Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell, demoted and reassigned to the remote Bush town of Newenham, literally steps off the plane into a murder scene. Newenham's eccentric — and often hair-trigger — residents complicate his search for the killer, as does the unexpected involvement of an old flame.
Stabenow, best known for her Kate Shugak mysteries, has created a compelling new protagonist in the form of Liam Campbell.
Stabenow's second Liam Campbell mystery (after Fire and Ice) has the vivid descriptions, rich characterization and compelling plot that distinguish her nine Kate Shugak books, with the added advantage of extra sex appeal. Alaska State Trooper Campbell, stationed in the southwest Alaska boondocks, has a lot on his plate: an eager new trooper, Diana Prince; a visit from his estranged father, an air force colonel on a suspicious mission; the reappearance of his great love, charter pilot Wyanet (Wy) Chouinard; and two very different cases rife with false clues. When an assistant at an important archeological site is murdered, evidence points to Frank Petla, a Yupik grave robber who travels by four-wheeler. Liam apprehends him in a dramatic chase by leaping out of Wy's Cub into a lake, but later comes to believe Frank's profession of innocence. The desperate murderer finally reveals himself, almost killing Wy and her journalist friend Jo. Finding a killer who sets fire to a fishing boat, incinerating all seven people aboard, proves a more difficult task. Initially, Liam suspects a disgruntled former deckhand, but the solution hinges on careful observation and an understanding of Yupik lifestyles and traditions, a necessity for these white cops in a predominantly Native American population. Colorful characters abound, and Stabenow ably evokes the life of hard-pressed commercial fishermen. The mystery ends on a mystical note, integrating Native American belief into a satisfying conclusion.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fire and ice
Pretty good read and interesting plot.
Great Alaskan mystery
Characters are well developed and diverse. The mystery plot is strong, with a few twists and turns along the way, and the secondary romance plot brings some mystery of it's own. Hard to place in a genre - a little procedural, a little suspense, but with the time devoted to the love interest's career (insanely good pilot) that you'd expect from a cozy. Should appeal to a wide swath of the general mystery audience.
Fire and Ice
It was not a can't put it down book, but it held interest to find out what happened next. I did not like how it ended. There is a way to end a book in a series that does not feel so unfinished. This one just left it. I would like to know what happens in the next book but not enough to chance another ending like this one.