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
  • First Published:
    Dec 2009, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2011, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Cindy Anderson

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter One

“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 Palmer’s 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 lake’s 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 pilot’s 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 Grace’s ear. “What do you think?”

She shifted on his lap in the cramped back seat of the Super Cub and turned her head toward him. “I’m game.

Anything to get out of this damn airplane.”

“Let’s do it,” Active shouted.

Cowboy leveled the wings and flew a half-mile down One-Way Creek in the slanting fall sunlight, then swung back for the approach to the lake. He came in low, floats barely clearing the treetops along the creek, chopped the power, and dropped the Super Cub onto the water, throwing up spray that painted a brief rainbow in the air. Cowboy slowed to taxiing speed and pointed the nose at a spot on the bank that boasted a tiny gravel beach and a stand of spruce on high, dry ground suitable for camping. The floats crunched into the shallows and Cowboy shut off the engine, ushering in a sudden and deafening silence broken only by the slap of their own wake reaching the shore.

Cowboy popped open the Super Cub’s clamshell doors, letting in the smell of the Arctic—the wet, fertile rot of tundra vegetation, a hint of resin from the spruce, and something else—something sharp and cool that Active associated with autumn in the mountains near sunset. Winter, perhaps, hovering just over the ridges to the north. It was already a couple of weeks late and couldn’t be far off. Cowboy, wearing jeans and the usual bomber jacket and baseball cap, pulled up his hip waders and jumped into the shallows. He grabbed the nose of a float, tied on a yellow polypropylene line, and dragged the plane forward a few yards, then walked into the trees and snubbed the Super Cub to a spruce. He returned to the beach and surveyed the lake with an air of great satisfaction. “You get into One-Way this time of year, you got caribou walking by; you got grayling in the creek, maybe some Arctic char, maybe some pike in the lake; and you got the best blueberries in the Arctic.” He raised his eyebrows and grinned. “And you got total privacy. There’s only a couple guys can get in here, and you’re looking at half of ’em.” Not for the first time, Active marveled at the pilot’s intuition, and at his utter lack of discretion in dealing with the insights it brought him. Cowboy might sense that fishing, berry picking, and caribou hunting were the least of their reasons for coming here, but it was none of his business. “We probably oughta get unloaded,” Active said.

He helped Grace climb onto a float, then extricated himself from the torture chamber that is the rear seat of a Super Cub and clambered ashore, stamping and stretching to unkink his muscles.

Cowboy walked onto the float and began emptying the cargo pod under the Super Cub’s belly and the space behind the back seat: food in cardboard boxes, two cased rifles, two fishing rigs, a bright orange Arctic Oven tent, a Woods Yukon single-double sleeping bag, camp stove and fuel, cooking gear, and all the other impedimenta required to support human life in the Arctic.

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: A Certain Age
    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams
    Lovers of high-society gossip, there's a new set of players in town. A good 20 out of 23 of our...
  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    All Is Not Forgotten
    by Wendy Walker

    This is fast-paced psychological suspense/thriller at it's very best.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Falling
    by Jane Green

    "Readers who enjoy a love story with heart will adore this tale of homecoming and transformation." - LJ

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!