From the Publisher
“Stabenow is blessed with a rich prose style and a fine eye for detail…It's an outstanding series and one that has, in fact, won awards and begun to turn up on bestseller lists here in the Lower 48. If you've never visited Alaska, it's also an intriguing introduction to that big, brawling, rather bewildering state.” The Washington Post
“Stabenow deftly explores the environmental and economic impact of gold mining in her sizzling 17th novel to feature Alaska PI Kate Shugak.” Publishers Weekly
“This finely evoked world of sod-roofed cabins and mining pre-fabs is still a place well worth visiting.” The Houston Chronicle
“Kate Shugak, the Aleut private eye, demonstrates why she is considered one of the best among female sleuths in A Night Too Dark, the latest episode in Dana Stabenow's long-running Alaska-based series.” San Diego Union-Tribune
“Kate Shugak's dark side is on display in Stabenow's 17th series novel… There isn't a stone left unturned as Stabenow exhumes old memories and new problems in a book taut with danger.” Romantic Times BOOKreviews
This plot unfolds nicely, but what makes the novel outstanding is Stabenow's vivid portrait of the Alaskan culture…Stabenow is blessed with a rich prose style and a fine eye for detail.
The Washington Post
Bestseller Stabenow deftly explores the environmental and economic impact of gold mining in her sizzling 17th novel to feature Alaska PI Kate Shugak (after 2009's Whisper to the Blood). Global Harvest Resources is intent on opening the Suulutaq Mine, where substantial deposits of gold, copper, and molybdenum have been found on state leases in the middle of the Iqaluk Wildlife Refuge, 50 miles from Niniltna. When Kate, “chair of the board of directors of the Niniltna Native Association,” and state trooper Jim Chopin find bear-eaten human remains near the truck of Global Harvest roustabout Dewayne A. Gammons, they assume the remains are Gammons's. After all, there was a suicide note in Gammons's truck. Weeks later, a wounded and nearly catatonic Gammons emerges from the woods near Kate's homestead. More puzzles—and murder—follow. An uneasy resolution to the crimes suggests further drama ahead for Kate and her fellow “Park rats.” Author tour. (Feb.)
As a controversial gold mine prepares to open in the Iqaluk Wildlife Refuge, an employee leaves a suicide note and disappears into the wilderness. When a search party finds bear-eaten human remains, the body is assumed to be the missing miner. Kate Shugak is at a loss when the man stumbles out of the woods some weeks later. Now she must identify the body. VERDICT Mixing the economic, political, and environmental impact of a gold mine on the beautiful Alaskan landscape with Kate's private life and her unacknowledged opposition to the mine makes the 17th Kate Shugak novel (after Whisper to the Blood) a page-turner. Readers of Stan Jones's Alaskan mysteries will appreciate Stabenow's portrayal of the state. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 10/1/09; available as an audio CD.]
Think of gold, lots of gold. Global Harvest Resources Inc. has discovered 42 million ounces of everyone's favorite metal at the Suulutaq Mine, on state leases smack in the middle of Alaska's Iqaluk Wildlife Refuge. Eager to assay even more, mine superintendent Vern Truax brings in a staff of dozens who work for a week, then head for a week off in the nearest town-Niniltna, 100 miles away-to drink, flirt and buy souvenirs. A suicidally inclined few opt for an unarmed stroll in the park, courting "death by Alaska" (aka, getting mauled by a bear or moose). When bits of a body duly turn up, investigator Kate Shugak (Whisper in the Blood, 2008, etc.) heads for the mine to see if anyone is missing and learns that Dewayne Gammons has been a no-show for a week. Despite niggling doubts, Kate writes him off as a suicide. When Gammons drags himself into Kate's yard a month later, the cute Aleut has to reconsider. First, who was the bear's real meal? Second, why has Gammons' friend Lydia, another mine employee, also turned up dead? And third, how are the two fatalities connected to State Trooper Jim Chopin's search for a bigamist, or to an industrial spy serving three paymasters, each craving proprietary information concerning the Suulutaq Mine?Kate, still unhappily serving as the chair of the Niniltna Native Association, is even unhappier about cell phones, moneyed tourists and other encroaching changes to the Alaskan lifestyle, not to mention the greed that accelerates them.
Read an Excerpt
Number 79 on the periodic table, Au. From the Latin, aurum.
The most precious and prized of metals, used for currency beginning with the Egyptian pharaohs in 2,700 B.C. and down through the ages by all nations as the metal of choice in the manufacture of those coins of highest value, like the aureus, the solidus, the ducat, the guilder, the sovereign, the double eagle, the Krugerrand. A malleable and forgiving metal, an ounce of pure gold can be beaten into a sheet large enough to gild the roof of a small home, although it is denser than lead. It doesn’t corrode, which makes it perfect for jewelry, although in its pure state it is too soft to stand up to repeated use and so is alloyed with other metals—copper, silver, nickel, or palladium—so that a wedding ring will last through a golden anniversary.
Gold is tasteless, although in the 1500s a Dutchman invented a liqueur called Goldwasser in which he sprinkled gold . akes. Medieval chefs used gold to garnish sweets before sending them up to the high tables.
Gold is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, and resistant to oxidation and corrosion, making it useful in electronics and dentistry. It was used to plate the copper disk of recorded greetings on board Voyager 1, a hundred astronomical units out and counting. It is included in speculative designs for solar sails for spaceships and solar collectors for space habitats. Scientists have built gold nanospheres to work with lasers on a cure for cancer.
Gold is rare. Of all the noble metals, only mercury is more infrequently found in the earth’s crust.
Mythological gold is as seductive as gold manifest. Midas asked Dionysus for the gift of turning everything to gold with his touch, only to discover a mixed blessing when gold food and drink proved to be indigestible. Jason’s .eece, Kidd’s trea sure, Pizarro’s El Dorado, Sutter’s Mill, Siwash George’s Rabbit Creek, Yamashita’s Buddha—in any reality, in any century gold enthralls, enchants, intoxicates, and is the downfall of many an otherwise sensible man and woman who succumb to its siren song.
At last report, $940.48 per troy ounce on the world market. . . .
Excerpted from A Night Too Dark by Dana Stabenow.
Copyright © 2010 by Dana Stabenow.
Published in January 2010 by St. Martin's Press.
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