I liked Liam Campbell a little better in this book than in the first. I think there is hope for his redemption after all. It was refreshing to see that the pain Liam and Wy caused through their affair is not glossed over and continues to have an impact on not just their behaviour but their sense of who they are. Meeting Liam’s father helped round him out and the addition of another trooper to the post gave a more realistic context for assessing him.
Dana Stabenow delivers two murder mysteries to move the plot along this time – a whole family killed on a fishing boat and a researcher killed at an archaeological dig. Both are well thought through, with multiple who-dunnit candidates and good local colour but for me Stabenow’s strength lies in her willingness and ability to make me feel the emotional weight of the extinction of a whole family.
On the whole this remains a light, enjoyable read, with lots of jumping out of planes and on to boats and ruining of uniforms at a brisk pace. There are moments of introspection that make the action matter more and there is a continuous and skilful development of my knowledge of the local cast of characters that promises to build the books into a rich world rather than just a series of solved murders.
I’m looking forward to reading the next one.