Cover image for So sure of death : a Liam Campbell mystery
So sure of death : a Liam Campbell mystery
Stabenow, Dana.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton, [1999]

Physical Description:
275 pages ; 23 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



When the bodies of a local family are found adrift at sea, horribly murdered, Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell is drawn straight into the heart of a family scandal involving adultery, tribal taboos, and forbidden romance. To find the killer, Liam will have to wade into the murky depths of Native-Alaskan politics, tribal mores, and deeply held secrets. In this, Dana Stabenow's second Liam Campbell mystery, she again earns her reputation as "Alaska's finest mystery writer." (The Anchorage Daily News)

Author Notes

Dana Stabenow is the author of the Kate Shugak series for Putnam/Berkley and the Liam Campbell Series for Dutton/Signet.

She lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

On a sunny July day, Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell begins to investigate the murders of a family on a fishing boat and an archaeologist on a dig. Meanwhile, on a personal level, he entertains two very different visitors: his overbearing, perfectionist father and his great love Wyanet Chouinard. Personal and professional come together when Wyanet helps with the investigations and when the murders appear to be linked to Liam's father. This second Liam Campbell mystery is about as good as it gets--among the best of the year. Stabenow puts Liam through a few stunts worthy of an Indiana Jones movie, and she describes Alaskan communities with insight, vividly captures the Alaskan landscape, and constructs a challenging, compelling plot. Best of all, though, are the fully realized, multidimensional characters, whose stories comprise a sympathetic, convincingly real mix of humor, sadness, unrealized love, and frustrated ambition. Stabenow's ability to make her Alaska setting more than window dressing will appeal to Northern Exposure fans, and her exploration of native cultures has the depth of Tony Hillerman. Clearly, Stabenow's is a star on the rise. --John Rowen

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stabenow's second Liam Campbell mystery (after Fire and Ice) has the vivid descriptions, rich characterization and compelling plot that distinguish her nine Kate Shugak books, with the added advantage of extra sex appeal. Alaska State Trooper Campbell, stationed in the southwest Alaska boondocks, has a lot on his plate: an eager new trooper, Diana Prince; a visit from his estranged father, an air force colonel on a suspicious mission; the reappearance of his great love, charter pilot Wyanet (Wy) Chouinard; and two very different cases rife with false clues. When an assistant at an important archeological site is murdered, evidence points to Frank Petla, a Yupik grave robber who travels by four-wheeler. Liam apprehends him in a dramatic chase by leaping out of Wy's Cub into a lake, but later comes to believe Frank's profession of innocence. The desperate murderer finally reveals himself, almost killing Wy and her journalist friend Jo. Finding a killer who sets fire to a fishing boat, incinerating all seven people aboard, proves a more difficult task. Initially, Liam suspects a disgruntled former deckhand, but the solution hinges on careful observation and an understanding of Yupik lifestyles and traditions, a necessity for these white cops in a predominantly Native American population. Colorful characters abound, and Stabenow ably evokes the life of hard-pressed commercial fishermen. The mystery ends on a mystical note, integrating Native American belief into a satisfying conclusion. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

YA-Demoted because of five deaths that occurred on his watch, Alaskan state trooper Liam Campbell is sent to the remote village of Newenham where he finds himself fitting in with the hardy townspeople. In one day, he is faced with seven shot and burned bodies of a local family on a scuttled fishing boat and the murder of an archaeologist's gofer. Though he quickly has suspects in jail for each of the crimes, Liam continues sleuthing over the protests of his assistant and finds a twist to each of the murders. All of this is set against a backdrop of fishing villages and backwoods saloons with their attendant colorful characters. The culture of the native Alaskans is introduced as Liam collects clues from the dig site and interviews the council members of the fishing village. The challenges of the terrain are apparent from the number of airplanes, four-wheel drive vehicles, and boats used for transport; and the clear, concise writing mimics the clarity of the Alaskan light during the long summer days. There's a mixture of romance with the mystery as Liam connects with a former girlfriend. Great for adventure or mystery lovers.-Pam Spencer, Young Adult Literature Specialist, Virginia Beach, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.