KATE SHUGAK is a native Aleut working as a private investigator in Alaska.
She's 5 foot 1 inch tall, carries a scar that runs from ear to ear across her throat and owns 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.
DEAD IN THE WATER: Last March, two men disappeared whilst loading supplies on a remote island in the Bering Sea: two million square miles of dark capricious ocean and tempestuous squalls.
Their Skipper, Harry Gault, should have been fired, at the least.
But six months later he's still aboard the Avilda, and the families of the missing men are making noises about corruption.
With the crew backing his version of events, what the authorities need is an investigator who can survive the torturous conditions on an Alaskan fishing trawler.
Someone like Kate Shugak...