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.

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

  1. Margaret Lentz says:

    I have hated you since I finished reading Bad Blood. Sorry!!! I should have known you wouldn’t be so mean. I know about hooks, am a book-a-holic, so will be able to survive (barely) until the next book. I want more than anything to visit Alaska, and it is all your fault. I am also a dog lover, so please remember that when you write your book. I’ll try your silk etc. series just for something to read while I wait. As good as you are, I am sure I will enjoy it, even if it isn’t about Kate. Thank you for some of the best reads ever.

  2. Sharon says:

    I panicked when I read the end of Bad Blood, am so glad there will be more. I so thoroughly enjoy the series, look forward to the next book. Thank you!

  3. Dana says:

    Thank you, Sharon!

  4. Dana says:

    You are very kind, Margaret, thank you so much.

  5. Doris says:

    Cant wait for the next book. I picked the first up by accident years ago and have stayed a fan of the series. Thank you for giving us wonderful and enjoyable books.

  6. Dana says:

    Thank you, Doris!

  7. becky almon says:

    I have read all the Kate and Liam books, it is really, really hard waiting for a new one of either. Any news on upcoming publishing dates?
    Also, I hope that the TV series or movie deal goes through, but please keep script and casting approval – it is so disappointing to have books one loves go to the screen with totally inappropriately cast actors and wrecked plot lines.

  8. Dana says:

    The next Kate Shugak novel will come out in 2016. The producer dropped the option on the Kate Shugak novels last year, so no TV or film, which means none of us have to worry about how badly it’s adapted. [grin]

  9. sue says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the Kate Shugak & Liam Campbell novels. Please keep them comming. I have recommended them to friends, and then enjoyed chatting about Kate & Liam with them. Well done & thanks for many enjoyable reads

  10. Dana says:

    Thanks so much, Sue.

  11. EB says:

    I just listened to bad blood again last night for the umpteenth time. I miss these characters! I am so pleased that the 21 st in the series is due out in 2016…..I can hang on….deep breaths!
    Thank you Dana for your wonderful books!

  12. Dana says:

    Thanks, EB!

  13. Merlin Salud says:

    It’ s 12:26 a.m. & I just finished Bad Blood. Had to go to your website immediately for comfort. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed your book, as always. Am not afraid for Kate, am terrified for Mutt. Please save Mutt. Before I forget, huge thank you for the hours of good reading you’ve given me over the years- – I am a total fan. But 2016! Big sigh!

  14. Dana says:

    Thanks so much, Merlin.

  15. elaine hanson says:


    I am old and experience Incipient Decrepitude. I nearly succumbed at 1:30 this morning when I reached the end of Bad Blood.

    I realize it won’t be your fault directly if I am no longer a reader by 2016, but you are surely not helping my health by having a 3-year gap between Shugak episodes. Hell, that is long enough for the characters to go off and do things on their own that may never even make it into print!

    Three years . . . What can you be thinking?

    Maybe Liam is going to fill in for a couple years? That would pacify me somewhat.

  16. MeLinda says:

    Going to read Bad Blood today. Will kill me not to read the last chapters first !! I have really enjoyed getting to know Alaska thru Kate’s eyes. Would love to see the place she calls home, but not as a tourist. To be able to call a place that home would be amazing ! Thanks for making it so real for this book worm.

  17. Dana says:

    What can I be thinking, Elaine? I’m thinking I’ve wanted to write Silk and Song for twenty years and that I can do it without starving this year so I’d better grab my chance because it might not come this way again. Hang in there!

  18. JoAnn Pope says:

    Really 2016 I am not sure I will survive that long. I just finished listenting to the Bad Blood on my way to work and screamed NOOOOOOO! Did not know about the Liam series so I am getting started on that today… thanks for all the great writing. And in 2016 when I retire my hsband and I…. our first trip will be an Alaska Cruise so maybe I can read the book on the way. Thank again.

  19. Dana says:

    Thank you, JoAnn! Hope you enjoy the Liams.

  20. Benedita says:

    Oh, Thank God, I just read this! Like Margaret and Sharin I have been living in the world of …” She would’ tend it here!…would she?…no!…or, maybe? Someone who creates Kate Shugak has to have a wicked sense of humor…did she dare to?…she couldn’t!!!!….” And on and on and on…
    I like your explanation, Dana Stabenow. And yes, I forgive you. Mostly for all the reasons Margaret ( above) mentioned, but also because my mother, who passed away last year and DID NOT SPEAK ENGLISH managed to teach herself to read your books in the original and she adored them as much as I :-)
    Thanks, Dana, for that and for the immense adventure you have taken us all on ! Long live Kate Shugak!

  21. Dana says:

    Thanks so much for the story about your mom, Benedita, and for your wonderful compliment!

  22. Aparna says:

    Dear Dana,
    Really enjoyed the Kate Shugak series..I live in India and with your fabulous descriptive writing you have transported me to Alaska. Love your vivid style of writing. Will be eagerly awaiting the next Kate Shugak book.

  23. Dana says:

    Aparna, you’re my first commenter from India, and I am beyond thrilled that you enjoyed the books. Thanks so much!

  24. Diane says:

    I just finished this morning and nearly cried. I have been thinking about Kate all day and googled your name to see if she will still be with us. Imagine my relief to hear there will be another book. Thank you for all the fantastic reading. I can’t wait to read what happens in the next book.

  25. michele says:

    just found your wonderful! series. could not stop til I read them all. had to go to your website for info and reading all the posts reassured me there will be more Kate and Liam. Thanks for such a good read!

  26. Dana says:

    Thanks so much, Michele and Diane!

  27. Brenda says:

    I’m so happy I found this website. I was horrified at the end of Bad Blood and relieved that it’s not “The End”

  28. Sharon says:

    2016???????!!!!!!! Are you INSANE?
    I finished Bad Blood a year ago and walked around with a heavy heart for weeks as if I was mourning the death of a close, flesh and blood friend.
    I consoled myself with the thought that you would whip another book out within a year – Kate and Mutt were slowly healing but would recover to entertain us for many more years. Now you are telling me that I have to wait another YEAR??? FOR GOD’S SAKE WOMAN, I AM AN OLD LADY! Have you no respect for your elders? Now you get right back in that saddle and do that magical thing you do. Just do it FASTER, please…

  29. Dana says:

    Yes, ma’am, Ms. Sharon.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>