This is an original and stirring mystery set in Alaska among the Inuit community. Jones creates a stunningly authentic sense of Alaskan history and of a culture still in the throes of change. The second instalment in the "Nathan Active" series sees the state trooper investigate the theft of a sacred Inupiat mummy. Well-intended "naluaqmiut" (white men) at the Smithsonian have sent mummified "Uncle Frosty" to a museum, only to have the body stolen by villagers wishing to respect traditional native funeral customs. When a tribal elder turns up impaled on the mummy's harpoon at his lonely ice-fishing outpost, an extensive investigation is launched across a vast barren area. Active interviews a fascinating series of suspects living in isolated hunting and whaling camps and in squalid igloos, each with an intriguing story to tell. Active soon finds himself caught in a struggle between the fearsome power of Shamans (pagan devil doctors) and the legacy of Natchiq, a murdered prophet and social reformer.
In time, both the trooper and the reader achieve a deeper level of understanding of bygone traditions in a remote society where snowmobiles are replacing dogsleds and young children crave Pokemon cards. Jones skilfully depicts the beauty and desolation of the "treeless tundra" in winter as well as the hardships of survival in one of the world's most hostile climates. In the compelling ending, Active and his posse fly to a remote mountain pass to hunt for Uncle Frosty and his abductor. A handy Inupiat glossary and background history is included.
Buy Shaman Pass book by Stan Jones from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(190mm x 127mm x 20mm)
Soho Press Inc
Publisher: Soho Press Inc
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Author Biography - Stan Jones
Stan Jones is also the author of White Sky, Black Ice, published by Soho Press and available from Turnaround.