The Big Empty

Stan Jones and Patricia Watts. Soho Crime, $26.95 (264p) ISBN 978-1-64129-002-9
In Jones’s intriguing sixth outing for Native Alaskan public safety director Nathan Active (after 2016’s Tundra Kill), the first in the series to be coauthored with Watts (The Frayer), Nathan’s bush pilot friend, Cowboy Decker, persuades him to look into the deaths of Evie Kavoonah and her physician fiancé, Todd Brenner. The couple were killed after the Cessna Evie had been piloting smashed into a mountain, a tragedy that federal investigators concluded was due to pilot error. Despite his skepticism, Nathan agrees to travel with Cowboy to the site of the wreckage, where they discover evidence of sabotage. Meanwhile, Nathan and his wife, Grace, are expecting their first child, a development that will complicate their relationship with Grace’s teenage daughter, Nita. Nita’s father is Grace’s father, who raped her years before her marriage to Nathan. Though the whodunit story line may be unexceptional, it’s buttressed by the family melodrama and the authors’ insights into the culture of Alaska’s indigenous peoples. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2018
Release date: 12/11/2018
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 264 pages - 978-1-64129-094-4
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