First Sentence: The body had been found early on by a raven, that inevitable first responder to carcasses in the wild.
Kate Shugak may have gone missing from all her friends and those who love her, but she knows where she is. Unfortunately, she is found by a woman who wants her to find her missing husband. A geologist working for the Suulutaq Mine is known for going off on his own, but this time he has failed to keep a meeting with his wife.
Once past the first, relatively unnecessary chapter, the story begins with a dramatic and emotional opening which is an immediate pickup from the previous book. It also leaves one with more questions than answers and an element of dread.
However, we then settle into learning about the village and its residents. For series readers, all the favorite, and not so favorite, characters are here but one. For new readers, this may not the place to start as there are a lot of characters. Although some background on them is provided, it can become confusing.
Stabenow does provide wonderful descriptions—“A beautiful night, clear and cold, the Milky Way a smear of confectioner’s sugar, the moon and ethereal, almost translucent crescent.”
Kate is a character to be greatly admired. She is smart, strong, independent and self-reliant; almost too much so. Anyone in the medical field may do a major eye roll, however. But she inspires loyalty and respect from all who know her.
There are a lot of plot threads to follow as well, but trust the author. The threads do become whole cloth. Even so, it is a bit frustrating that the two major reunions for which waits are late into the book, one not until the very end.
“Less Than a Treason” is not the best book in the series but the story builds well as the pieces fit together to a perfect ending.
LESS THAN A TREASON (Myst-Kate Shugak-Alaska-Contemp) – Good
Stabenow, Dana – 21st in series
Head of Zeus – May 2017