Cold Storage, Alaska
by John Straley
Review by Steve Sawicki
Soho Crime Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616953065
Date: 04 February 2014 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Clive McCahon is getting out of jail and heading home to Cold Storage, Alaska. He's got one stop to make to pick up something of his that's under the care of another and then he's heading straight home.
Cold Storage is known for the hot springs and for the cold storage fish plant that is now all but abandoned. Clive's brother is the local doctor even though he is only a Physician's Assistant. Clive's reformed and once he arrives he plans on opening a bar/church in town (a Cold Storage ordinance requires that there be as many churches in town as bars and right now that's an even number).
But Clive has brought trouble with him. There's a state trooper who's sure that Clive is up to no good. The stop Clive made on the way home was to pick up a couple of bags of money that, while they did belong to him, were believed by his ex-business partner to be more community property. To make matters worse, Clive is sure that animals are speaking to him.
John Straley has created a pretty straightforward story and populated it with true characters of all different bends. They say that Alaska is the last wilderness place where one can truly be whatever they want and Straley takes advantage of that here. Part of it is simply small town life in a very hostile environment. Part of it is masterful story telling.
I'm never sure what to expect when I pick up a book. I certainly had no reason to think that this book was going to be the mad romp through the tundra that it turned out to be. Even the dog in the book turns out to be a bit whacked--in a good sort of way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, could not put it down enjoyed it. Highly recommended.