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A Deeper Sleep (Kate Shugak Mysteries, No. 15) Hardcover – January 9, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews
Book 15 of 21 in the Kate Shugak Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. All the elements that have made the author's signature Kate Shugak crime series successful shine in this 15th entry (after 2004's A Taint in the Blood): Kate's personal growth as a woman and as an investigator; the Alaskan environment in all its unforgiving beauty; and a mystery whose solution remains in doubt until the end. The story opens with a brutal murder. The culprit, Louis Deem, who has managed to avoid justice for past crimes, is so odious that his presence is a cancer in the little Niniltna community Kate calls home. Stabenow's rich cast of supporting characters include natives and longtime settlers as well as those newcomers so unprepared that Kate refers to them as committing "suicide by Alaska." There is rough humor, a rich heritage of the community necessary for survival, and at the same time a remarkable tolerance for the many idiosyncrasies of those attracted to the harsh realities of Alaskan life. Kate Shugak is becoming a leader among her people and is already a leader in the sorority of women detectives. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

In her fifteenth adventure, private investigator Kate Shugak is determined to find the evidence to convict Louis Deem, who has been arrested and tried for several serious crimes but never convicted. When a double homicide occurs after his latest acquittal, Kate investigates. A witness places Deem at the scene, but Kate wants additional evidence to convince the jury. Deem is a dangerous character who intimidates witnesses, and Kate and her family won't be safe until he is in jail. Kate is a strong, smart, respected investigator and member of her Alaskan community. In fact, the tribal elders in the Native American community want Kate to assume a leadership role in the tribe's affairs, a role Kate doesn't want. Also on Kate's mind is her relationship with Alaska state trooper Jim Chopin: matters are heating up, although Jim is now the one showing some ambivalence to a more permanent relationship. An engaging plot, the fascinating Native American frame, the well-developed characters, and the vivid depiction of the Alaskan wilderness add up to another strong entry in this consistently satisfying series. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (January 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312343221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312343224
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,137,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This 15th entry in the wonderful Kate Shugak series is like candy for regular readers like me. In a quick and dirty (which is to say not long, not complicated, NO explanation for readers who have not been following the series) visit to Kate et al., we find the loathed Louis Deem getting off the hook in court for a crime he does so well: Murdering yet another young wife. Everybody in the Park, Kate included, knows he did it, but he has a great lawyer and a way of sliming himself out of the worst crimes.

Before Kate and her fellow Park Rats can recover from this latest miscarriage of justice, a double murder of a well-known mother and her teenaged son shocks the Alaskan countryside into a dangerous, simmering rage. Everybody knows Deem did it. Will he get away again? Can Kate's new love interest, law enforcement officer Jim Chopin, collect enough evidence this time? And what about the strange 17-child family, the Smiths, who seems ready to sacrifice their oldest daughter to marriage with the smarmy Deem? Why would they do this and why are they protecting him?

There's a lot of angst and worry in this book, about Mutt, about whether Kate is ever going to escape her karma of being the native community's leader after the death (several books ago) of her grandmother, whether Kate and Jim can really become an item, whether Kate's adopted son Johnny can get over seeing his friend Fritz being murdered by Deem...and that's not even the half of it!

I think if somebody new to the series picks up this book, he or she will be sorely confused. There is a bit of impatience to this story, a bit of "I'm not going to tell you again." So if you don't know the characters and the ins and outs of Park Rat doings, I would suggest starting at the beginning, with the first book. For the rest of us, Yahooo!
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Format: Hardcover
In this 15th entry in Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series, girls are being molested and murdered by a sociopath, Louis Deems. However, the girls claim they love the man, and jury members are warned off by his henchmen, so he seems to be above the law. He even seems able to thwart the legendary Kate and get away with it. Everyone agrees that something must be done, yet the "solution," when it comes, may lead to more problems than it solves...

I think Kate turns the corner in this book -- from being indomitable and headstrong to beginning to consider the wishes of others and even to owning self-doubt. Her "fling" with Trooper Chopin is still flinging after all this time, and both parties are a bit surprised and wary -- it's almost like a relationship, and (to paraphrase Mae West) who wants to be in a relationship? Perhaps both Jim and Kate, do? Johnny continues to mature in exactly the way I think Johnny should -- he's a good kid, not some charicature thrown into the series to provide mindless drama, as so many teens seem to be.

The Alaska lore and surroundings take a back seat this time and is seen mostly in exposition and with only a few close encounters of the Moose kind. Mutt plays a much bigger part, though, and is an extension of Kate in the story. I love Mutt -- she is easily my favorite character, and I think she deserves more page time in every book! Has Mutt ever had a real romance? That might be a big eye opener for Kate!

Lastly, there is the question of the role Kate is to take within the community. The board members of the native corporation are the tribe's elders and leaders, and everyone except Kate agrees that she should be one of them. She doesn't want to be, and yet even she is beginning to realize that it is inevitable. Kate is growing up...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having read all Kate Shugak novels preceeding this one, I was anxiously awaiting its release. While I did enjoy the book overall, most of the fun came out of revisiting a favorite character in a familiar setting. The best way to describe this book is 'comfortable.'

This book highlights a Kate we know well. She's set her sights on something and goes forward with a single-minded determination. Kate struggles with her age old issues - driving need for independence, clash of family obligations and personal desires, daily struggles of life in the park. And death in the park, of course.

It's almost unfortunate that the Shugak mysteries are murder mysteries. It feels like the basic plot lines are working to 'thin out' the background of the book. There are several non-murder related mysteries alluded to throughout the series but are not explored and do not enhance the overall series.

Back to this book, specifically. I felt it was 'lighter' than some of the other novels. Kate doesn't seem to grow much in this paticular book, instead settling into growth from previous novels. This book lacks the romance novel feel that some readers complained about in previous books. While Kate has become a more overtly sexual being, her actual escapades are more alluded to than detailed. I found this to be a welcome change.

For fans new to the series, this novel is not a great place to start. Quite a bit of character interaction would be lost to someone not familiar with the series. To truly appreciate this novel the best place to start is in the beginning, with "A Cold Day for Murder" but a 'not so bad' place to start is in the middle with "Breakup."

I will continue to wait anxiously for the next Kate Shugak novel, but I hope that this book will prove to be a necessary connection to previous and future works. As it stands now, I was happy to reunite with an old friend, though the connection be brief and easy to read.
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