Cold Storage, Alaska

Cold Storage, Alaska

Book - 2014
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"Cold Storage, Alaska, is a remote fishing outpost where salmonberries sparkle in the morning frost and where you just might catch a King Salmon if you're zen enough to wait for it. Settled in 1935 by Norse fishermen who liked to skinny dip in its natural hot springs, the town enjoyed prosperity in the mid-20th Century, at the height of the frozen fish boom. But now the cold storage plant is all but abandoned and the population is shrinking every day. Clive "The Milkman" McCahon returns to his tiny Alaska hometown after a 7-year jail stint for dealing coke. He has a lot to make up to his younger brother, Miles, who has dutifully been taking care of their ailing mother--and, really, all of Cold Storage--Miles is a Physician's Assistant and the closest thing to a doctor this side of Sitka. But Clive doesn't realize the trouble he's bringing home. He's reformed now, and his dream is to open a bar-slash-church (a Cold Storage ordinance requires there to be as many churches in town as there are bars). Clive's vengeful old business partner is hot on his heels, a stick-in-the-mud State Trooper is dying to bust Clive for narcotics, and, to complicate everything, Clive might be going insane--lately, he's been hearing animals talking to him. Will his arrival in Cold Storage be a breath of fresh air for the sleepy, depopulated town? Or will Clive's arrival turn the whole place upside-down?"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Soho Crime, 2014.
ISBN: 9781616953065
Branch Call Number: STRAL
Characteristics: 298 pages ; 24 cm

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ShannanwithanA
Sep 26, 2015

Charming, quirky, lovely read. Author is fearless in creating oddball characters and inserting unexpected plot twists. Pace is slow but it feels good that way. The book isn't overly long and the pace suits the setting in a remote fishing village in a cold wet place where life is simple, people are offbeat, salmon is fresh, and solitude and depression are real. Characters have histories that aren't over explained. Author John Straley injects irony and lightheartedness into life's hard knocks so that no character, good or bad, is allowed to take themselves too seriously. Straley steeps you in the setting without Steinbeckian descriptions and writes vivid scenes that stay with you like short films. It's one of the few books I would own to revisit the tone and Straley's way of describing life and people.

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