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.”

Posted in Chatter, Teaser Tuesday, The Kate Shugak Novels. Bookmark this.

397 Comments on Why Bad Blood ends the way it does.

  1. Dana says:

    Thanks, Deborah!

  2. Ann-Margaret Venditti says:

    Just finished “Bad Blood” and so did not see that ending coming. Had to jump online to see if there is talk of “Kate 21″. Thank God, there is. Now, I can sleep tonight. Please, please, please save Mutt. We lost our wolf/husky mix at the age of 15 while living in AK. Guess I have a special place in my heart for Mutt. Thank you Dana for Kate and Liam. We are an Air Force family that was lucky enough to live in AK for two years and everytime that I start missing it, which is daily, I start reading your books and I am instantly transported right back. Your books are a great escape for me in this nomad life that my family leads. For that, I am forever grateful. Just finished the “Kate” series….. again, so now I will spend some time with Liam. 2016 can’t get here soon enough!

  3. Dana says:

    Thanks so much, Ann-Margaret.

  4. bg says:

    Finished all of Kate. Finished the 4 Liam. Can’t afford to move to Alaska now….need more.

    And thanks you!

  5. Dana says:

    Thank you, bg! Look for Kate21 in 2016.

  6. N Grossen says:

    I’m relieved to find out that Kate is coming back, but disappointed that it isn’t for another 2 years.. Liam is nice but Kate and Mutt are the ones that keep the interest going.

  7. Debra Deering says:

    Love the Kate and Liam series. I’m waiting for the next one from each series.

  8. Maggie Jo Pullar says:

    I just finished Bad Blood and was stunned at the ending! Kate and Mutt MUST recover. They are like family to me! Do we have to wait until 2016?

  9. Helen teys says:

    I was holidaying in Alaska when I read kate shugack no 20 and I felt like I’d list my best friend. The thought of no more kate made me so sad so glad to hear there will be a no 21.?

  10. Kate says:

    When I finished Bad Blood I had to read the last couple chapters over again just to make sure it really did end that way and that I didn’t miss anything along the way. You’re right 21 is as good as bought! Thank you for creating this wonderful series.

  11. Dana says:

    Thanks so much, Kate.

  12. Susan Doran says:

    yes Dana, it is a wait but so exciting to know there is another ‘Kate’ book and I will definitely get my hands on a copy as soon as it is published. Meanwhile I am reading my way through your other books and am so enjoying them. I find it hard to remember my reading life before discovering a ‘Dana’ book, your writing has enriched my reading life ten fold and while entertaining are also educational. I read things in your books and go “I need to find out more about that” and the friendship from the Danamanics group is fantastic too. Best wishes from South East Ireland where I am spreading my devotion in order to have more Dana fans about me locally.

  13. Dana says:

    Thank so much, Susan! (You little enabler, you.)

  14. Sherelle King says:

    And even from way down south, real “outsiders” we too are Kate fans way down south in NZ; looking forward to anothet journey together….

  15. Lorraine says:

    The power of a story! I too finished reading book 20, last night, at 01.00, and from feeling sleepy, and enjoying the satisfaction of a good read being summed up…I was suddenly wide awake, and thinking ”No, No, No”, I wanted to rush to help Kate, and Mutt…so futile. I have had to wait until this morning, where I have been comforted by the knowledge that there is still hope. Such wonderful stories. Thank you.

  16. Dana says:

    Thanks so much, both of you.

  17. mabel paffel says:

    I was shocked when the book ended the way it did.Now I see there is to be a new one so will look forward to it .I am 91 plus so don’t be to long!!

  18. Dana says:

    I’ll do my best, Mabel.

  19. Judy Kuzmenko says:

    I enjoyed the whole series BUT was shocked at the ending of ‘Bad Blood’. But now I see that there will be another book so I can live with the ending! It was bad enough when Morgan got killed.
    Reading about Alaska I think of my Russian grandparents and wonder!!

  20. Carla says:

    I was devased by the ending of Bad Blood! I am delighted to read that Kate’s story is to continue. Alaska comes alive through your pen; Kate, too.

  21. Dana says:

    Thank you, Carla.

  22. kathy says:

    I’ve just finished Bad Blood and as I’ve worked through the series I’ve been dreading Mutt’s demise for awhile. But if these characters age, as they do, she can’t last forever. I’ve had to put down several dogs because they got old and sick, so I hope Mutt gets to go down fighting. It’s what she’d want. She had some puppies toward the beginning of the series and I wished some had been “saved” for later storytelling. It would be great to have a Muttlet around forever!

  23. Dana says:

    The average life span of the Arctic grey wolf is twenty years.

  24. Susan Normandin says:

    Did I miss it??? When is the next Kate book coming out???

  25. Dana says:

    Kate21 will come out in 2016.

  26. Ann Nash says:

    Just finished reading Bad Blood and felt really miserable, couldn’t beleive it could end like that but then I thought life can be just like that.
    Still disturbed until I found this link and hope that the story will continue there are so many loose ends.
    Thanks for an excellant read.


  27. Dana says:

    Thank you, Ann.

  28. Cindy says:

    I have read ever book of Kate .when will the next book come out.if it does not come out soon I am going to stop reading your books

  29. Dana says:

    Depends on how you define “soon,” Cindy. Kate21 is at present scheduled to be written next year and published in 2016.

  30. Alicia Prendergast-lister says:

    Cried my eyes out on tube. Had no idea it was coming. Both my parents had read it and not told me. I’m glad. But I’m grieving. Every day for last week I come back from my 1.5hr commute complaining about my loss. Every time I mention something my daughter says is that real or Kate again!

  31. Dana says:

    What wonderful compliments, Alicia. Thank you!

  32. Michael Byrne says:

    The end of Bad Blood was absolute class! Well done Dana. Brilliant!

  33. Dana says:

    Wow, Michael. Usually I’m damned up hill and down dale. Thanks!

  34. Gaelan says:

    I’ll have you know, you are going to owe the good people at the bookstore near me a major apology come 2016…I’m liable to bowl at least one person over if not more on my way to the mystery section when Kate 21.

  35. Dana says:

    I apologize in advance to the human detritus in your wake.

  36. Norma Smith says:

    I am so desperate for the new Kate book, I have re read 1-20 again! I love Liam and I am visting Alaska from Scotland in May/June of 2015. ( I know Niniltna is made up) I just want to visit, I am also a quilter and I plan on stocking up on Barbara Lavalee patterns whilst I am there lol. Roll on next Kate book, I have withdrawal symptoms.

  37. Dana says:

    I am delighted to hear all of that, Norma. (Thanks!)

  38. edna huwe says:

    Absolutely love the Kate series. Being from King Cove, also am Aleut. Can relate to the series so well. Makes me homesick. Live in WA. 2016? Gosh. Take care of yourself. Thought of you while visiting Homer this past July.

  39. Dana says:

    Thanks so much, Edna. The best compliments I get are from people who live or who have lived here and say I get it right.

  40. Lynda Tadema-Wielandt says:

    Just re-read the last two pages of Bad Blood for the third time, hoping I’d read it wrong the previous time. I am shocked! My husband is behind me by about ten books, so I can’t commiserate with him about what has happened. All he knows is that I flung myself out of bed and dashed downstairs for my laptop to find out if it’s true. Kate and Mutt must go on ~ but you made it so final! Am full of tears and despair.

  41. Dana says:

    You won’t want to hear this, Lynda, but that is a wonderful compliment. Thanks!

  42. federica de zottis says:

    Dear Dana,
    I’m Italian and I started reading your Kate&Mutt series in Italian. But just the first two books have been translated so I had to learn to read them in English. I was double rewarded because my knowledge of the language has improved a lot and I’ve now access to a whole new world of books that have never been translated into Italian. But most importantly I haven’t had to give up Kate and Mutt. I know you have every rights on them but please, please spare them. A world without Mutt is a gloomy world. Thanks and ciao

  43. Dana says:

    Grazie, Federica!

  44. Patricia says:

    Thank goodness this is just a monster of a cliff hanger! I was worried that dear Erland wouldn’t get what’s coming to him…. now I’ll lurk around. Sure hope Mutt makes it through again.

  45. Dana says:

    Oooooooh, “monster.” Loving that. Thanks, Patricia.

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