Why Bad Blood ends the way it does.

I chatted with the Danamaniacs last Wednesday, and was reminded that Barbara Peters told me she didn’t want to be in the room when you all got to the end of Bad Blood. I told her not to worry, that I’d already been through the fire with Hunter’s Moon.

Now, as then, the, um, decibel level of your response is an enormous compliment to the series, and to me, whether you meant it that way or not. So thank you again.

This is what I told the ‘maniacs.


1. Newton was right. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What Kate did in “Nooses Give” comes back to haunt her with a vengeance. Some times the reaction happens instantly, like a chain reaction in a nuclear bomb. Sometimes it takes years. As in Bad Blood.

2. Mickey Spillane said, “The last line sells the next book.” The ending of Bad Blood, dear readers, is what we in the trade call a hook. That last scene in Bad Blood sells the next book to you, but more importantly to me. There will be serious consequences, for Kate, for Mutt, for Jim, the aunties, and all the rest of the Park rats. I myself don’t know everything that happens next. I can’t wait to find out.

3. Kate has lost people, but she has never really looked into the abyss for herself. On a real, visceral level, she has never experienced that point every human being comes to, the realization that her time on this earth is not unlimited.

If you’re paying attention, a near-death experience will change your life. A lot you thought was important just falls away. You realize how much unfinished business you have to clean up, and how short your time is to get that done. You stop being afraid to say “I love you” to the people who matter.

Kate has always been good at paying attention, and there is plenty in her “Unfinished Business” column.

4. Hello? This is the Kate Shugak series? Whatever made you think anyone was safe in here?


5. I love to torture you.

The ‘maniacs will be posting a full transcript of the chat soon. Join them on Facebook and you can read it, too.

In the end, you could trust me to know what I’m doing. And if you just can’t, well, I’ll let Darth Vader speak for me:

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

455 thoughts on “Why Bad Blood ends the way it does.

  1. Leith says:

    I adore your books. But if you kill off Mutt, I’m done with Kate and her series. I’m just too sensitive about beloved animals being killed off. Thankfully you have so many other books for me to enjoy!! You are my favourite author by far, and I read a lot!


  2. Patti McDonald says:

    I just finished Bad Blood, and rarely does a novel make me cry, “Noooo!” While I have complete faith that you will resolve the ending of Bad Blood into an enjoyable read, just…um……HURRY UP! ahahaha


  3. Hannah says:

    I live in England. I have read this series of books back to back over my break from teaching this summer. I just finished Bad Blood. I almost booked my family a trip to Alaska… I am mortified by the ending.


  4. ritajohnson5225@sbcglobal.net says:

    I ditto what all the others said. I would be dying for #21 even without the cliffhanger. Also, I really hope you’ll give us more Liams and COAST GUARDS! love ’em all.


  5. Dianne Ayres says:

    I have just finished book 20 and went looking for 21. OMG there isn’t one!!!I feel cheated as I am totally addicted. I live in Australia and my dream is to go to Alaska one day soon. I feel as if I know so much about it now. I have recommended your books to so many of my friends as they are equally enthralled with Alaska. So please Dana, write book 21 as soon as you can.


  6. akla says:

    Oh, goodness…I feel better!!! I read Bad Blood last summer just after having hip surgery. I was in pain. And then…poor Kate get shots and all goes black and, oh…terrible. Since last summer I’ve been hoping to see a new book…a Kate’s doing so much better kind of a book… Now, after finally, literally asking google “What happened to Kate Shugak?” and finding your website, I have hope and anticipation. All that said…you, Ms. Stabenow, are such a great author! Kate is one of my favorite characters. I’ve enjoyed all of her stories. Thanks.


  7. Terese Arntson says:

    Well Dana, it is 2015 and I finally got to read Bad Blood. Excellent as always, but I need #21!!! Please don’t kill off Kate or Mutt! Can you give us a hint as to when it will be done? I read and re-read all your books. Love them all! Thank you for many, many hours of joy. Terese


  8. Anita Mafoa says:

    Dana, you are truly a literary genious! I had never read any books that I wanted to reread until I discovered your Kate Shugak series. I fell in love with the setting as well as the characters and I have never laughed so hard, so long or so frequently as I have reading this series. I was so heart broken when I finished Bad Blood thinking that there may not be another one. I am soooo thrilled to know with certainty that the adventure isn’t over! Please keep them coming for as long as you can! I love you and your writing!


  9. Cynthia Litwer says:

    I echo the above comments. Love the series, and chagrined at the ending of “Bad Blood.” Will be watching for 21 about Kate and Mutt. 😊


  10. Lisa H says:

    Wow I’ve just discovered your books I have enjoyed them is an u der statement , loved them, the ups the downs of all the characters that you have brought to life
    Thank you, I look forward to the 21st book. With hopes that our loved Mutt and Kate and Jim survived


  11. Clara Edman says:

    I can’t imagine that “Bad Blood” would be the end. There are too many crazy and weird people in this serious to end like that. They all care and love Kate and would not let her die prematurely I do hope Jim nailed the bastard who shot at Mutt and Kate.


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