The History of Kate Shugak in 22 Objects – 13

Warning: Spoilers spoken here.

HoZ Kate13

There were some eloquent pleas for the glacier and the photo album in the comments, but the cabin has it. It was the cabin her father built to prove up on his homestead, it was where Stephan brought Zoya as his wife, it was where Kate was born, it was where she kept running away to when Emaa tried to move her into town after her parents’ deaths, it’s where Abel trusted her enough to go when she was a kid and not hurt herself, it’s where she ran to after she was nearly killed on the job in Anchorage, it’s where Jack found her again at the beginning of A Cold Day for Murder, and it’s where Jim began his search for her at the beginning of Midnight Come Again. Oh yeah, it’s all about the cabin.

Kate’s cabin was based on an actual cabin I stayed in when I was very young. I have googled madly to find something similar. Think this one with an extra story for a loft for a bedroom.


And this one would be something like the one the Park rats built for her in the same location and that she lives in today.


Those windows face south, with the Quilak Mountains on Kate’s left as she looks out and the Kanuyaq River valley unfolding down to an occasional glint of Prince William Sound in front of her. Zoya Creek, named for her mother, curls around the cabin to flow into the larger river.

Fun fact: I have lived in a one-room cabin with an outhouse out back. In winter all you wanted was to get your business done and get back into the warm and I won’t even talk about when the pile of solid waste got so high and froze so solid it bumped you in the butt when you sat down. There was an oil stove for heating and cooking. There was running water, which froze up during more than one winter, and electricity generated by the town power plant which only occasionally went out, thank goodness. Baths were in a galvanized steel tub, and when the water froze we loaded the tub with snow and waited for it to melt. The water never got more than lukewarm but by god we were clean and that was all that mattered to my mother.

I never take hot and cold running water or electricity for granted, and until I die will believe that as much crap as I have put Kate through she would forgive me anything for getting her out of that cabin and into her house.

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Dana View All →

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30 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Oh boy, this one for me is a toughie. This book screams “Jim, Jim, Jim”! How about Kate using him as an object?

  2. Thanks for the photos of the 2 types of cabins. That first one must be really old. Boy this next book is a hard one. I go back and for between Jack’s townhouse as being a familiar refuge for Kate. But then there are those thick, wool socks of Jack’s. Then Kate and Jim. I think a lot of action takes place in the townhouse , so I am going with that.

  3. I’d love to visit Dick’s cabin some day—another one of my favorite Alaskan authors. Those are both pretty much what I’d pictured for Kate’s cabins. You did a great job describing them.

    I’m finally reading Bad Blood for the first time. I’ve been masochistically snail crawling through the Kate books for the last five years, so I didn’t get to the end too quick—like I’ve done with the Liam and Silk & Song series. Will have to go back and re-read #14 before I can contribute a worthy object.

    • Okay, so things have popped up in my life that I’m not going to be able to finish re-reading all of this one before the end of the month. And my brain’s so full, I actually don’t remember all the details of this one (why I love! re-reading). However, with where I am now in the story; my vote is for a meat cache.

      I think it symbolizes the ‘old’ in the dichotomy of old and new that is evolving throughout this book: cache vs. freezer, old lovers (Jack) vs. new (Jim), Alaska and family histories, old cop’s memories, cell phones, hot baths, mentoring and fostering a new purpose or job in life, the whole idea of ‘how we used to do it’ and what it’s becoming or changing into as we modernize and evolve. Metamorphosis.

      And anyway, if you didn’t have a meat cache there sure would be a taint in the blood.

  4. How about this? Let’s make the Alaska State Trooper, aka Jim, the object, because it’s all about poor Jim in this book. Charlotte’s plight is merely the back story. Sorry, that’s the way I see it! 🙂

  5. What about Mutt! She is only half wolf but how did that come about. More about how and when she came to be with Kate. I know it was when she returned to the park but was she a puppy? Did she have some puppies at some point? There was that wolf hanging around for awhile. She is more than an object that is for sure. A snowmobile is an object. A plane is an object. And they are both very important to life in Alaska. But, Mutt is, well, even more important than any of the men.

  6. It is such a long time since we read about Kate please may we have the new release soon.Mutt must have a prime place in the book. Thank you.

  7. I think I’m going for Kate’s cell phone. It connects her to the people she needs – not just in this book, but ongoing. Whilst in many ways it’s not important to her, she relies on it more than she knows at this point. I am so looking forward to Book 21, but for the life of me I can’t make up my mind whether Mutt should survive – or not.

  8. Kate’s cabin reminded me of ones that I stayed in in the Adirondacks…snug, practical, and great places to read!

  9. I have read the Kate series so many times I know them by heart! And I’m starting them again! Now as for an object? Well of course there is Jim but I would call him an object. She toys with him so much he doesn’the know which way is up! But I think it should be Jim’s GLASSES! That really turns Kate on! Can’take wait till the new one is out! And I really don’ the want Mutt to die!

  10. Dana, mon Cher, (Mr. Stabenow’s brow furrowing as he reads that) a dog instructed to attack ain’t “sicked”, she’s “sicced”. But, as the Brits say, you write a whacking good yarn.

    • Kenneth, mon ami, vous avez raison, mais le fucking autocorrect must have struck again. But, as we Yanks say, I can take a compliment. So thanks!

  11. Hmmm. I’m going to buck the crowd (shocker) and claim that the Park-built house is the object for this book. It’s why she takes Charlotte’s job in the first place, and it’s why she lost her mind temporarily, sure, but it’s also how she gets back to herself.

  12. I’ve been wracking my brain with this all month. Reread the book not just once, but twice, and the only conclusion I can come to is that there is no significant “thing,” i.e., inanimate object, in this one. Since this is the book in which the Kate-Jim relationship really takes off, I’m opting for Jim as the most significant thing/object/person in Kate’s history in this book. Given that for part of the book, Kate makes it appear as though she’s objectifying him, just using him as a sex object, I don’t think it’s a bad choice.

  13. Just got introduced to your books the 1st of March. Found one in the fairbanks airport. Have read all the Kate books, most of the Liam ones and Prepared for Rage. have enjoyed them all. Thank you.

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