Alaska is home to Dana Stabenow's two series protagonists, Kate Shugak and Liam Campbell, as well as to the author herself, who excels at contrasting the vast emptiness of the bush with the close relationships and tangled kinship connections of the Native American and white characters who people her lively thrillers. Nothing Gold Can Stay brings state trooper Liam Campbell back as lead investigator in a string of killings that stretch back through time, along with his colleague Diana Prince, an ambitious young policewoman who's excited about her first assignment after the academy. It also fleshes out Liam's complicated emotional life. Slowly rebuilding his career in the remote fishing village of Newenham after a deadly mishap in which five people were killed (and a devastating personal tragedy that claimed the lives of his wife and young son), he's now happily involved with bush pilot Wy Chouinard. Wy is the adoptive mother of a teenage boy badly abused by the birth mother who's suddenly returned to claim him. Campbell, for his part, finds himself caught up in the seemingly unconnected deaths of a postmistress and a prospector and the search for the latter's wife, who disappeared from the scene of her husband's murder. |
Stabenow is a talented plotter, who keeps the action going as Liam and Diana close in on the deranged serial killer. She makes the most of her minor characters, especially a charismatic tribal elder who's a martial arts expert, a battered teenage wife, a sexy, 60-ish barkeep, and an unhappy yuppie who'd rather be hunting for bargains at the Anchorage Nordstrom than for gold in the wilds of the bush. Stabenow depicts the unforgiving wilderness of Alaska with the love of a native daughter and the skill of a writer who keeps getting better with every book.
Source: Jane Adams, Amazon.com.