Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bad Blood, by Dana Stabenow

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
I couldn't use the first two lines of Romeo and Juliet, because the scene is two towns set apart a river from each other in fair Alaska, very different in dignity.  Forward-thinking Kuskalana has fared really well in the political times of Alaska, while Kustaka is slowly dying in its attempt to hold on to the old ways, making it unsurprising when a long-standing rivalry moves from fights and "accidents" to murder.  Chopper Jim Chopin is called in to investigate, but no one is willing to tell him what he or she knows or suspects.  Even when Kate Shugak steps in to assist, the villagers' lips are sealed.  And then there are young star-crossed lovers.