White Sky, Black Ice (Nathan Active Series #1)

White Sky, Black Ice (Nathan Active Series #1)

4.5 10
by Stan Jones
     
 

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The first Nathan Active mystery

Born to a poor Inupiat girl in Chukchi, Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, State Trooper Nathan Active was adopted and raised by a white family in Anchorage. Now, an unwelcome job reassignment has returned him to the stark, beautiful landscape of poverty-stricken Chukchi. Two suspicious suicides in the span of a week and

Overview

The first Nathan Active mystery

Born to a poor Inupiat girl in Chukchi, Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, State Trooper Nathan Active was adopted and raised by a white family in Anchorage. Now, an unwelcome job reassignment has returned him to the stark, beautiful landscape of poverty-stricken Chukchi. Two suspicious suicides in the span of a week and rumors of trouble in the village and at the local copper mine lead Active to believe there is a killer at large. As a nalauqmiiyaaq, or someone regarded by the community as “halfwhite,” he must fight for every clue before the killer strikes again.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for White Sky, Black Ice

“Trooper Active proves such an interesting and likable guide that the selfish reader can’t but hope Nathan won’t get that Anchorage transfer for at least a few more books.”
The Wall Street Journal

“What will keep readers enthralled are cinematic descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness and an unvarnished portrayal of life among the Inupiat . . . It’s a harsh existence, but one that Jones infuses with warmth, humanity and not a little magic. I can’t wait for Nathan Active’s next adventure.”
Chicago Tribune

“You can feel the bite of the west wind that comes screaming across the Alaska tundra and sense the isolation of the Inupiat Eskimos who live in this desolate part of the far north.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Active’s struggle between the cultures of the colonized (and his own internalized prejudice) and the colonizer provides an interesting twist to White Sky, Black Ice, a mystery steeped in land and culture.”
The Bloomsbury Review


Praise for the Nathan Active mysteries

"Robust . . . Active maintains his awe of the vast Alaskan tundra, a forbidding region that Jones renders in all its bone-chilling beauty."
The New York Times Book Review

"Jones captures in precise detail . . . The starkly individual spirit of thi village's collection of characters . . . His depiction of a freezing world of tarpaper houses and whaling camps is absolutely convincing."
Houston Chronicle

New York Times Book Review
The crimes...[are] nowhere near as interesting as the cycles of life in this fierce climate...
Library Journal
Fans of authentic Alaskan mysteries will love this new series featuring state trooper Nathan Active. A full-blooded Inupiat adopted by a white family and raised in Anchorage, he has been assigned to the remote village of Chukchi, where his formidable birth mother and a small host of other memorable characters are coping with a string of youthful suicides. People blame a family curse for the latest--though Active has his doubts--and the next falls totally outside the pattern. Details of speech, everyday life, and cultural beliefs permeate the narrative, while Active's position as a native raised by whites provides frequent humor. First-rate. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
NY Times Book Review
The crimes...[are] nowhere near as interesting as the cycles of life in this fierce climate...
Kirkus Reviews
North of everything, where even Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak and Sue Henry's Alex Jensen fear to tread, Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active plies a slow but steady trade in law enforcement in his hated native village of Chukchi. Lately, a pair of suicides has made life more interesting for Nathan. Not many people shoot themselves in the throat with rifles, but both Gray Wolf miner George Clinton and mechanic Aaron Stone did—George in continuing fulfillment of a family curse that's already carried off his two older brothers as suicides—unless Nathan wants to believe a mean old drunk who informs him cryptically that George was really killed by "that qauqlik" ("the chief"), and the growing evidence that Gray Wolf, which has poured money into Chukchi and sharply cut domestic violence complaints in the village, may not be the smiling Big Brother it appears. Working his way through a bleak, lovingly rendered northern landscape, his own divided feelings about police dispatcher Lucy Generous, and a cast polarized by race, class, and their positions on hunting and liquor and the law, Nathan finally puts the pieces together, though not in time to prevent a third suicide. There's never much mystery about what's behind Chukchi's troubles, but first-timer Jones takes aim at his familiar targets with zest and brings them down in a rousing finale, though one that seems as long as an Alaskan winter.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569473337
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/01/2003
Series:
Nathan Active Series , #1
Pages:
284
Sales rank:
384,604
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

John Strohmeyer
This fast-paced mystery is a good read with a valuable bonus. It offers a rare insight into the oldest of North American cultures.

Meet the Author

Stan Jones is a native of Alaska. He has worked as an award-winning journalist and a bush pilot. He is the author of four other mysteries in the acclaimed Nathan Active series, including Shaman Pass and Village of the Ghost Bears.

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White Sky, Black Ice (Nathan Active Series #1) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended for sensitive and compelling writing about the Inupiat culture in rural Alaska. Jones offers the reader insight into the social problems (e.g. Alcoholism) and interpersonal dynamics of the town in which a suicide..(or was it murder) takes place. If you like to explore unfamiliar geographical settings in your mystery reading, you will like this, even though the mystery itself is no thriller. This is the first Book by Stan Jones I've read, and I'm planning on reading more.
glauver More than 1 year ago
I read a review of the most recent Active novel and found this book at a local library. It is a promising debut. Active seems a bit colorless and stolid but is a fallible, dogged, and clever investigator. Stan Jones doesn't overdo the local color but you can tell he knows native Alaska. It might be fair to call him a Far North Tony Hillerman. I still think John Straley's Cecil Younger series are the best Alaskan crime stories I have read but Jones and Active are a pair to watch. Another book or two should help me make up my mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bkrdr63 More than 1 year ago
I learned of this series when I read a review of Village of The Ghost Bear and realized that that particular book was book 4 in a series. Since then I have sought out the first 2 books in the series and am eager to read the last 2. I absolutely love the way that the books make me feel as if I am living in a remote village in Alaska. And for a native of the Deep South, that is really saying something! I enjoy not only the mystery side of the books but the character development of the State Trooper Nathan Active. I really appreciate Stan Jones' guide(including pronunciation) to the Inupiat language. I have been hooked on the CJ Box mystery series set in Wyoming which features Joe Pickett as a game warden raising a family and solving crimes since its inception. If you are a reader of that series, I believe that you will love this series by Stan Jones.And for my fellow female readers, it's even got a little romance thrown in there between Trooper Active and his lovely dispatcher, Lucy Generous!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
and there are no editing absurdities. Solid plot. Great characters, believable with their personal glitches. The story paints the landscape without relying on descriptions. So there it is, a grand slam.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi, he whispers softly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Runekit looks up, her eyes closed. "Hi." She mewed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
— Icestar —
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A black kit stumbles in. She gasps for air as she falls down,dead.