younger to break through corporate cover-ups and police apathy to find evidence against the man who raped her in an isolated mining camp. Before she can tell him the details, her throat is slashed.
“Lesser writers look to their characters’ poor choices and attempts to rectify them, John Straley loves his characters for just those choices. Hölderlin wrote: 'Poetically man dwells on the earth.' Some of us wind up in limericks, some in heroic couplets. But damned near every one of us, sooner or later, ends up in one of Straley’s wise, wayward, wonderfully unhinged novels.”
—James Sallis, author of Drive and the Lew Griffin mysteries
“Like the Coen brothers on literary speed, John Straley is among the very best stylists of his generation.”
—Ken Bruen, Shamus Award winning author of The Guard
"Chandler, Ross Macdonald, James Crumley... Straley proves once again that he is up there with the great ones… His prose is as smooth as a well-tuned cello. He has tremendous feeling for the setting: not only the open waters and frosted countryside outside of Sitka and Juneau, but also the somewhat seedy streets of these cities."
"Superior thriller writing, once again by Straley—an excellent plot against Alaska's gigantic and bizarre backdrop."
—Janwillem van de Wetering
"Now and then a writer dares to flout the rules and in so doing, carves out a niche that belongs to him alone. John Straley's novels are like no others."
—San Diego Tribune
"Like James Lee Burke, Straley transcends the genre.... Marvelous."
—The Tampa Tribune and Times
"Straley's beautifully understated narrative, vivid sense of place and unapologetic, unadorned characters make this a riveting, unpredictable ride."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Outstanding.... satisfies on all levels."
—The Kansas City Star
"Strong and sobering... with his storyteller's sense of dramatic action [Straley's] in his glory."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Straley hits all the right notes"
—Booklist, Starred Review
Posted March 25, 2012
John Straley pulls you through this exciting story on a golden rope tethered to descriptive poetry. The characters are alive with flaws,ambitions and questionable human decision making.If you are drawn to the "wild" in place and humans you will be drawn to Cecil who presents a real picture of Alaska and the individuals who live and work there. I also loved the natural portrayal and inclusion of native peoples. Wrap this up in a carefully crafted thriller and you have a WINNER.
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