Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell once had a promising career, but now he has been demoted and transferred from Anchorage to the small town of Newenham. As soon as he steps off the plane, new job challenges accost him: murder at the airport, the appearance of his long-unseen ex-lover (now a herring spotter), and a trying "emergency" in town. In addition, he's conked on the head (and sees ravens), receives his first martial arts lesson from an idiosyncratic shaman, and meets a nasty town lothario. This wonderful series start from the Edgar Award-winning author of the Kate Shugak mysteries (Killing Grounds, LJ 3/1/98) is full of raucous action, complicated characters, evocative scenery, and inventive plot. Highly recommended.
The creator of Alaskan Park Ranger Kate Shugak (Killing Grounds, 1997, etc.) begins a new series by dumping Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell out of the plane that's taking him to his new posting in backcountry Newenham and onto a tarmac to join the late Bob DeCreft, whose career as a herring spotter has been ended by a doctored propeller Bob didn't know was live, and by Bob's boss, contract pilot Wyanet Chouinard, who used to fly Liam around, and sleep with him too. And that's not all. Before he's had a chance to unpack his uniform, Liam will have to deal with a mob eager to lynch Teddy Engebretsen, who accidentally shot up a local bar's jukebox, and begin a search for Kelly McCormick, who shot up the local postmaster (not so much hurt as peeved) in front of just as many witnesses. The slew of police business, duly handed over by a predecessor who shakes his hand and promptly leaves town, might at least take Liam's mind off his own problemsþhe's been sunk in depression ever since a hit-and-run driver killed his son and sent his wife into an irreversible coma, and he's been busted from sergeant down to trooper and exiled to Newenham ever since a second fatal accident back in Anchorage left him with egg on his faceþif only Wy, whose affair with Liam predates the hit-and-run, didn't have so much to do with those problems in the first place. As in the Kate Shugak series, Stabenow supplies lots of quirky people, adventures, and sceneryþthere's a particularly exciting bout of herring spotting in story for Liam himselfþbefore attending to a mystery that's still thickening when most authors would be calling it a day.
Boston Globe - Robin Winks
Alaska always allows for peculiar people, and Dana Stabenow mixes straight detection with humor in all her books, of which Fire and Ice is, to my eye, her best.
Washington Times - Judith Kreiner
Dana Stabenow, valued above silver ... introduces Sgt. Liam Campbell, state trooper, in Fire and Ice. [Campbell] is barely off the commuter plane bringing him to his new assignment when he walks right into his first case, a pilot killed by the propeller of his plane. And standing next to the body is the woman Campbell loves passionately but cannot pursue. The shaman who teaches tai chi, the raven and the lusty barkeep are just icing on a very rich cake. Please, Miss Stabenow, give us more...
Dallas Morning News - Laurie Trimble
In Liam Campbell, [Stabenow] has put together a character featuring the best of police procedure, intuition and charisma ... the Alaskan setting is one of the most powerful characters ... [Stabenow] obviously loves the Alaska wilderness and portrays it vividly through evocative writing and intelligent plotting. She creates intensely believable characters who work within their setting in logical and reasonable ways.