Thursday, September 29, 2011

Revie: A cold day for murder by Dana Stabenow

The particulars: e-book, mystery, backlist.
Grade: C
The blurb:
Somewhere in the hinterlands of Alaska, among the millions of sprawling acres that comprise Park,a young National Park Ranger has gone missing. When the detective sent after him also vanishes, the Anchorage DA department must turn to their reluctant former investigator, Kate Shugak. Shugak knows The Park because she is of The Park, an Aleut who left her home village of Niniltna to pursue education, a career, and the righting of wrongs. Kate’s search for the missing men will take her from self-imposed exile back to a life shehad left behind, and face-to-face with people and problems she'd hoped never to confront again.

The first novel in the popular Kate Shugak Series, A Cold Day for Murder established Dana Stabenow as a new voice in Alaskan mystery writing, and earned her an Edgar Award
The review:
What I liked:
I downloaded this several months ago since it was free and had won a Edgar Award. I didn’t read it until now. I must say, that I am having a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is set in a small, remote Alaskan town surrounded by national park that is unexploited. The story starts out slow, and it takes 30-40 pages before it picks up pace. ( Honestly, there were several times when I was about to stop reading). But I liked Kate Shugak, and I wanted to know the solution to the murder mystery. So, I kept reading about how she visited her friend and family, trying to find clues. For a long time, I felt that she was fumbling in the dark. She grew on me, and I laughed when she ripped Jack a new one. In my eyes he deserved it, and she needed it.
I must admit that the end took me by surprise, but it made sense in a way.

What I didn’t like:
The thing that bothered me the most was the description. There were long paragraphs describing how the wilderness looked like. And, that’s it. There were no foreshadowing, they didn’t add anything to the plot. Except padding the book.
And the characters. All of them were excentric in some way. I didn’t have any problems keeping the main characters apart, but I got confused about a couple of the side characters.
An promising novel set in an interesting setting. I will probably get the next one since this was Dana Stabenow’s first novel.

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