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Village of the Ghost Bears (Nathan Active Series #4)
     

Village of the Ghost Bears (Nathan Active Series #4)

3.6 10
by Stan Jones
 

“[Jones]'s created a richly populated universe you'll be sorry to leave”—People Magazine

“You can't fake the stuff Stan Jones pulls off in Village of the Ghost Bears . . . A writer of muscular words and stark images, Jones sets up his scenes like film shots. . . . This kind of writing makes for strong reading, especially with

Overview

“[Jones]'s created a richly populated universe you'll be sorry to leave”—People Magazine

“You can't fake the stuff Stan Jones pulls off in Village of the Ghost Bears . . . A writer of muscular words and stark images, Jones sets up his scenes like film shots. . . . This kind of writing makes for strong reading, especially with a sturdy murder plot to give it structure.”—New York Times Book Review

“Trooper Nathan Active's beat is a few outposts in a remote, frigid world.  But wherever people live, they bring greed, madness, and death. Active's courageous and stubborn determination to gather the scattered bits of evidence make Stan Jones's Village of the Ghost Bears a fascinating rendition of the human struggle for truth.”—Thomas Perry, author of Runner and Vanishing Act

“His sympathetic portrayal of Alaska's mixed-ethnic traditions is a tribute to both the state and the states of mind it inspires.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Praise for the Nathan Active series:

“No one shows you the ugly side of Alaska the way Stan Jones does.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“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

“I can’t wait for Nathan Active’s next adventure.”—Chicago Tribune

“Jones captures in precise detail . . . the starkly individual spirit of this village’s collection of characters. . . . His depiction of a freezing world of tarpaper houses and whaling camps is absolutely convincing.”—Houston Chronicle

“First rate.”—Library Journal, starred review

Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active must figure out what connects a dead hunter on a remote Arctic lake with a year-old fatal plane crash in the Brooks Range and a fire at the Chukchi Recreation Center that killed eight people, including the town’s basketball star. The case turns out to involve a lucrative polar bear poaching operation and the intense bond between a brother and sister from the village of Cape Goodwin, famous in the Arctic for twins, polar bears, and schizophrenia. The heart of the matter, he discovers, is a dead woman whose killer remembers her as having a mouth so sweet “it was like kissing a Hershey bar.”

Stan Jones is a native of Alaska. He has worked as an award-winning journalist and a bush pilot. He is the author of three previous mysteries in the acclaimed Nathan Active series.

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
You can't fake the stuff that Stan Jones pulls off in Village of the Ghost Bears…A writer of muscular words and stark images, Jones sets up his scenes like film shots: the daredevil maneuvers of a bush pilot landing on a lake; herds of caribou crossing the mountains to winter grounds; a body floating gently on the current of a stream, its flesh eaten by pike. This kind of writing makes for strong reading, especially with a sturdy murder plot to give it structure.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Northwest Alaska is the shining star of Jones's fourth Nathan Active mystery (after 2008's Frozen Sun), often viewed from a Super Cub plane flying perilously over wilderness foothills, craggy ridges and autumn tundra. While on a camping trip to a remote lake, Nathan, an Inupiaq (native) Alaska state trooper, and Grace, the woman he loves, come upon a body in a creek, its face eaten by pike. Arson soon follows murder. Back home in the village of Chukchi, the recreation center goes up in a blaze, claiming eight victims, including the town's police chief. Rumors of polar bear poaching complicate both cases. Jones, who's been a bush pilot and an investigative reporter, brings stomach-wrenching verisimilitude to crimes despoiling the land and the people, while he sensitively renders the tender, painful romance between Nathan and Grace. His sympathetic portrayal of Alaska's mixed-ethnic traditions is a tribute to both the state and the states of mind it inspires. (Dec.)
Library Journal
On a camping trip, Alaska trooper Nathan Active (Frozen Sun) finds a dead hunter but must fly home to the Arctic village of Chukchi to investigate the fire that destroyed the community's recreation center and killed eight people, including the police chief. Does this incident have a connection to a year-old plane crash and the dead man? VERDICT Every detail is in place to lead Active to another piece of the puzzle he must solve. Readers get a crash course in living in remote Alaska and a mighty fine mystery as well. Comparable to Alaska mysteries by Dana Stabenow and Mike Doogan, this series should get more exposure than it does. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 8/09.]
School Library Journal
Adult/High School—This novel follows Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active as he tries to solve two possibly connected occurrences: the discovery of the body of a hunter at a remote lake and a fire at the Chukchi Recreation Center that claims eight lives. Without having read the previous books in the series, it is initially difficult to engage with the characters, but that quickly becomes inconsequential as the main focus of the novel turns to solving the mysteries. Jones provides a unique look at the Alaskan landscape and reveals many of the racial tensions that still exist in this part of the world. Ghost Bears leaves readers looking forward to the next "Nathan Active" installment.—Kelliann Bogan, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH
Kirkus Reviews
For Alaska state trooper Nathan Active, love in a cold climate gets mixed with murder. Amazing Grace, they used to call her when she walked the wild side of Anchorage-a bad girl stunning to look at, but with an aura of doomsday as much a part of her as her beautiful face. Back in her hometown of Chukchi now, Grace Palmer is a different woman. While she hasn't actually vanquished her despair, it has been leavened by hope, and Nathan Active, who's crazy about her in all her moods, takes heart from the change, as well as modest credit for having done what love can do. He'd like to earn credit too for solving a crime that's brought volatile Chukchi close to frenzy. It's become evident that the tragic fire in the town's recreation center was deliberately set, costing the lives of seven people. As it turns out, however, six of the deaths were gratuitous, since the ugly crime was an act of vengeance aimed at only one. But which one? At first, Nathan gets it wrong, and when he finally gets it right he can't quite make himself believe it-until he remembers that he's in Alaska, where the bizarre and the commonplace are so often inextricable. Multilayered characters and an offbeat setting authentically rendered-Jones (Frozen Sun, 2008, etc.) bids fair to become the Tony Hillerman of Alaska.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569476062
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/01/2009
Series:
Nathan Active Series , #4
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 7.76(h) x 1.13(d)

Meet the Author

Stan Jones is a native of Alaska, where he has worked as an award-winning journalist and bush pilot. He is the author of three previous mysteries in the acclaimed Nathan Active series.

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Village of the Ghost Bears (Nathan Active Series #4) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding This is the fourth book in his series featuring a native state police officer. I enjoyed all of them.The characters were well developed as each book unfolded.I also enjoyed learning some of the local history and language of the region.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Inupiaq Alaskan state trooper Nathan Active is camping with his beloved Grace when they find a corpse in a creek. The pike had eaten away the face of the deceased. Soon afterward someone sets a fire to the recreation center in the remote village of Chukchi. Eight people including the police chief die in the dealdy inferno. Nathan investigates both cases of homicide. At the same time, apparent polar bear poaching, an illegal act as the animal is protected by law, makes his inquiry much more dangerous and convoluted especially the body in the brook inquiry. The latest Nathan Active police procedural (see Frozen Sun) is a terrific Alaskan thriller that hooks the reader early with its stark beautiful description of remote Alaska mostly from an aerial view. Nathan is his super self working exciting twisting investigations into homicides and poaching that look like Bridges to Nowhere except for his diligence, and his romance enhances the plot as he turns to a native healer for advice. However, Alaska owns this super tale as Stan Jones provides a deep look at a remote part of the state. Harriet Klausner