Soho, 2003, 22.00, 274 pp.
Adhering to the Indian Graves Act, the Smithsonian naluaqmiut (means more than one white man) send home the mummy "Uncle Frosty" to Alaska. Once in the northern state, villagers respecting centuries of tradition steal the body. However, not long afterward at a sheefish camp on the ice of Chukchi Bay, Inupiat tribal elder Victor Soloman is found bludgeoned to death by Frosty's harpoon.
Born in the village of Chukchi though raised in Anchorage, State Trooper Nathan Active investigates the murder. He quickly finds a herd of suspects with motives and opportunities. Nathan receives help (some unwanted) from his girlfriend and his native mother while struggling to learn and understand the matriarchal side of his heritage. Meanwhile his inquiries place Nathan in the dangerous middle of a deadly tug of war between the angatquq shamen and the followers of a murdered social reformer.
The police procedural aspects are strong and exciting, but serve as a method to enable the audience to receive a deep understanding of a people in which modern technology encroaches faster than snowmobiles drive the vast frozen tundra.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner