Reading the North

June 30, 2012 

Stalker

By Sean E. Thomas (Whiskey Creek Press, $17.95)

The blurb: Another book in the author's series of Robert Sable mysteries, this story finds trooper Sable investigating the crimes of a serial killer calling himself Anubis, who stalks the cities and highways of Alaska.

Excerpt: "Back at their office, Sable put another column on his board, titled it 'JD' and wrote, 'stalks his prey for several days, sabotages the motel's locks to enter the room, shoe prints size eleven, wears Timberline boots, hunts with crossbow, gives his prey a note, uses float plane to fly in, and has dog or cat.' He stepped back and looked at the murder board. 'Have I forgotten anything?'

'Sevens said Anubis, I mean JD, uses a stun gun to subdue his victims,' Stockwell said.

Sable wrote it down. 'We need to get a list of pilots who have float planes and cross check with the towers for flight plans. We also need to check of all owners of large SUVs or trucks against the list of the pilots. That should narrow our list of suspects.' "

Knight Everlasting

By Jackie Ivie (Kensington Publishing, $6.99)

The blurb: In the latest novel by this Anchorage author, Juliana D'Aubernville is rescued from the crosshairs of battle by Aidan MacKetryck. Despite her attraction for Aidan and his desire for her, Juliana must escape before her identity is revealed.

Excerpt: "'Run!'

The shout came through the ground-swell of mist, became a blurred man, and then more of them. They were running ... directly at her.

'Hide!'

Juliana dropped her apron, scattering berries at her feet.

The thumping of horses' hooves penetrated the remnants of fog next. And the first indistinct outline of a mounted man appeared. Armed and charging ... with drawn sword.

The first runner reached her, swooped, and without even breaking stride, tossed her up and over his shoulder, as if she weren't the size and heft of a grown woman paralyzed in place. Not much on her moved. He had her legs locked with an arm, her belly atop his shoulder, her arms dangling uselessly, and everything else on her upper body slamming against his back."

The Storms of Denali

By Nicholas O'Connell (Snowy Owl Books, $23.95)

The blurb: Inspired by the author's own mountaineering adventures, the novel follows four men who set out to conquer Denali. Among the team is narrator John Walker, a family man torn between domestic stability and mountaineering's dangerous, alluring glory.

Excerpt: "It was 10 p.m. and still light when our jet touched down at Anchorage International Airport. The setting sun gilded the city's drab downtown office buildings, catching their windows on fire and painting the surrounding Chugach Mountains in a dull, red glow. In the twilight, we loaded our gear into a big, yellow taxi and drove north.

After passing through a rash of Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger Kings, we entered suburbs of prefab houses, trinket shops, and gas stations. These gave way to thickets of Douglas fir, black spruce, alder, and willow bogs. The trees crowded in on all sides, as if ready to swallow the highway.

The driver attacked the road, slaloming around the corners, accelerating on the straightaways, attempting to pass every car and truck on the way to Talkeetna, the jump-off point for climbers flying in to Denali. Wyn had told him to get into town ASAP so we could get the earliest flight into the base camp. He had taken him at his word."


Compiled by Matt Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News

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