White Sky, Black Ice (Nathan Active Series #1)

White Sky, Black Ice (Nathan Active Series #1)

by Stan Jones


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, September 26


The first Nathan Active mystery

Born to a poor Inupiat girl in Chukchi, Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle, State Trooper Nathan Active was adopted and raised by a white family in Anchorage. Now, an unwelcome job reassignment has returned him to the stark, beautiful landscape of poverty-stricken Chukchi. Two suspicious suicides in the span of a week and rumors of trouble in the village and at the local copper mine lead Active to believe there is a killer at large. As a nalauqmiiyaaq, or someone regarded by the community as “halfwhite,” he must fight for every clue before the killer strikes again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781569473337
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/01/2003
Series: Nathan Active Series , #1
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 350,139
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stan Jones is a native of Alaska. He has worked as an award-winning journalist and a bush pilot. He is the author of four other mysteries in the acclaimed Nathan Active series, including Shaman Pass and Village of the Ghost Bears.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

John Strohmeyer

This fast-paced mystery is a good read with a valuable bonus. It offers a rare insight into the oldest of North American cultures.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

White Sky, Black Ice (Nathan Active Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
I read a review of the most recent Active novel and found this book at a local library. It is a promising debut. Active seems a bit colorless and stolid but is a fallible, dogged, and clever investigator. Stan Jones doesn't overdo the local color but you can tell he knows native Alaska. It might be fair to call him a Far North Tony Hillerman. I still think John Straley's Cecil Younger series are the best Alaskan crime stories I have read but Jones and Active are a pair to watch. Another book or two should help me make up my mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended for sensitive and compelling writing about the Inupiat culture in rural Alaska. Jones offers the reader insight into the social problems (e.g. Alcoholism) and interpersonal dynamics of the town in which a suicide..(or was it murder) takes place. If you like to explore unfamiliar geographical settings in your mystery reading, you will like this, even though the mystery itself is no thriller. This is the first Book by Stan Jones I've read, and I'm planning on reading more.
ckNikka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"He remembered when Martha's ( his real mom) new propane stove had arrived the month before. For a week, it sat in the middle of the kitchen in its shipping carton. For a week, Martha said, "My leroy will put it in for me" For a week, Leroy was busy with other things. On Saturday, while Active was over to do his laundry, the matter had come to a head, or as close to a head as things ever came in Martha's house. He was drinking coffee with Martha when Leroy, who liked to sleep in on weekends if he wasn't hunting of fishing, finally got up around noon. He came to the door of the kitchen in a bathrobe, a towel over his shoulder. "Sweetie, do I have any clean underwear?" he asked. "Of course ," Martha said. Your Tshirts are on the top shelf and your shorts are on the bottom, just like always." "No they're not," Leroy said. " I looked in the closet." "Oh I guess I forgot to tell you," Martha said. "I moved them." "You moved them? Where?" " I put them in the new oven. Seem like if we're not going to cook with it we could use it for a closet,ah?" Good writing... northern native american humor... another great place story that gives you the feel of the bright blue sky and the brillant snow... with a cultural context that gives it some new spice and wonderful flavor..." the killer is dead too. That's why it's hard to prove." "Dead? but who..." Her eyes widened. " the radio this morning, it said..."...... " I don't know if I should beleive you." why won't you tell us what happened'?....."Sometimes the facts don't do justice to the truth," - Active said.... a good story and a interesting plot ... lucky you if you have not read the books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
BBailey More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read. I think Stan did a great job at developing the characters and the plot. I feel like I have learned a little about Alaska too. I immediately bought the rest of the series and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the insight to the culture. I hope there will be more to follow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminded me of Tony Hillerman. Excited for another series to indulge in. Thanks to this author.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First in the Nathan Active, Alaska State Trooper series.Nathan Active is a Native American, an Inupiat (we learn early on that Eskimo is a white man¿s term and Inuit is really not correct) born in the village of Chukchi in NW Alaska, across the Bering Strait from Siberia. His 15 year old mother gave him to a white couple for adoption when he was still a baby. Nathan is a Alaska State Trooper, unhappily stationed in Chukchi--he¿d rather be in Anchorage where his adoptive parents live. Two apparent suicides of Inupiats within a week are suspicious, however, and Nathan decides to investigate further.The setting is well done, the circumstances auspicious, and the character seemed interesting. But unfortunately, the plot very early on becomes obvious to a three year old. The writing during most of the book is adequate if not brilliant, but towards the end, it degenerates into mediocrity, as if Jones were in a hurry to get the book done and just slapped some sentences together to more or less tie things up. Too bad, because the scenario had real potential.Read only if interested in what seems to be a good portrayal of modern Inupiat culture. Otherwise, be prepared to be bored.
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The issues that surface in this crime fiction will strike chords with Australian readers, particularly those who have read Adrian Hyland's novels (DIAMOND DOVE and GUNSHOT ROAD)Young men committing suicide is a big problem in the Alaskan Inupiat community.The Clinton family believes it has been cursed and so, to some extent, the death of their fourth son George, by his own hand, is no surprise. But when a second body is discovered, that of Aaron, alarm bells ring. Because Aaron is in his 50s and had everything to live for. Even more oddly he has killed himself in just the same way George did, a shotgun to the Adam's apple.The issues Stan Jones weaves into this tale - alcoholism in the Inupiat community, issues with mining as the community's economic salvation, environmental impacts, and the corruption of a local politician - al all strongly described.A very readable novel, worth trying to find.
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a RL book group. It is the start of the Nathan Active mystery series. It is set in northern, rural Alaska and is about the lives of the native people. It is the setting and the characters and the native lore that makes it such a good read. The writing is good, but very simple, and not as meaty as it could be.Nathan is the POV character and an Inupiat. He is an Alaskan State Trooper and has been stationed in the village of Chukchi. He was born there, but given to white teachers to raise. They moved to the city of Anchorage, were he grew up. Now returned to Chuckchi, Nathan is ignorant of his language, culture and the outdoor craft needed to survive in a harsh wilderness. Nathan's ignorance means the natives treat him like a half-breed, and allows the author to 'explain' the native lore for him, and the reading audience.Nathan struggles with his conflicted feelings for his birth mother, his feeling of loss for the easy good life in the city, and his hunger to learn about his culture and to belong. He alternates between wanting to return to Anchorage as soon as possible, and to take up with an Inupiat woman who moves him (meaning he will need to stay in Chukchi).The mystery in this book is about two odd suicides that Nathan thinks may be murders. He is walking a fine line professionally due to the different jurisdictions between the state and local police, and politics in the state capitol. It becomes even more dangerous when an outside 'white' business becomes involved, and the welfare of the tribe which depends on this business. Great setting and interesting characters, with lots of good info and a glossary about the natives. I am reading the rest of the series, on my own.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nathan Active is an Alaskan state trooper. He was born to an Inupiat girl and a white father, but raised by a white couple, so he knows almost nothing about his native heritage. Now he's been assigned to a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. He'd love to get back to Anchorage, but until then, he's got a series of strange suicides on his hands. Everyone else is happy to write them off as alcohol, as a curse, as whatever. But Nathan not so sure that they are suicides at all. And what does the local oil company have to do with this?I have mixed feelings on this one. I liked the setting a lot, and I was involved in the mystery. But Nathan is a funny sort of character. He is a good cop, but just randomly jumps into bed with a coworker without a second thought. He's all conflicted about it and it causes complications at his job, but then he does it again as soon as he get the chance. That makes me wonder just how smart he really is. I did like the ending, but I'm not sure I'll read another by this author.
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
White Sky, Black Ice by Stan Jones is the first Nathan Active mystery.Nathan Active is an Alaskan state trooper who's recently been sent fromAnchorage to the remote village of Chukchi somewhere around the ArcticCircle. Most of the 2500 inhabitants of Chukchi are Inupiat--the people mostof us call Eskimos. Although alcoholism and suicide rates are very high inChukchi, it is unusual for two people to commit suicide within days of eachother, and this rarity has Active suspicious.For someone like me whose idea of hell is anyplace cold, you'd think I'dsteer clear of mysteries set in the Arctic Circle, but I really enjoyed thisbook. There is a small glossary in the front that helps with pronunciationof Inupiaq words. From Jones's descriptions, most of the buildings inChukchi seem to be constructed of plywood, and since the warmesttemperatures during the timeframe of this book seemed to be below zero, I'mglad I was sitting out in the pool when I read most of it! LOLStrong writing, characterization and plotting combined with immersion intoan unfamiliar land and culture made for a very enjoyable reading experience.
msf59 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Trooper Nathan Active! Sounds like a sci-fi superhero! Actually he's a young Alaskan State Trooper, who is also a Inupiaq (an Eskimo is a lesser term). He is stationed in a small village called Chukchi and he is investigating a double suicide. Both men died in separate incidents but in exactly the same manner. Were the deaths self-inflicted, pre-meditated murder or the work of a shaman's curse? Jones, an Alaskan native, captures the culture vividly and honestly. This is the first of a mystery series and one I will gladly continue. Question: Why does crime fiction and frigid winter climes, work so well together? I'm not sure but it's a perfect fit!
cbl_tn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alaska State Trooper Nathan Active was born in a remote town to an Inupiaq mother, but was raised in Anchorage by adoptive parents. Ironically, he ends up posted to Chukchi, the town of his birth and where his birth mother still lives. He's doing everything he can to earn a promotion out of there. He's not sure whether his current case will help or hurt his chances for promotion. When two Inupiat men die within hours of each other, apparent suicides, Active's gut tells him there's something wrong. He soon learns that the men had something in common, and that's enough to trigger a murder investigation.I found a lot to like in this series debut. I like mysteries with unusual settings, and northern Alaska qualifies as unusual. Nathan has a lot of potential as the central character of a crime series. He has a lot of confidence in his professional skills and training, but he has some insecurities in his personal life. He lives in a tension between two cultures ¿ the Inupiat culture of his birth mother and the white majority culture of his adoptive family. He feels a bit like an outsider in both cultures. He's also resisting his attraction to a native co-worker, since he has ambitions beyond the confines of Chukchi. I'll be looking for more books in this series to see how his life and his career develop.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...in an Alaskan village. Good characters, good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plot and character develop together. Interesting characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read. I look forward to getting to know these characters better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bkrdr63 More than 1 year ago
I learned of this series when I read a review of Village of The Ghost Bear and realized that that particular book was book 4 in a series. Since then I have sought out the first 2 books in the series and am eager to read the last 2. I absolutely love the way that the books make me feel as if I am living in a remote village in Alaska. And for a native of the Deep South, that is really saying something! I enjoy not only the mystery side of the books but the character development of the State Trooper Nathan Active. I really appreciate Stan Jones' guide(including pronunciation) to the Inupiat language. I have been hooked on the CJ Box mystery series set in Wyoming which features Joe Pickett as a game warden raising a family and solving crimes since its inception. If you are a reader of that series, I believe that you will love this series by Stan Jones.And for my fellow female readers, it's even got a little romance thrown in there between Trooper Active and his lovely dispatcher, Lucy Generous!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
and there are no editing absurdities. Solid plot. Great characters, believable with their personal glitches. The story paints the landscape without relying on descriptions. So there it is, a grand slam.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Runekit looks up, her eyes closed. "Hi." She mewed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
— Icestar —