BETTER TO REST: A Liam Campbell Mystery

Dana Stabenow, Author . NAL $23.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-451-20702-9

Sgt. Liam Campbell's fourth outing (following 2000's Nothing Gold Can Stay) finds the Alaska state trooper exploring an old plane crash and a new murder in a story marked by Edgar winner Stabenow's superb depictions of the Alaskan landscape and its willful inhabitants. The discovery of a WWII–era American army plane embedded in the face of a glacier raises a surprising number of questions. And the murder of a feisty, elderly matriarch leads to some surprising revelations about her active life. Having through a misstep in his career landed in the small fishing town of Newenham on the eastern edge of Bristol Bay, Campbell now has a chance to return to Anchorage, but he's not sure he wants to. For one thing, there's his unresolved relationship with pilot Wyanet "Wy" Chouinard, typical of the many intriguingly complex relationships with which the author has filled the plot. The bonds of love, blood ties and friendships play out in convincing and satisfying fashion. Stabenow also laces her story with Alaskan history, from the development spurred by WWII, including the upgrade of the Alaska Railroad and construction of the Alcan Highway, to the halcyon days and more recent decline of the fishing industries. Passionate about his work and perhaps more clear-headed about his professional life than his personal life, Campbell makes an engaging hero, one who bids fair to become as popular as Kate Shugak, the heroine of Stabenow's other, long-running series. (Sept. 3)

FYI:The author's most recent Kate Shugak novel is A Fine and Bitter Snow (Forecasts, May 27).

Reviewed on: 08/19/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
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