Police Chief Nathan Active investigates a plane crash out in Alaska’s Big Empty—and what he finds there casts suspicion of murder on several locals in his small town of Chukchi.
Evie Kavoonah, a young mother-to-be, and her fiancé, Dr. Todd Brenner, are on a flight over the Brooks Range when their Bush plane runs out of gas and hits a ridge, instantly killing them both. Chukchi police chief Nathan Active doubts he’ll find anything amiss when his close friend, Cowboy Decker, asks him to look into the possibility of foul play. But Evie was like a daughter to Cowboy, who trained her to fly, and he insists there’s no way his protegée made a fatal mistake that day. Nathan reluctantly plays along and discovers that Cowboy’s instincts are correct—the malfunction that led to the crash was carefully planned, and several young people in Chukchi have motives for targeting the pair.
Meanwhile, Nathan’s wife, Gracie, is pregnant, but so scarred by memories of domestic abuse that she isn’t sure she should have the baby. Nathan must support her and their adopted daughter, Nita, while managing an increasingly complex and dangerous murder case.