On the one hand, a great whodunit placed in a fascinating setting (the far Alaska north) by a writer who really knows her stuff. (The writer, Dana Stabenow, lives in Alaska and it shows). On the other hand, the novel had such a gloom and doom atmosphere, it left me very much depressed after I had finished it. Oh well, maybe that is a sign of good writing; intentional or not, it's a darn good read anyway.
Kate Shugak, the heroine of this novel, is a traumatized ex-investigator of the Anchorage D.A.'s office, who gets - against her will, with a lot of arm-twisting - called upon to investigate the disappearance of two men because she knows the area (and its eccentric people) like the back of her hand. She also knows she's not going to like the answers to this mystery - and boy, is she right (but I'll leave that to the reader to find out).
In between, we meet up with a lot of fascinating, larger-than-life characters that seem to have stepped straight out of Northern Exposure. It does have enough humor in it to put a smile upon your face now and then (just visit the Roadhouse to see what I mean). Alaska is cold, rugged and dangerous, deadly to the unwary, so a sense of humor seems one of the required survival-traits to live there.