cover image COLD COMPANY: An Alaska Mystery

COLD COMPANY: An Alaska Mystery

Sue Henry, . . Morrow, $23.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-380-97882-3

Alaskan musher Jessie Arnold has certainly used up more than nine lives even before the start of this ninth solid adventure in a series that has won both Anthony and Macavity awards. Fiercely independent and self-reliant to a fault, Jessie must confront inner fears as well as outside dangers as she sets about rebuilding her home (gutted in 2000's Beneath the Ashes) and restructuring her life (after a breakup that occurred in the same novel). First a skeleton turns up in the excavation of her new cabin site; then a possible link is found to murders committed decades earlier by Alaska's most notorious serial killer, Robert Hansen. Hansen's victims, some of whom were never found, had been buried along the nearby Knik River. Soon not only the cabin construction crew but forensic and police investigators, plus a relative of one of Hansen's victims still searching for answers, are prowling the wild and remote Knik Road that leads to Jesse's property. As murders new and old begin to unfold, Jesse has to learn to rely on others as well as on her own substantial survival skills to surmount human and natural pitfalls. One of the hallmarks of Henry's series is the beautiful and rugged Alaskan landscape, and she has never used it more effectively than she does here, as spring sets in motion new discoveries. And Jesse's continuing voyage of self-discovery should thrill old fans as well as expand her growing audience in the lower 48. (June 4)