This uneasy mix of small town portrait and crime novel never quite settles into something truly satisfying. Set in a small Alaska coastal town, where supplies need to come in via seaplane, it features a pair of brothers supported by a cast of colorful characters. Miles is an ex-Army medic who just wants to live the quiet life after service in the Middle East. As the only person with medical training for hundreds of miles, he knows the community inside and out. Meanwhile, his brother Clive is getting out of jail after seven years, and heads to town with a duffle-bag full of cash.
Who rightfully owns the cash is a matter of interpretation, and as with all stories featuring such bags, someone comes looking for Clive and the cash. But that's only one of several threads -- there's Clive's attempt to build a bar for the tiny town, Miles' attempt to carve out a meaningful place in the world for himself, and even a lengthy digression into a minor character's quest to travel to Seattle to meet the Dalai Lama.
Only recently published, the book was actually written many years ago, and it has the feel of a first effort -- straining heavily towards being something of an Elmore Leonard joint. But but by trying too hard at doing several things at once, it never hits its stride with any of them. Still, worth checking out if you're interested in fiction set in Alaska.