Police Chief Nathan Active investigates a plane crash out in Alaska’s Big Empty—and what he finds there casts suspicion of murder on several locals in his small town of Chukchi.
Evie Kavoonah, a young mother-to-be, and her fiancé, Dr. Todd Brenner, are on a flight over the Brooks Range when their bush plane runs out of gas and hits a ridge, instantly killing them both. Chukchi police chief Nathan Active doubts he’ll find anything amiss when his close friend, Cowboy Decker, asks him to look into the possibility of foul play. Evie was like a daughter to Cowboy, who trained her to fly, and he insists there’s no way his protégée made a fatal mistake that day. Nathan reluctantly plays along and discovers that Cowboy’s instincts are correct—the malfunction that led to the crash was carefully planned, and several people in the village have motives for targeting the pair.
Meanwhile, Nathan’s wife, Gracie, is pregnant, but so scarred by memories of domestic abuse that she isn’t sure she should have the baby. Nathan must support her and their adopted daughter, Nita, while managing an increasingly complex and dangerous murder case.
When Chukchi Police Chief Nathan Active discovers dirt on the governor of Alaska, the woman he is appointed to protect, he finds himself in a precarious position: Expose the truth and risk his job or become complicit in her dangerous affairs?
Nathan Active, the top cop in a swath of Alaskan tundra larger than fifteen other US states, has been assigned to bodyguard duty for Alaska’s celebrity female governor, Helen Mercer, while her husband runs the Isignaq, a 400-mile sled-dog race through the Arctic wilderness. Against his will, Active is suddenly swept into her bizarre family affairs and outsized political ambitions. And when he connects the death of a local dog musher to Mercer, her countermoves threaten to ruin the lives of Active’s beloved Grace Palmer and her daughter, Nita. With his career on the line, Active must outwit the governor and save the people he cares for most before time runs out.
Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active must figure out what connects a dead hunter on a remote Arctic lake with a year-old fatal plane crash in the Brooks Range and an arson at the Chukchi Recreation Center. That fire killed eight people, including the police chief and the town’s basketball star. Active’s investigation leads him to a lucrative polar-bear poaching operation and a brother and sister with an intense bond from a village famous for twins, polar bears, and schizophrenia.
State Trooper Nathan Active has long been caught between identities. Born an Inupiat Eskimo but raised in Anchorage by adoptive white parents, he had little knowledge of his heritage before being assigned to the remote Alaskan town of Chukchi. He only realizes how deeply settled into the local rhythm he is when Grace Palmer, a local beauty queen, goes missing. Active mounts a search that will lead him halfway across Alaska—and give 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 conundrum: she is either dead, or she is a cold-blooded killer.
“In a robust sequel to White Sky, Black Ice, this Alaska state trooper is still burdened by his urban upbringing and his aversion to ice and snow . . . Active maintains his awe of the vast Alaskan tundra, a forbidding region that Jones renders in all its bone-chilling beauty.” —The New York Times Book Review
State Trooper Nathan Active was born in the Inupiat village of Chukchi, where he is now stationed, but he was adopted and raised in Anchorage. Now he must investigate the murder of a tribal leader who was stabbed to death with an antique harpoon that was recently returned to the community under the Indian Graves Act.
Born to a poor Inupiat girl in Chukchi, Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, State Trooper Nathan Active was adopted and raised by a white family in Anchorage. Now, an unwelcome job reassignment has returned him to the stark, beautiful landscape of poverty-stricken Chukchi. Two suspicious suicides in the span of a week and rumors of trouble in the village and at the local copper mine lead Active to believe there is a killer at large. As a nalauqmiiyaaq, or someone regarded by the community as “halfwhite,” he must fight for every clue before the killer strikes again.