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Killing Grounds (Kate Shugak Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Shugak Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Berkley Prime Crime Mass Market Edition edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425167739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425167731
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Like Nevada Barr, Dana Stabenow writes mysteries so firmly rooted in the natural world that their sense of place becomes a vital part of the plot. In this book about Native Alaskan crime solver Kate Shugak, the ocean and the men who fish it for salmon are described in such vivid detail that you'll never look at a salmon steak the same way again. When a particularly nasty fisherman is murdered, there's no end of suspects--including members of Kate's own family. The story also sports a richly ironic undertone of political incorrectness, as Kate muses about the forest rangers, "who wanted to annex every square foot of land they saw and keep it pristine and inviolate, unsullied by human hand. They failed to recall that the indigenous peoples who came across the Bering land bridge during the last Ice Age had their hands all over anything that had the remotest possibility of nutritional value, and were every bit as much of the landscape and the wheel of life as the fish and the birds and the mammals." Previous Shugak sorties in paperback include Breakup, Blood Will Tell, Play with Fire, and A Cold-Blooded Business. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this gripping eighth appearance of former Anchorage, Alaska, investigator Kate Shugak, a fisherman is murdered, leaving almost as many suspects as fish in the ocean. Cal Meany was a cheat, a poacher, an abusive husband and father, an adulterer and an opportunist who disdains joining the fishermen's strike against the largest local wholesaler, which has drastically reduced the price it pays for salmon. While helping her relative Old Sam on his tender in the Gulf of Alaska, Kate discovers Meany's body in Alaganik Bay: he's been beaten, stabbed, strangled and drowned. Kate assists state trooper Jim Chopin's investigation. As they validate alibis, suspicions point to Meany's family. After Meany's daughter is murdered and his handyman disappears, Kate's lover, Jack Morgan, and his son, Johnny, visiting from Anchorage, help with her investigation. In a harrowing climax, Kate identifies the murderer and the unusual motive. The background allows Stabenow to examine the predicament of commercial fisherman threatened by fish farms, native subsistence fishing and lucrative sport fishing. As usual, Aleut customs are seamlessly woven into the plot; here, Auntie Joy is suing the government to retain traditional fishing rights. In powerful prose, Stabenow evokes Alaska's rugged physical splendors and the toll taken on the humans who live there.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

She has a great sense of humor, when appropriate.
your reviews
In the last 4-5 months I have acquired & devoured every Dana Stabenow book & anthology that she's written.
Jamie R. Nelson
I love Dana Stabenow for the wonderful descriptions of both Alaska and the people.
James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on June 27, 2004
Format: Turtleback
In the eighth in the Alaskan Kate Shugak series, author Dana Stabenow lets us enjoy the Alaskan fishing scene during the wild and woooly salmon spawning season. And here I thought I knew all about it--salmon swim upstream, right?
Yes, but in the hundreds and thousands, and Kate is serving on an ancient fishing boat right in the thick of things. As we find out from this fascinating look at the salmon season, the work is backbreaking, intense, smelly and unending--and that's just the fights among the fishermen jockeying for a place to put their nets.
In the middle of this frantic fishing, which is governed by environmental and other laws, comes a nasty rogue aptly named Calvin Meany. He disregards the unwritten law of the waters, impinging on others' nets, catching their salmon, resorting to thuggery when he has to (and even when he doesn't), and beating on his crew--his own teenaged son.
Kate hates him on sight, as does everybody else, so when Meany turns up brutally murdered, it's hard to feel sorry. Still, Kate has to do her job. And her investigation into the nasty circumstances of the murder place her own life in jeopardy.
Another fast-paced, fascinating read from Stabenow!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N. Sausser on March 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just can't get enough of Dana Stabenow's humorous and clever style of writing. I loved Break Up and this one is even better. It's the kind of story you want to read out loud to someone else so they can laugh too.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having lived in Alaska for over thirty years now, I usually find books set in Alaska a disappointment. Stabenow's Alaska is the real thing, in all it's complex and contradictory detail. Her characters are people I know, and her settings are right-on. This book is no exception to her tradition of excellence. The plot is intriguing and keeps the reader guessing, and Stabenow's humor will make you laugh out loud.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Once Alaskan native Kate Shugak was a sex crime investigator, working out of the Office of the Anchorage District Attorney. However, five years of coping with abused women and children have taken their toll on Kate. She retreats from the craziness of the city to make a life for herself on her family's homestead. Though the area is quite a bit more isolated and less populated than Anchorage, crime still exists, and Kate is ready to take on those individuals who threaten her native soil.
To supplement her income, Kate hires on as the deck boss on the salmon fishing vessel, the Freya. When the food processing firms lower the price per pound for salmon by fifty cents, the fleet goes on strike. The only scab is notorious spouse and child abuser Cal Meany, whom is a person despised by everyone who knows him. When his mutilated body is found floating along side the Freya, Kate begins to investigate a case in which everyone has a motive for murder.
KILLING GROUNDS is a mind boggling mystery that is filled with many characters with ample reason for killing the culprit. This makes it almost impossible to determine who the murderer is. As usual, Dana Stabenow affords readers a special glimpse into Alaska as seen through the eyes of the state's Native Americans. A Kate Shugak tale always seems to be an emotional experience that takes readers in an environmental and civic roller coaster ride that is both thrilling and illuminating.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Masterman on March 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Once again Dana Stabenow provides a well-researched and fast moving adventure with her protagonist Kate Shugak. In each of the series, a different aspect of the 'real' Alaska is highlighted with excellent detail, as the backdrop for the story. [I have just concluded the fourth volume in an adventure series of my own, entitled The Cryon Conspiracy, which is set in Alaska, and Stabenow's books have provided a deeper insight into the land that I could have obtained any other way.]
In this story, Kate Shugak tracks down a murderer where there's a huge number of suspects...in the process of which she reveals and has to deal with many of her own deep flaws...which make Kate such a fascinating character to read. She always ends up confronting the killer, but I fear that over the course of the books she's been knocked out at one or two points in each story by a blow to the head that she must be in danger of brain damage...or perhaps showing how hard a head she has. This takes nothing from the excellent storytelling. I am reading all of the books in the order they were written and look forward to the next installment/book which the author's creative mind has produced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald R. Smith on March 25, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Recently saw an video interview with author Dana Stabenow on the Alaska Magazine TV Series and bought her first book for the wife. She loves mysteries and thrillers and anything about Alaska since our trip in 2009. Since then she is now on the 9th book of the Kate Shugate series and will probably read all of them before we are finished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In this story you learn more about the ways of Kate's people and the lives of salmon fishermen. I thought it was a great story. Dana Stabenow is a truly interesting author. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I have read all of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nash Black VINE VOICE on April 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Following hard on the heels of her Edgar award winning BREAKUP, Dana Stabenow gives her fans a deep look into the world of salmon fishing with KILLING GROUNDS.
This story is tightly woven around many of the minor characters of the series as they ply their ancestral fishing grounds for both substance and livelihood. Kate with Jack Morgan's son Johnny join Old Sam on the Freya to weigh and haul the catch to market. But part of the catch is the body of the most despised fisherman on the waters and no one is grieving at his loss.
This one moves at a rapid pace from the culture, to Kath & Jack's romance, then to the murder and its solution. Stabenow is a writer for "keepers" of fish or books.
Nash Black, author whose books are also available in Kindle editions.
HaintsWriting as a Small BusinessSins of the Fathers
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More About the Author

Dana Stabenow was born in Anchorage and raised on 75-foot fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. She knew there was a warmer, drier job out there somewhere and found it in writing.

Her first science fiction novel, Second Star, sank without a trace (but has since been resurrected as an e-book), her first crime fiction novel, A Cold Day for Murder, won an Edgar award, her first thriller, Blindfold Game, hit the New York Times bestseller list, and her twenty-eighth novel and nineteenth Kate Shugak novel, Restless in the Grave, was published February 14, 2012.

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