Excerpt from Village of the Ghost Bears by Stan Jones, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Village of the Ghost Bears

A Nathan Active Mystery

By Stan Jones

Village of the Ghost Bears
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Dec 2009,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2011,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


He handed her the glasses and she scanned the slope. “I don’t—oh, yeah, I see it. What—”

“Water bottle, maybe.”

“Umm-hmm.” She handed the glasses back to him.

“You wait here,” he said. “I’ll go up and have a look.”

“Careful. You don’t want to end up like him.”

He grunted, handed her his rifle, and started up the slope. The going was rough enough on the talus fan, and it became impossible when he reached the cliff itself. He glassed the object again, now much closer, determined that it really was a water bottle—actually, a plastic Coke bottle—and started back down.

He was halfway to the lake when he spotted the twoseventy Winchester, wedged muzzle-down in a crevice between two rocks. He pulled it out and studied it. The scope was gone, the barrel was bent slightly, and deep gouges scarred the weathered wooden stock. The sling, if the rifle had ever had one, was also gone.

He picked his way back to where Grace was waiting and showed her the gun. “He must have been crossing the slope on those caribou trails and lost his footing,” Active said. “Looks like he bounced all the way into the water. That would explain the broken neck.”

Grace gazed at the slope, then down the lake to where the brush concealed the hunter’s body. “Poor guy. Can you trace the gun and figure out who he is?”

“Not likely. There’s a million of these Winchesters around, and most of them were bought before there was any kind of gun registration. We’ll put the word out to the villages and wait for somebody to realize they haven’t heard from this guy in a while.”

“What now?” she asked as they started back to camp. He sighed. “We set off the EPIRB and wait for somebody to show up to see what the problem is.”

She shivered. “We have to stay on this lake with him?” “ ’Fraid so,” he said.

A dead man for a neighbor, they discovered, didn’t affect their appetites. So, after Active found the EPIRB in one of their bags and set it off, they reheated breakfast and began wolfing it down on the lakeshore.

“How long does that thing take to work?” Grace waved at the bright yellow EPIRB hanging from a spruce tree. It looked like a walkie-talkie.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “Never had to set one off before. A satellite picks up the signal, then it tells the Rescue Coordination Center, then they have to decide if the signal is for real and where you are . . . several hours, probably. A day, maybe.”

“I thought it could tell the satellite exactly where you are.”

“Some do,” he said. “The newer ones.”

“But they cost more.”

He nodded.

“So you kept that one. And here we sit.”

“Ah-hah.”

“So cheap.” She shook her head and took a swallow of coffee.

“We probably should wrap him up,” Active said.

“You should,” Grace said. “While I clean up here. And we should stop calling him ‘him.’ He needs a name.”

“A name?”

“It’s disrespectful if he doesn’t have one. Also, it might jinx him in the afterlife.”

“I didn’t know we Inupiat believed in the afterlife.”

“When it suits us.”

“All right,” he said. “A name. How about Henry?”

She grimaced and stirred her coffee with a spruce twig.

“How about One-Way? In honor of the place of his demise.”

“No-Way.”

“Why not? What’s wrong with One-Way?”

“No, I mean how about ‘No-Way’ for the name?”

Excerpted from Village of the Ghost Bears by Stan Jones. Copyright © 2009 by Stan Jones. Excerpted by permission of Soho Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.