THE BIG EMPTY
By Stan Jones and Patricia Watts

 

Publisher: Soho Press (December, 2018)
Format: Hardcover
Price: $26.95
ISBN-13: 978-1-64129-002-9

Kindle edition: $14.99

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***The paperback edition of this book is scheduled to be released November 19, 2019 and is available for pre-order at online book sources. ($15.95)***

 

A Nathan Active mystery (Book 6)

 

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
(March, 2019)

 

When experienced pilot Evie Kavoonah’s plane crashed into a mountain, killing her, her fiancé, Doctor Todd Brenner, and their unborn child, most people in the small Alaskan village of Chukchi believed it to be an unfortunate accident caused by pilot error. Her mentor and friend Cowboy Decker taught her to fly, and he knew she would never be that careless.  Cowboy bugged Police Chief Nathan Active until he agreed to check out the plane. They make the perilous hike up the mountain and examine the wreckage, and sure enough, Cowboy was right. The aircraft had been sabotaged by someone familiar with aircraft mechanics.

It turned out that not everyone in Chukchi loved the young couple. Sheriff Active’s investigation turns up several suspects with assorted motives for murder. Because the doctor was not supposed to be on the plane that day, it was also possible that the person he replaced was the intended victim.

There are plenty of red herrings and some fishy goings-on in the fishing village, but the sheriff doggedly tracks down the cold-blooded culprit. In addition to being a fine mystery, the book offers a detailed look at the complex culture of outback Alaska and the relationships between natives and the people who came from the outer world to settle on their land. The land, including the flora and fauna, is a character, adding color and depth to the story. Recommended.


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