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by Dana Stabenow
Berkley, April 1998
242 pages
ISBN: 0425162613

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

First introduced in 1992's A COLD DAY FOR MURDER, Kate Shugak is a former investigator for the Anchorage District Attorney, now living a happy life in the Alaskan wilderness. On the first chapters of the book, the author displays the beauty that is Alaska with vivid descriptions of the environment and the process of April's spring thaw. It is well written with its vivid passages including the presence of awakening hibernating bears near Kate's property. It gets good until a jet engine falls out of the sky flattening the home of Kate and her hybrid husky/wolf roommate Mutt that things get silly.

The title of BREAKUP is used throughout the entire story in different ways utilizing the word in different concepts. Breakup is the term used for the Alaska's spring thaw; Kate will breakup with her money when she files her taxes with the IRS; a jet engine breaks up her peace and tranquility in her home and finally, a mutilated body is found near her home. All that happens in just one morning, what to expect next? Readers expecting a mystery novel may be disappointed because the murder mystery in the book seems more like filler for a story meant to develop the character of Shugak and her friends. Breakup is probably not the best place to start the series, but it should not be an excuse to break free of the author. Let me try again with a different novel. With over eight books in the series there must be a good following. This was only my first try.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, March 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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