Top critical review
I now realize this was a perfect summary of the book
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.