The residents of Alaska's largest national park are stunned by the death of one of their oldest members, eighty-seven-year-old Old Sam Dementieff...Even private investigator Kate Shugak. Sam, a lifelong resident, dubbed the "father" of all of the Park rats--even though he had no children of his own--was especially close to Kate, his niece, but even she is surprised to discover that in his will he's left her everything, including a letter instructing her simply to, "find my father." Easier said than done, since Sam's father is something of a mystery. An outsider, he disappeared shortly after learning about Sam's existence, taking with him a priceless tribal artifact, a Russian icon. And in the three days after Kate begins her search through Sam's background, she gets threatened--and worse. The flashbacks from Sam's fascinating life, including scenes from major events in Alaska's colorful history, punctuate a gripping story in which Kate does her best to fulfill Sam's last wish without losing her own life to the people who are following her every move, though what they are searching for Kate doesn't even know.