Notes from an Italian hermitage – despatches from BOLOGNA #3
Thriller set in Alaska (No Fixed Line)
25th February 2020
No Fixed Line by Dana Stabenow, thriller set in Alaska.
No Fixed Line is the 22nd title in Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak Alaskan thriller series. I am embarrassed to say that it the first I have read. It won’t be the last.
It is a really good thriller but, as importantly in TripFiction terms, it really brings Alaska to life. The reader gets a close up of the extremely varied terrain – from inland forest to coastal splendour. And it is cold, very cold. Dana is a lifelong inhabitant of the State – and her enthusiasm shows.
A private plane crashes during a blizzard. The only survivors are two young Spanish speaking children, a brother and sister. They are terrified of their rescuers. Also found on the plane was a large quantity of opioid drugs. Kate and get team try to piece together what has happened. Alaska was a staging post to import drugs on an industrial scale, and then re-package them and export them all over the world. Those who run the business are not at all pleasant. They have history with Kate and they believe they have to silence the children to protect themselves. They were not amused to find out that the owner of the plane had ‘bought’ the children at the Mexican border and was using them for his personal sexual gratification. ‘Pleasure’ should not interfere with business. No wonder the children were scared of the adults who found them…
The story progresses through several attempts on Kate’s life and a maze of corruption and money laundering in high places. It is well thought through and well constructed.
I said at the beginning that this won’t be the last Kate Shugak title that I read. But I doubt I will be able to read all 21 of the others. Dana is a prolific writer, but I wonder they might all be a bit ‘samey’? I’ll let you know after 2 and 3!
But this one is very certainly worth exploring.
Tony for the TripFiction team
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