Degrees of Separation
by Sue Henry

New American Library, a division of The Penguin Group, 2008. ISBN 978-0-451-22316-6.
Reviewed by Rhonda Esakov
Posted on 05/12/2008

Fiction: Mystery

The theory of "Six Degrees of Separation" refers to the idea that, if someone is one step away from each person he or she knows and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is an average of six "steps" away from each person on Earth.

In Sue Henry's book, Degrees of Separation, Alaskan dog sled musher Jessica Arnold returns after months of recuperation from a devastating knee injury. The first snows of winter are starting and Jessica and her dogs are eager to hit the trails. On the first sled-able day, Jessica and companions glory in being on the trail again until they hit a bump in the trail. They literally have run across a dead body.

Jessica tries to keep out of the investigation begun by her live-in boyfriend, Alaska state trooper Alex Jensen. In the course of the investigation, she keeps getting drawn back in by one or two degrees of separation. Add the confusion and scares of the all-too-real Alaskan earthquakes that are shaking up the area, and Jessica's formerly remote wilderness home becomes a scene of chaos. To help shake things up, you are treated by a visit from savvy senior RV'er Maxie and her canine companion Stretch, both featured in their own Sue Henry series.

A tense storyline with amazingly realistic characterizations evolves into a mystery that showcases the great Alaskan wilderness and the strong women and friendships that endure the tests of nature and man.

Anthony and Macavity award winner Sue Henry, whose Alaska mysteries have received the highest praise from readers and critics alike, has lived in Alaska for over a quarter of a century, and brings history, Alaskan lore, and the majestic beauty of the vast landscape to her mysteries. Based in Anchorage, she teaches writing at the University of Alaska.

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