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Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery | [Dana Stabenow]

Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery

In this mystery series by Dana Stabenow, the Edgar Award-winning author returns to the Alaskan setting she's famous for, with a wonderful character - state trooper Liam Campbell. Liam's just been transferred from Anchorage to the small fishing village of Newenham, Alaska - where a local pilot seems to have lost his head.
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Publisher's Summary

In this mystery series by Dana Stabenow, the Edgar Award-winning author returns to the Alaskan setting she's famous for, with a wonderful character - state trooper Liam Campbell. Liam's just been transferred from Anchorage to the small fishing village of Newenham, Alaska - where a local pilot seems to have lost his head.

©1998 Dana Stabenow (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (393 )
5 star
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3.5 (338 )
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Story
3.6 (344 )
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  •  
    Dr. Daniel Chapman U.S.A. 05-30-14
    Dr. Daniel Chapman U.S.A. 05-30-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A quick heads up!"

    Why pay $3.95 for this "Book Du Jour" when the kindle edition is $0.00 and after you "purchase" that book the Audible audiobook is $1.99. Obviously this is not a review but I didn't know where else to post.

    240 of 246 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Murphy Switzerland 12-05-13
    Mike Murphy Switzerland 12-05-13 Member Since 2012

    Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not sure I like Liam but I enjoyed the book"

    I downloaded the “Fire and Ice” the first book in Dana Stabenow’s Liam Campbell series, to help bridge the gap while I wait for the Brilliance Audio version of “Killing Grounds”, book 8 in the series Kate Shugak series, to come out in January 2014 to get another slice of Alaskan life.

    What I got was something quite different from the Kate Shugak series, even down to the writing style but something that gave me another view on what Alaska can mean to people.
    Liam Campbell is a newly-demoted State Trooper, who steps off the plane at the remote town he has been exiled to, and steps into a storm of violence, eccentricity, lust and death.

    The story is well-plotted, seasoned with humor and chaos, stuffed with larger-than-life characters that we know will be in all the future books and it gives a vivid view of what it feels like to take on the potentially lethal task of “herring spotting” from a light plane in an overcrowded sky.

    Stabenow’s books are never just about finding out who killed whom. They are an exploration of why people live the way they do and what it is about Alaska that drives particular behaviors.

    In this book Alaska is being shown as a place where people go to make a new start. It’s also shown as place with all the usual problems of violence against women, alcohol addiction, child abuse and the pressures of a small town to make you behave “appropriately”.

    I couldn’t quite bring myself to like Liam Campbell, the man with a tragic past and a grief-filled present. Then I realized that this was what Stabenow intended. I couldn’t like Liam because he doesn’t like himself. His distaste for himself at first appears to be a reaction to things he couldn’t control but feels accountable for: death’s on his watch, a tragedy in his family; things that would damage any man. As the book progresses we realize that the fundamental source of internal disgust is that he is a man who has betrayed himself and everyone he loves and he can’t forgive himself for that. The problem was, I couldn’t forgive him for it either.

    There are some signs that Liam is on a journey of redemption. In future books, I hope to see something about him that will make me care. I’d like to see his self-pity and self-absorption replaced by some passion for making a difference by actually doing his job. Perhaps the reason Stabenow keeps Campbell out of his uniform for most of the book, is to signal his failure to engage and to become who he should be.

    The sex scene at the beginning of the book caught me by surprise. It is graphic without being gratuitous but it goes way beyond anything you’d find in a Kate Shugak novel. The scene is actually well written – it describes arousal without being arousing. It is necessary because the sexual attraction between Campbell and the Wy is central to how Liam came to be where he is. I like the fact that Stabenow sets this up so that we understand that lust does not explain or excuse Liam’s actions any more than alcohol explains why someone is a drunk.

    I enjoy Marguerite Gavin as the narrator of the Kate Shugak series. I wish someone else had been chosen to read the Liam Campbell series. I think a male reader would have been more appropriate and would have made a clearer separation between Liam and Kate. She didn’t distract me from the book, but she didn’t add to it either.

    57 of 59 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patience Alstead, NH, United States 04-04-13
    Patience Alstead, NH, United States 04-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "wonderful mystery and love story"
    Would you listen to Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery again? Why?

    this is my second (maybe third time). The characters are wonderfully drawn. The main characters are diverse ethnically and in terms of personality but all have a strong moral core.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I'll confess -- the love story.


    Which character – as performed by Marguerite Gavin – was your favorite?

    Liam Campbell is a great character - a strong male state trooper who struggles daily with the aftermath of personal tragedy.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, to the detriment of my house work.


    Any additional comments?

    This whole 4 book series is excellent. I only wish there were more.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Danville, AR, United States 04-23-13
    Tracey Danville, AR, United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2007

    I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You'll lose your head over this Alaskan mystery!"

    Great first book in a new series by Stabenow, best known for her Kate Shugak series set in Alaska. This series is also set in Alaska, following Liam Campbell, who has just been demoted from Sergeant to Trooper and reassigned to the Alaskan Bush. We are familiarized with his past through remembrances as the story progresses, which can be a bit confusing if you don't pay close attention, but is a good way to keep the plot moving while still providing the backstory. I was surprised at how much I liked this book, as I was afraid I would continually compare it (unfavorably) to the Shugak series. Stabenow introduces characters I look forward to learning more about in later books. I was enveloped from the beginning, with Campbell observing all his fellow air travelers, assigning them nicknames (moccasin man, old fart, the flirt) and predicting what future crimes they might commit.

    Like "Dead in the Water" of the Shugak series, I learned something of Alaskan industry (in this case, herring fishing and aerial spotting, whereas it was crab fishing in "Dead in the Water.") This was an extra bonus to the book. As with the Shugak series, the Alaska setting only enhances my enjoyment of the volume.

    Highly recommend this novel for any fans of mystery.

    Gavin, as usual, delivers an excellent performance. A female narrator may seem an odd choice for a book with a male protagonist, but Gavin has proven to be THE voice of Stabenow's Alaska, and does not let her listeners down here.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Swansea, MA 06-04-14
    Karen Swansea, MA 06-04-14 Member Since 2010

    Knit-a-Holic

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    "Couldn't Get Into it.."
    What disappointed you about Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery?

    I seriously had no interest in finishing the book. I usually make myself finish, but I just couldn't. The main character is a man and the woman does a poor job trying to sound like a man....for some reason this really bugged me...sorry.


    Has Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yep - will never purchase another


    How could the performance have been better?

    Different reader


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Nothing - couldn't stand it


    Any additional comments?

    Wasted a credit on this for sure....don't bother

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHEILA CLEBURNE, TX, United States 05-30-14
    SHEILA CLEBURNE, TX, United States 05-30-14 Member Since 2008
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    "I'm not a fan of Liam Campbell"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I did not realize this was not a Kate Shugak story when I bought it. I had some trouble getting into this one, as I did not find the character of Liam engaging. I will pay more attention now that I know the author has another character in the mix.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Honestly, I don't recall finishing it. If I did, I was not sufficiently impressed to recall.


    Which character – as performed by Marguerite Gavin – was your favorite?

    Again, I do not recall the specifics, but I DO like Marguerite Gavin's performances. It took a while to get used to her, as sometimes the inflexions seem out of character or inappropriate, but her depictions of the Alaskan natives, and their mannerisms is spot on!


    Any additional comments?

    I am not saying it was a bad book or story, or that you should NOT take it on. For me, this character simply cannot compete w/ Kate Sugak, which is what I was expecting. Some readers/listeners may prefer Liam to Kate. It just depends on the listener.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ado 07-22-14
    Ado 07-22-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Boring story, horrible narration"

    Very boring story, and the narration is horrible. Tried to listen to it several times, and never finished. Finally decided - why even bother.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Fogelsville, PA, United States 06-27-14
    David Fogelsville, PA, United States 06-27-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Cliche'd plot and characters"

    After less than 2 hours of listening, this plot is cliche and the characters so wooden, I couldn't listen anymore. I'm returning it and going to chew on a cardboard box for the excitement.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 06-01-14
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 06-01-14
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    "Junk"

    I didn't finish it. But as most of the later books by this author, it's just junk.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 07-30-14
    George SANTA FE, NM, United States 07-30-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Alaska Cop"

    Excellent whodunit...Alaska style. Our newly demoted Alaska cop finds himself in a small town with relationships that have existed for decades. He successfully navigates uniquely Alaskan issues and catches the bad guy. Where is the next book in the series?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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