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Better To Rest (Liam Campbell Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Liam Campbell Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Like a spectral presence, a hand clutching a gold piece emerges from the ice of a calving glacier near the small town where Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell is investigating the brutal murder of a 74-year-old woman. The hand belonged to an army soldier killed with his crewmates in the crash of the World War II army plane entombed by the glacier a half century ago. Although it takes several long and occasionally tedious pages before Campbell and pilot Wy Chouinard make the connection between Lydia Tompkins's murder, the source of her family's mysterious wealth, and the secret mission that led to the crash of the old C-47, fans of this series won't mind. A skillful chronicler of Alaska's extraordinary landscape and its eccentric inhabitants, Dana Stabenow does a competent job with a plot that lacks much drama or suspense; what little there is comes from Liam and Wy's on-again, off-again romance. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Liam Campbell Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (September 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451209605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451209603
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Dana Stabenow's Liam Campbell is on the case of the mysterious glacial crash of a WWII Lend-Lease cargo plane and current-day foul play. Is there a connection?
The Stabenow oeuvre (Campbell and Kate Shugak ) serves up fun geological, geographical, environmental and historical morsels and moving verbal snapshots of Alaska along with ice-cracklin' good "Whodunnits." At times, this one tilted too much toward Harlequin bodice-buster for my tastes. And, Hello? Is anyone listening? "Doing the box thing" (Campbell's diagramming of people and interrelationships involved in a case) would be much more effective if, like Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books, the author and publisher actually visually (not just a verbal description) SHOW the reader the document to which they refer.
I prefer Shugak's saga over Campbell's chronicles- so far Kate has more substance and less bodice-busting - but both series are good for cozy winter nights in front of a warm fire. They are best read in order to follow the escapades of this interesting, entertaining, and quirky bunch of inhabitants of the Land of the Midnight Sun. Reviewed by TundraVision
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am such a huge fan of Dana Stabenow's "Kate Shugak" series that I really wasn't much interested in starting another Stabenow series, I guess out of loyalty or something. But I picked up this book while waiting for somebody, and couldn't put it down.

Alaska trooper Liam Campbell is just wonderful, very much like the regulars in the Shugak series. And in fact, there is a very sly reference to Kate herself--not by name, but by inference ("I know somebody who carries a hand-carved otter in her pocket")--that just thrilled me!

Campbell's sweetie, Wy the pilot, is a typical Stabenow female: no-nonsense, tough, competent, and deeply in love with her man without wanting to reveal just how much.

The plot was a bit thin...a glacier melts enough to expose the remains of a World War II plane and its occupants...and a myserious gold coin. The discover may or may not be related to two terrible murders in town. It's a confusing plot, but as always, the Alaska lore of which Stabenow is a master far outweighs the story itself.

I plan to read all of the Liam Campbell books now, and just am happy that Stabenow is so darned prolific!
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By A Customer on October 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a good story, but, there is much in the story that emulates soap opera plotting. The ending seems rushed with the "aha" veiled in a rapid realization of the perp's identity. It would be best read in series since there is so much of the subplot that carries over from previous stories. Not having read the series will not hamper the reading but the reader is likely to feel ill at ease over not knowing the "inside" remarks. The author does a fine telling of Alaska land, climate and socio-economic problems. These elements are under-written but part of the fabric of the story's main plot. (And, the plot is quite interesting as well as thoroughly unique.) The relationships among the people are perhaps entirely within the social norms of the writer's experience. They are somewhat alien to my experience and seem extreme as to both alcohol usage and the sexual undercurrents. I believe that any new reader will wish to read the previous books in this series to flesh out this story. I await the next book in the series to see if it meets the level of the earlier books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This, the fourth book in this series, continues to develop the off-again, on-again relationship between the two major characters: Liam Campbell, a state trooper assigned to a bush regional center (I hesitate to call it a city, but it functions as one in bush Alaska), and Wy Choinard, a bush pilot. Likewise, this book depicts a core mystery which spans almost 50 years, beginning with the crash of an Army Air Force plane days after Pearl Harbor--a time in history in which the US was supplying our allies in the East with planes, supplies, and gold. The romance is interesting (in a Moondance frustrating kind of way), and the mystery is quite engaging. The back-up cast of characters is present and continues to develop more richness and subtlety.
As was true for the previous three books, I really wanted to give it a 3.5 or 3.75, partially (and perhaps unfairly) because I keep comparing it to the touchstone of her Kate Shugak books. The Liam Campbell books are nice, short reads, but do not possess the rich tapestry of that series. Nevertheless, I recommend giving this series a shot, but do read them in order. I believe that reading them out of sequence would cause you to lose important elements of the richness.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, I liked the book--I just discovered this series a couple days ago (thanks to the Kindle freebie) and I love the characterization.

There are (as in most books these days,) a few typos here and there, the most blatant mistake I found is that "the new moon" and stars light up the area when Liam & Wy return from Anchorage. Last I looked, the new moon is pretty dark to light up anything...I assumed you meant 'full moon.'

Th conclusion was a bit rushed, and left open a number of questions about the crash & what exactly was the flight mission--I'd expected more depth into the where & why's of the flight, given the amount of text devoted to discussing it in the log book. But then, life is like that--you seldom get to know the answers. (Books, however, are seldom like that

I love the force of will shown by Liam's willingness to continue a job which requires him to fly about in tiny aircraft when he has such a strong fear of flying...there are lots of law enforcement opportunities which don't require any flying at all.

The other characters are equally individual--no cardboard cut-outs.

The main character is the bush itself, and it's such a large, complex and uncaring beast...devouring people without a trace, and yet sometimes they manage to make it out alive after the worst disasters. No matter how well prepared you think you are, when you're in an environment which is so extreme and volatile, things often come down to what you can do with what you've got in the few minutes before the environment kills you.

People all too often love the beauty of the wilderness without considering the harsh and unforgiving nature of the environment...
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