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Dead In The Water    by Dana Stabenow order for
Dead In The Water
by Dana Stabenow
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2002 (1993)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I ran across an older (1993) mystery by Dana Stabenow. Twelve years old or not, Dead in the Water is an exciting, thrilling and downright scary read. Stabenow, a part Aleut native of Alaska, writes of what she knows, and does it well. Kate Shugak is considered the toughest crime-tracker in the far Alaska north. Here, Kate works undercover on an Alaskan fishing boat to discover what happened to two crew members who disappeared from that same boat while on the Bering Sea.

After reading of the hardships and ghastly working conditions on boats harvesting crabs, I shall address my lump meat crab cake dinners with more reverence. Add to the perils of the icy sea the risk Kate was taking in her quest and you have a first rate tale. While reading of the crew's battle to save the ship from the formation of ice that threatened to topple the boat in the water, I wanted to stop reading because it was too easy to imagine myself there. I could almost hear the howling wind and feel the tilting of the deck beneath my feet. Kate's telling of the ordeal was all too real. But I couldn't stop reading for I wanted to know the outcome.

Kate Shugak is a strong, tough woman, determined to make her way in a man's world. She gives her word and sticks to it to the letter. She has time for romance in her life but on her own terms. A fine read.

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