cover image No Fixed Line

No Fixed Line

Dana Stabenow. Head of Zeus (IPG, dist.), $29.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-7885-4911-0

A plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness kicks off Edgar winner Stabenow’s excellent 22nd Kate Shugak mystery (after 2017’s Less Than a Treason). Former State Trooper Jim Chopin, Kate’s beau, is called out of retirement to go to the crash site, where he discovers two survivors, children who don’t speak English. When the children turn out to be trafficked refugees kept by a drug-smuggling pedophile, PI Shugak, who operates from the national park that contains the crash site, investigates. She goes up against powerful foes from both inside and outside Alaska, including two goons sent by the smuggling ring. As plenty of villains have learned over the decades, this is a woman who shouldn’t be underestimated and has plenty of fight left in her. Stabenow’s affection for her characters, in particular Chopin, shines through, as does her fondness for the Alaskan country she knows so well. Fans will hope this series goes on forever. (Jan.)