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A Night Too Dark: A Kate Shugak Novel (Kate Shugak Novels) Hardcover – February 16, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
Book 17 of 21 in the Kate Shugak Novels Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Stabenow deftly explores the environmental and economic impact of gold mining in her sizzling 17th novel to feature Alaska PI Kate Shugak (after 2009's Whisper to the Blood). Global Harvest Resources is intent on opening the Suulutaq Mine, where substantial deposits of gold, copper, and molybdenum have been found on state leases in the middle of the Iqaluk Wildlife Refuge, 50 miles from Niniltna. When Kate, chair of the board of directors of the Niniltna Native Association, and state trooper Jim Chopin find bear-eaten human remains near the truck of Global Harvest roustabout Dewayne A. Gammons, they assume the remains are Gammons's. After all, there was a suicide note in Gammons's truck. Weeks later, a wounded and nearly catatonic Gammons emerges from the woods near Kate's homestead. More puzzles—and murder—follow. An uneasy resolution to the crimes suggests further drama ahead for Kate and her fellow Park rats. Author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This long-running series, which began in 1992 with the Edgar Award–winning A Cold Day for Murder, shows small signs of weariness in the eighteenth installment. The story begins with a man going missing and, later, his body being found. Then, later still, the dead man turns up alive, leading Kate Shugak and Alaskan state trooper Jim Chopin to wonder: Just who did that body belong to, anyway? While the characters are as engaging as always, and Stabenow’s writing just as sprightly, the book feels a bit lethargic. There are large chunks where nothing much happens—for example, the body isn’t discovered until nearly a third of the way through the book, and it’s a good while before the “missing” man turns up alive. A leisurely pace is one thing, but some readers might find that this one meanders a little too much. On the other hand, fans of Murder, She Wrote–style mysteries (lengthy introductions of character and plot setup, relatively speedy resolution) will have no problems, and longtime fans will be pleased to spend more time with the always appealing Shugak. --David Pitt
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Product Details

  • Series: Kate Shugak Novels (Book 17)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312559097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312559090
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nash Black VINE VOICE on February 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Dana Stabenow takes her fans into the depths of Kate Shugak feelings as Suulutag Gold Mine's money changes the park. Kate knows the mine will bring much needed jobs to the park rats and the native shareholders, but at what costs?
The changes are brought home to her when Auntie Vi sells her bed and breakfast, when people start disappearing, when Trooper Jim's work load increases until he doesn't make it home for several nights in a row, Bobby Clark begins to fly the mail route, and Johnny is growing up enough to take a summer job at the mine.
Kate doesn't want the change, but as head of the Native Association she knows it is inevitable. It's almost a relief when she and Ole Sam discover a half-eaten body that leaves a question was this a suicide or was it murder? Violent death is easier for Kate to get a handle on.
This is not Stabenow's best in this series, but transition novels in a powerful series are difficult for both the writer and the reader. Change doesn't come any easier for a fan as it does for Kate, but a fantastic conclusion will keeps us begging for the next addition.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalist WRITING AS A SMALL BUSINESS and HAINTS.
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Gold.

Mining has come to Kate's corner of Alaska and changing her world forever. But death is still there. A truck is found with an apparent suicide note. What remains of a body is later found and identified as one of the workers from the Suulutaq Mine. When the man thought dead walks into Kate's yard, they find someone disappeared at the same time and uncover a case of corporate espionage. But the death of a much-liked mine office worker has Kate determined to find out what is going on.

Most of the things I love about Dana Stabenow's writing are here. The dialogue is excellent and filled with delightfully dry humor. The sense of place in her ability to convey Alaska, particularly the profusion of flowers in spring, is visually effective. Her references to contemporary music and books contribute to the sense of time and identity of the characters of Kate and Jim. The scenes of sexual foreplay are fun, titillating yet never go too far.

The characters are empathic and appealing. For everything Kate has survived, which has given her the edge and strength she has, as a character, she is anything but cold. Although she is a bit too good to be true, that is also what bring me back book after book. Chopper Jim, Old Sam, the aunties, Johnny, Mutt and all those around her provide dimension both to Kate and to the setting.

The plot started off strong but rather wandered away from itself. Ms. Stabenow knows how to build a scene so filled with anticipation and suspense, you nearly forget to breathe. Although there was one such scene, there was only one.

For the rest of the story, it rather felt to be "Kate Lite." It reminded me more of her earlier, lighter books.
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Format: Hardcover
I've always enjoyed the Kate Shugak novels and their view into the Park life in the wilds of Alaska. This one deals with the opening of a gold mine and the pros and cons of supporting it. The mine creates needed jobs but brings trouble with more people brought in for employment who have too much money and too little to spend it on. Everyone looks to Kate for answers on whether to support the proposed mine especially now that she's chair of the Niniltna Native Association.
The problem with this book is that the author is too in love with her character. Kate seems to run everything including releasing people from jail, getting them jobs and deciding every bit of business the Assocation handles. Her laugh attracts every man. Even at 5 feet tall, everyone is intimidated by her. On a search party, she is the one who kills the bear. She is Superwoman and it, frankly, has gotten on my nerves. Make her human again. Let her make mistakes. Let her not intimidate everyone. Let her meet a man who doesn't fall for her. Let the other characters do something besides orbiting around her sun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kate is able to take seemingly unrelated bits and pieces and arrive at a conclusion that solves the mystery. Stabenow brings the vastness and beauty of Alaska alive to the reader. She is able to incorporate environmental concerns and Native culture into her books in order for the reader to better understand the unique character of Alaska and her people.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another excellently written mystery featuring all the now beloved characters created by Dana Stabenow. Kate Shugak is once again a private investigator extraordinaire. The book is filled with low key humor, lots of Alaska references and makes the reader wish they were a Park Rat. It is loosely based o events that happen all the time in the frozen north state Readers can read about Chuitna, Prince William Sound and the effects of money winning over natural resources in many non-fiction tomes if interested. Alaska IS our last clean wilderness. Let's keep some of it pristine for future generations.
.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the novel, but I think Kate Shugak is spending too much time involved in the Alaskan Natives board. I realize that as she ages the author is trying to take her in new diections, but I could care less about the interactions of the various board members.
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