Stabenow, author of the Edgar-winning Kate Shugak series (Killing Grounds, 1998), masterfully traces the twisting life of Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell in this series debut. Campbell steps off a plane in the town of Newenham, his new posting, leaving behind him in Anchorage a tattered career, a dead son and a wife in a coma. His first moments in town bring him into close contact with pilot Wy Chouinard, the woman he really loves, and the headless corpse of her flying partner, Bob DeCreft, who was decapitated by the propeller of Wy's plane. Meanwhile at the local watering hole someone has taken offense at Jimmy Buffet's singing and shot out the jukebox. Now the music critic is being held hostage by an enraged barkeep. The proliferation of grizzled macho thugs, sexy loner women and acts of nasty violence might makes readers' heads spin, but Stabenow weaves it all into a compelling tale with an assured hand. The young woman who lived in the dead man's house is attacked by the loutish owner of a fishing boat. It was he who hired Wy to spot fish from the plane that was sabotaged the first time to take Bob's life and is damaged again in an attempt to intimidate Wy. Liam's troubled past is only a precursor to the turmoil he faces in southwest Alaska. Happily, this much mayhem has rarely been in surer literary hands. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998 Release date: 10/01/1998 Genre: Fiction
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