Everyone knew Len Dreyer, a handyman for hire in the Park
near Niniltna, Alaska, but no one knew anything else about
him. Even Kate Shugak hired him to thin the trees on her
160-acre homestead and was planning to ask him to help
build a small second cabin on her property for Johnny
Morgan, a teenaged boy in her care. But she, the Park's
unofficial p.i., seems to have known less about him than
Alaska is a place where anybody can bury his history and
start fresh, and for any reason, but this particular
mystery comes to light when Len Dreyer turns up murdered.
His body is discovered, frozen solid, in the path of a
receding glacier with the hole from a shotgun blast in his
chest. No one even knew he was missing, but it turns out
he's been missing for months.
Alaska State Trooper Jim Chopin asks Kate to help him dig
into Dreyer's background, in the hope of finding some
reason for his murder. She takes the case, mindful of the
need for gainful employment as she copes with her
responsibility for Johnny, a constant reminder of his
father, her dead lover. Little does she imagine that by
trying to provide for him she just might put him right in
the path of danger.
A talented writer at the prime of her abilities, Stabenow
delivers a masterful crime novel that turns out to be as
much about living as it is about dying.