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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Village of the Ghost Bears

Jones, Stan J.  Village of the Ghost Bears.

 This novel caught my attention because of the cover, the title, and the fact that we have a nephew who works as a guide in Alaska.

Village is the 4th novel in Jones' series featuring State Trooper Nathan Active, but the first that I've read.

The descriptions of the landscape and village characters are excellent.  Jones has plenty of personal experience to draw on as an award-winning journalist and former bush pilot himself, and his love of the wilderness and its people and cultures is evident.

Nathan Active is an interesting character--a native of the small village where he is stationed, he was adopted and raised by a white family in Anchorage and still has some difficulties with the cultural differences.

There is a body discovered in an isolated, difficult to reach area that is initially assumed to be an accident; a fire at the rec center that kills 8 people including the police chief; illegal sales of bear gall bladders; a missing Korean who has recently been released from prison; a surviving twin whose sister comes to him in dreams; the possibility of Nathan's hoped for transfer back to Anchorage; a love affair...

I enjoyed the novel, more for the view of Alaskan life than for the mystery, but it is a series that is worth the time.

Fiction.  Mystery.  2009.  333 pages.


  1. I remember seeing this book and thought the cover was quite striking as well. Glad to hear your reactions to it. I've not read this author either.

  2. Kay, i always find snow and ghosts in titles intriguing. Lately, many of the mysteries I've read have had to do with cold climates and the middle of a hot summer they are particularly appealing!

  3. Lovely title, lovely cover, and your review makes it sound intriguing. It's a blazing hot summer here in England too - maybe one to try!

  4. As I recall, you like winter/snow/icy books, too. :)

  5. I'm always intrigued by mysteries set in cold places. I'll have to check this series out!

  6. Christy - The little Alaskan village is really exotic in many ways, and the author's familiarity with the area makes the settings quite real.