Blizzards, tundra, Eskimos, bush pilots, and bingo-loving grandmas enliven this literate ethnic mystery starring Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active, who has been assigned to the remote Arctic town of Chukchi. Though born an Inupiat Eskimo, Active was raised in Anchorage by white parents and has little knowledge of his native culture. During the long months he has spent in Chukchi, he has rallied against the icy weather and struggled to understand his two cultural identities, but he realizes how deeply he has been settling into the rhythms of community life when Grace Palmer, a local beauty queen, goes missing. The state trooper mounts a search that ultimately leads him halfway across Alaska—and gives him plenty of time to discover he is in love with Grace. Closing in on the answers, however, he discovers evidence that points to an agonizing situation: she is either dead, or she is a cold-blooded killer.
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