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NORTHERN LIGHTS
Nora Roberts
Amazon.com BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Lunacy was Nate Burke's last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he'd watched his partner die on the street-and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as Chief of Police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But just as he wonders whether this has been all a big mistake, an unexpected kiss on New Year's Eve under the brilliant Northern Lights of the Alaska sky lifts his spirit and convinces him to stay just a little longer.

Meg Galloway, born and raised in Lunacy, is used to being alone. She was a young girl when her father disappeared, and she has learned to be independent, flying her small plane, living on the outskirts of town with just her huskies for company. After her New Year's kiss with the Chief of Police, she allows herself to give in to passion-while remaining determined to keep things as simple as possible. But there's something about Nate's sad eyes that gets under her skin and warms her frozen heart.

And now, things in Lunacy are heating up. Years ago, on one of the majestic mountains shadowing the town, a crime occurred that is unsolved to this day-and Nate suspects that a killer still walks the snowy streets. His investigation will unearth the secrets and suspicions that lurk beneath the placid surface, as well as bring out the big-city survival instincts that made him a cop in the first place. And his discovery will threaten the new life-and the new love-that he has finally found for himself.


SPOILER: sent in by iiradned

A burned-out and depressed Baltimore police detective - Nate Burke - decides to upstakes and get away from his old life and takes the job of chief of police for the town of Lunacy, Alaska. (He's depressed because his former partner while taking him out to drown his sorrows due to Nate's wife leaving him for another man stumble upon a drug deal going south and is killed in the shootout. Nate thinks he should have been the one to die and his partner wouldn't have left a wife and two kids behind.)

Upon arrival he falls for the local bush pilot, Meg Galloway. Meg does not want any long term entanglements with men but a midnight kiss below the aurora borealis (the northern lights of the title) starts her down the road to love.

During a rescue mission for some lost mountain climbers, the climbers stumble upon the body of Meg's missing father - Pat - with an ice-ax buried in his chest.

This starts a chain of events by the killer which includes the murder of the local newpaperman, an old and beloved dog and an induced bear attack on Meg's dogs.

Clues at place where Pat's body was found lead Nate and Meg to place all the crimes at the feet of Ed the local banker.