Less than a Treason by Dana Stabenow

Less than a Treason

Kate Shugak is a native Aleut working as a private investigator in Alaska. She's 5'1" tall, carrires a scar that runs from ear to ear across her throat, and owns a half-wolf, half-husky dog named Mutt. Resourceful, strong-willed, defiant, Kate is tougher than your average heroine—and she needs to be, to survive the worst the Alaskan wilds can throw at her. And throw their...

Title:Less than a Treason
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1786695693
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages

Less than a Treason Reviews

  • Skip
    May 29, 2017

    This was a must read to find out what happened to Kate and Mutt, who were shot at the end of the last book. Kate walking out of the ICU a day after regaining consciousness is as improbable as Jack Bauer's miraculous recoveries in the TV series,

    . The first 60 pages were otherwise torture, filled with tertiary and uninteresting characters. The basic plot was a typical one, with murder to hide goings-on in the Park. The now retired Jim is working actively on the next chapter in his life, and unc

    This was a must read to find out what happened to Kate and Mutt, who were shot at the end of the last book. Kate walking out of the ICU a day after regaining consciousness is as improbable as Jack Bauer's miraculous recoveries in the TV series,

    . The first 60 pages were otherwise torture, filled with tertiary and uninteresting characters. The basic plot was a typical one, with murder to hide goings-on in the Park. The now retired Jim is working actively on the next chapter in his life, and uncertain about his relationship with Kate, who is avoiding him back in Anchorage working on the case. The ending was improbable.

  • Amanda
    Feb 25, 2017

    Wow, so I blew through this one in less than 24 hours, and thats a mean feat in my house. Had forgotten how horribly Dana had left us hanging off that cliff at the end of

    , so I had to grab all my ereaders to find the last book, which was an unbearingly long search. Then read through the last few chapters to then hit the ground running with Less Than a Treason. Wow, what a ride again! I had missed my favorite characters, it was nice to catch up with them again.

    Wow, so I blew through this one in less than 24 hours, and thats a mean feat in my house. Had forgotten how horribly Dana had left us hanging off that cliff at the end of

    , so I had to grab all my ereaders to find the last book, which was an unbearingly long search. Then read through the last few chapters to then hit the ground running with Less Than a Treason. Wow, what a ride again! I had missed my favorite characters, it was nice to catch up with them again.

    I was, however, a bit disappointed with this installment. First of all, the book started with quite a few instances of new/internet speak which I found jarring to read in a book. From some authors, in some formats, I could accept it more readily, but here it didn't fit for me. I think Dana is a great author and was bummed that she felt she had to use this to express meaning, however, this is how we nowadays express ourselves so I am a bit torn about it. Second of all the book seemed a bit flat in retrospect, a bit uninspired. This leads me to my third and final disappointment, I am fairly convinced this is the last Kate Shugak novel. Apparently Dana had left the last book at a cliffhanger to ensure she would actually write the 21st book, but seeing how long it took her, the quality of the book and how well things are wrapped up at the end, well, this seems like the end. That bums me out.

    So this book gets 4.5 stars from me that I definitely will round up to 5. I love this series, the settings, the characters, the story telling, I just devoured this installment and now, a few days later, I can still look back fondly on it. I shall miss Kate, but in the meantime I am gathering all the books on paper so that Kate will always be on my shelf, ready for a reread (and hopefully Head of Zeus will print up a new batch of a few so I can get them all in matching covers/sizes please?!)!

  • Cynthia Sillitoe
    Jun 07, 2017

    Read in 24 hours. It seemed a little short, but maybe that was because I was turning pages so fast. Seriously, Kate has taught me about healing more than once.

  • Diane S ☔
    May 12, 2017

    4.25. One of my top five series, and it has been too long wait for this installment. This series has the sole dubious honor of being the only mystery series to bring me to tears, in a previous outing, due to a plot point that I was heartbroken over. Will admit to tearing up near the end of this one as well, though this time due to happiness. Love the way these books are put together, they just seem to flow seamlessly. Winning combination of the setting, Alaska, such fantastic descriptions of the

    4.25. One of my top five series, and it has been too long wait for this installment. This series has the sole dubious honor of being the only mystery series to bring me to tears, in a previous outing, due to a plot point that I was heartbroken over. Will admit to tearing up near the end of this one as well, though this time due to happiness. Love the way these books are put together, they just seem to flow seamlessly. Winning combination of the setting, Alaska, such fantastic descriptions of the Park. Almost, and I stress almost, makes me want to live there.

    Kate Shugak is such a great character, tough but vulnerable, private investigator, finds herself in danger often, but seems to plow ahead fearlessly. Unless it concerns her personal life, there past sorrows can make her afraid. The aunties, the women elders of the Park, use few words but manage to get their point across. Others as well, unique characters as they would have to be to live in this harsh environment. The stories, and there always seem to be more than one, often tie together in surprising ways. Not edge of your seat action, but I have come to care for these people and this place.

    Solid writing and a winning combination of setting, mystery and characters.

  • Linda
    May 14, 2017

    Four years. Four. Years.

    It's been a very long wait after the cliffhanger in the last book which left the impression that Kate and Mutt were dead or dying. While I'm grateful to see Kate (and the series?) resurrected, I found this book to be a mixture of frustrating, infuriating, and satisfying.

    Yes, Kate lives. This is no secret. But what happens after that made me grit my teeth in anger for a good portion of the book.

    Four years. Four. Years.

    It's been a very long wait after the cliffhanger in the last book which left the impression that Kate and Mutt were dead or dying. While I'm grateful to see Kate (and the series?) resurrected, I found this book to be a mixture of frustrating, infuriating, and satisfying.

    Yes, Kate lives. This is no secret. But what happens after that made me grit my teeth in anger for a good portion of the book.

    The mystery was decent and kept Kate, and to a lesser extent Jim, busy for much of the book. We had a chance to revisit some key characters, always a fun thing, and watched Kate and Jim reunite, an even more fun thing. Stabenow doesn't reveal Mutt's fate until nearly the end, so readers must remain patient.

    As for patience...I had none when Stabenow occasionally dove into the political, including having Jim thinking that Baby Boomers ought to die off quickly for the sake of the country. (Sigh) I have no idea what was behind the four year gap between books, personal vs. publisher issues, but I wondered if Kate's FU attitude and actions were an echo of Stabenow's own: love and accept me for who I am and whatever I'm willing to give you or shove off.

    Well, I do love this series and hope it will continue. But, unlike Jim, my patience is finite.

  • Brigette
    May 17, 2017

    Spoiler Alert - Kate lives.

    (Otherwise this book would have been REALLY short.) This felt like a lot of loose ends were being tied up, and could potentially be the last Kate Shugak book. I hope it isn't - but if there's another one, I hope it's a bit stronger.

  • Mel
    May 18, 2017

    This is one of those series that I buy/preorder without much thought: "new Kate Shugak coming?" ::Clicks preorder::

    I'll admit I don't understand Kate or relate to her that much (we never had much in common except a love of books and a few shared authors, oh and generally wanting to be left alone), but I

    her (& thank her for some great book recs), and have enjoyed this series for a long time - my early paperbacks are in tatters! This time, Kate made several pop-cultural references that

    This is one of those series that I buy/preorder without much thought: "new Kate Shugak coming?" ::Clicks preorder::

    I'll admit I don't understand Kate or relate to her that much (we never had much in common except a love of books and a few shared authors, oh and generally wanting to be left alone), but I

    her (& thank her for some great book recs), and have enjoyed this series for a long time - my early paperbacks are in tatters! This time, Kate made several pop-cultural references that a) I got, and b) made me smile and I almost felt like we could hang out and watch some Buffy.

    I won't dig too deep into the plot. It's too easy to spoil. There are appearances by old friends and old enemies (natch), a few ends tied up and more unraveled, hinting at a #22, which I'll welcome and buy sight-unseen. The end of the previous book -

    - ended on a cliffhanger, with Kate and Mutt shot and left for dead (or did I get a bad copy?). It's not a spoiler to say that Kate survived (duh), but she was hurt/damaged in many ways and took off - in her typical fashion - to heal on her own terms, alone. But, as things happen (to Kate), people stroll through her remote hiding place and someone finds (falls on) a body. She's out of food anyway, so it's back to the Park and a new mystery.

    I believe the title is taken from

    , the Robert Frost poem (Google it, like I did). Here's the stanza:

    Ah, when to the heart of man

    Was it ever less than a treason

    To go with the drift of things,

    To yield with a grace to reason,

    And bow and accept the end

    Of a love or a season?

    One of the things I don't get about Kate is her willingness to just walk away from everyone and everything. I get it to some extent, but for people that have hurt me or someone I loved. I'm okay never seeing them again. I can't imagine - and this is the point of my early comment about not understanding her - is how much pain she's willing to put people through. BUT, having said that, in this universe, with these people? They do get it. Everyone, including Jim, knew where she was. Her runaway times are getting shorter and her locations are easier to predict.

    The timing of the series is similar to Comic Book Time - the settings are always present-day, with current tech, but the characters haven't aged the 25 years since

    was published (Kate is 39 in this book), maybe 10 years have passed. Everyone has cell phones, the Park has better coverage than I do (I can't get calls in my house) and there are apps for everything.

    Finally, since little things delight me: the hardback version (this edition) has a bound-in ribbon bookmark. Totally made my day when I saw that (little things). My dust jacket is pristine because I wasn't forced to use the flaps to mark my spot. Bonus!

  • Nancy
    Jun 11, 2017

    Any Kate Shugak book, by definition, will be well worth the read, for those who begin to miss Niniltna and the whole cast of Park Rats and Kate herself. So--first things first--this is a good read.

    The real question is: How does this stack up against the other Kate Shugak books? It feels like the second half of a larger book, the tying-up-loose-ends part, rather than a whole story with new characters and plot lines. It reinforces the message Stabenow has subtly put out there for the past few book

    Any Kate Shugak book, by definition, will be well worth the read, for those who begin to miss Niniltna and the whole cast of Park Rats and Kate herself. So--first things first--this is a good read.

    The real question is: How does this stack up against the other Kate Shugak books? It feels like the second half of a larger book, the tying-up-loose-ends part, rather than a whole story with new characters and plot lines. It reinforces the message Stabenow has subtly put out there for the past few books: Jim Chopin is worthy of Our Kate. It explains what has happened to Mutt, Sidekick of the Century. It checks in on all of our favorite folk. And it releases us from the need to know what's going on in Kate's World. It's a good one, but not one of the great, earth-shaking KS books.

    Is it the end? It could be--and as long as Stabenow kept writing, I'd be happy. Sometimes, a series will seem to have played itself out, then BOOM--a whole new outlook appears. I guess the message is: Wait and See. Which I'm happy to do.


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