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on December 3, 2015
I'm an avid reader of the Kate Shugak books so I was skeptical about reading a book featuring different characters. But Stabenow made a believer of me. Alaskan state trooper Liam Campbell finds himself demoted and exiled to Newenham, population 2000. But as he steps off the plane on to the Tarmac, he is instantly thrown into the investigation of a suspicious fatal accident. In the same moment, he discovers the ever-so-close proximity of his former paramour, Bush pilot Wy Chouinard, for whom he still carries a king-sized torch. This is just the first in a chain of events both criminal and personal that take our colorful cast full circle to the solution and resolution of at least some of it -- just tidy enough to make sense and messy enough to seem real. You have to be tough, rough and raw to survive in the Alaskan bush. It's true of all of Stabenow's fictional characters. But Liam and Wy are arguably her lustiest. Stabenow knows how to spin a great yarn. This one measures up to her best. I'm ready for more.
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on July 6, 2016
Liam Campbell has been busted down to Alaska State Trooper after he failed to rescue a family of 5 who had been stranded and froze to death. After taking a flight to the remote bush town where he's been assigned (and he hates flying), he steps off the plane to find an old flame and a murder right there on the tarmac. With no place to live and his uniform crushed in his luggage, Liam has to start the investigation. Another murder follows the next day, and, of course, Liam soon figures out that the locals are hiding things from him. Very well written, fast paced and easy to follow. The author does a great job of describing places, buildings and occupations in Alaska, which makes the book infinitely more enjoyable.
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on March 16, 2017
This is a good story with well developed and believable characters that do just what normal people would do under the same circumstances if they were living in the Alaska bush. The story wove a great mystery inside a sizzling romance with a dash of broken lives thrown in to keep the plot moving. The insight into people's minds and motives by this author is awesome. I think I learned something about myself from this book and that is a rarity. Usually I just read for the pleasure of it, and this story gave me pleasure in spades.
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on January 22, 2013
Ms. Stabenow is a wonderful writer. Her knowledge of Alaska is from her own perspective, having lived there all her life. And she uses that knowledge exceptionally well. Admittedly, I am not as crazy about the Liam books as I am about her Kate Shugak mysteries, but that is a personal preference which has nothing to do with whether the Liam books are good. They are very very good. This is the first in the Liam series, and I highly recommend you read all of them. I have, and they are right up there on my all time favorites list.

The characters in all of Ms. Stabenow's works are quirky, to say the least. They are the kind of people you would expect in a dangerous land like the wilds of Alaska - strong, determined, and sometimes weird beyond measure! Another thing I really like about the book is the fact that her heros and heroines are in no way perfect. Liam is a recovering alcoholic, riddled with self doubt and wanting badly to turn his life around. Moving from the "big city" of Anchorage to a small fishing village, Liam is immediately drawn in to the weirdness of an Alaska fishing village - the odd ducks, alcoholics, and various and sundry detritus of society who are more comfortable in the wilds than in civilization. And nobody writes these characters better than Dana.

The story grabs you from the first and doesn't let go. Overall, Highly recommended. Then go buy all her other books too - they are well worth the read!
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on May 15, 2017
Along the lines of the Longmire books, but set in Alaska. Although it is clearly a male fantasy of life in the wild, it has feminist leanings with strong independent women who do very well without male help or financial support. The story is well laid out with just enough clues to point you in the right direction without letting you solve the problem early and wonder why the detective is so slow. Interesting characters.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 23, 2014
Boston has (or rather had) Robert Parker, Seattle has J.A. Jance, and now Lake Tahoe has Dana Stabenow. This is an almost unbelievably well written first book of the Liam Campbell series, exciting, thought provoking, and attention getting from beginning to end. It is a truly professional quality mystery that takes you in and around Lake Tahoe in mid winter with an in depth understanding of what it is like to snowshoe, ski, and slough through piles of white stuff. I've never been there, but now I feel like I have. And never had to leave the comfort of my favorite chair! Thumbs up for this excellent novel.
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on July 5, 2014
Looking back at the book blurb for Fire And Ice (Liam Campbell #1) by Dana Stabenow, I now realize this was a perfect summary of the book.:

“Transferred in disgrace to this rough-and-tumble fishing town on the shores of Bristol Bay, Liam knows Newenham is the end of the line. It's also his last shot at getting his life back.. He's about to come in for a very rough landing. Stepping onto the airstrip at Newenham, Liam walks into a crime scene: a body torn apart by the propeller of a Piper Super Cub. As if that isn't enough of a welcome, the woman bending over the corpse is Wyanet Chouinard, the only woman Liam ever truly loved - and soon to be his prime suspect.”

I found this book on one of the many freebie lists I get daily, and it had attractive qualities – murder mystery, romance, and suspense, the Alaskan wilderness - what’s not to like there?

Well, the actual book did have a murder mystery, in fact it had more than one murder, and several incidents, that I wondered how they would fit into the overall plot. The backdrop theme of the book was the herring fishing season in Alaska, and how cut throat the business could be. The book was not suspenseful; it was more procedural, and a bit on the dull side, there was some humor (mainly surrounding Liam’s uniform), and in my opinion the romance was going nowhere fast (a one sided attempt to rekindle a past love affair).

The author left no loose ends, connecting all of the incidents and murders into a logical plot by the books conclusion. The promised romance portion of the book was weak, and nonexistent, lacking a spark, chemistry, and emotional connection between Liam and Wy. I could see myself reading the 2nd book in the series just to see if the love connection is ever made( but not in the near future)

The character development was thin, some back story was provided for Liam and Wy(explaining the challenge to the romance), and there was no descriptive Alaskan scenery. The author did spend quit a lot of time explaining the process of herring fishing, and plane spotting though.

For me what could have been a outstanding read (given the Alaskan scenery, potential for excitement & suspense, a hot romance in a cold climate) turned out to be 2.5 – 2.75 star read, and that’s just because the author left no loose ends. I will note that there is no cliff hanger in this book, but there is also no HEA and that’s because the murder mystery is the books focal point, not the romance.
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on November 2, 2014
Alaska State Trooper, Liam Campbell, arrives in Newenham, reporting to his new post; he lands thinking about the series of disasters both personal and professional that have brought him to this bush city. However, his internal thoughts are soon burst when he sees a dead, headless body lying next to a Super Cub on the taxiway. As he walks to the plane, he catches its tail number and realizes that it belongs to an old lover, Wy. When she arrives with a couple of burgers and fries, she is bewildered by the accident; the dead man, her spotter during herring season, was an experienced pilot and knew better than to pull the prop through without killing the circuit that would allow the engine to turn over. Then they discover that the wire that should kill the circuit has been cut, leaving Liam with a murder to solve before he has even collected his luggage. As he pursues the murderer, more strange things happen: he meets an old native shaman who also becomes his tai-chi teacher, he is followed by a raven that shows up everywhere he goes, and he discovers that everything is connected in this small rural city.
This is a fine mystery with an engaging plot. Stabenow's characters are rich and multi-dimensional. By the end of the novel, I felt like I would like to meet them again (and will, since this is a series). Her description of Newenham, the fictional town, is an accurate (if fictional) picture of life in the Alaskan bush. This is a fine read, difficult to put down and satisfying!
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on November 2, 2014
Fire And Ice is a pretty good crime thriller. State trooper Liam Campbell steps off the plane at his new station in Newenham, Alaska and literally right into a murder scene. Talk about being tossed into the deep end! To complicate things, his predecessor leaves without giving him any kind of briefing or workup. Also, Liam's old flame is standing right there on the tarmac by the fresh body, making it a totally "WTF?" moment. Before he can even begin to come to grips with the murder at the airport, Liam is called away on another incident.
Liam never gets a chance to catch his breath as one incident follows on another. However, he doggedly presses on and eventually begins to tie the various threads of these seemingly disparate crimes together. Eventually we reach a conclusion with most of the bad guys paying for their crimes in one way or another.
This story gives us lots of action with murder, assaults, and old mysteries. Also, there is some romance (integral to the story), and more than one colorful, oddball character. (Additionally, I learned much more about herring fishing than I ever expected to know.)
All in all, a good and interesting story.
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on August 28, 2014
While reading a review of a favorite author of mine, Sue Henry, a reviewer recommended Dana Stabenow books instead, saying Sue Henry's later books had lost their usual appeal. Well I orded a few Dana Stabenow paperbacks and so far I can't even finish this first one Fire and Ice. Maybe the 2nd one will be better. Maybe it's because there's no sled dogs, which I love in Sue Henry's stories and the interesting hard surviving woman Jesse. I'm thrilled with the scary situations Jesse gets herself into and usually with a dog team nearby or at least Tank her lead dog. Maybe in Dana Stabenow's "Fire and Ice", the lack of character development and jumping into a complicated plot immediately left me floundering for a story and direction this book was taking. Too many words crammed into a sentence and unbelievable indulgent conversation that I personally would walk away from. Getting drunk in a bar and shooting a juke box isn't all that interesting as many people lack control, vision and direction. Not that interesting to read about another one. Maybe the other books will be written more to my liking. 1998 is awhile back.
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