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."
See why they call it One-Way Lake?
Cowboy Decker rolled the Super Cub into a slow arc as Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active peered over Grace Palmers shoulder. One-Way Lake was a blue teardrop cupped in the foothills of the Brooks Range, with caribou trails lacing the ridges on either side. The outlet, One- Way Creek, lined with stunted black spruce and a few cottonwoods gone gold, threaded south across the rusting fall tundra toward the Isignaq River. At the lakes head, wavelets licked a fan-shaped talus under a steep slope of gray-brown shale. More caribou trails cut across its face.
Grace was wearing the intercom headset, so Active was obliged to shout at the back of the pilots head. Looks pretty tight, he said.
Yep, Cowboy shouted back. One way in, one way out. You land toward the cliff and take off going away.
Active lifted one of the headset cups away from Graces ear. What ...
The series has many fans, and for good reason. The novel isn't just a mystery about who started a fatal fire, it's also a source of insight into the lives and culture of Native Americans in Northwest Alaska... If you have enjoyed the previous books, you will probably enjoy this one. If you are new to the series, and want to learn about Inupiat culture through these books, I recommend starting with one of the earlier books so that you don't feel too lost in the beginning of this volume.
(Reviewed by Cindy Anderson).
Full Review (1042 words).
In Village of the Ghost Bears, Trooper Nathan Active and his fellow law enforcement personnel must discuss the problem of polar bear poaching, because at least one of the suspects in the arson/murder has been involved in the illegal trade of selling polar bear gallbladders to China...
The Value of Bear Gallbladders
As the book correctly explains, gallbladder bile is highly prized in Chinese medicine. It is considered to be a cure for everything from fever and rheumatism to poor eyesight. Illegal trade exists between Alaska and Korea, and between Alaska and Russia (for eventual sale to China), and it is a lucrative enterprise. The Humane Society of America's website states: "The sum of saleable parts can make a dead bear worth in ...
If you liked Village of the Ghost Bears, try these:
A brutal murder takes place in a small Alaskan community. People know who the culprit is, and he has evaded justice for many years. But Kate Shugak is determined to find the evidence needed to convict him.
The Reykjavik police are called on an icy January day to a garden where a body has been found: a young, dark-skinned boy is frozen to the ground in a pool of his own blood. Erlendur and his team embark on their investigation and soon unearth tensions simmering beneath the surface of Icelands outwardly liberal, multicultural society.
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