Restless in the Grave (Kate Shugak)
by Dana Stabenow
Review by Gayle Surrette
Minotaur Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312559137
Date: 14 February 2012 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Kate Shugack knows that all the changes to the park since the mine opened up have been for the benefit of the people, but the cell towers and other eyesores have her wincing just a bit. But on the bright side, her year as chair of the Niniltna's Native Association board is going to be over and she can step down. She has a plan and it involves getting the right person in place to step into her shoes.
Jim Chopin gets a call from another state trooper, Liam Campbell, who needs help. Finn Grant, an aviation entrepreneur, died in a crash and it may have been murder. The problem is Liam's wife, Wyanet Chouinard, would be one of the prime suspects if it was murder. Since Jim knows Kate wants to get away so that the new chair of the board can settle in, it seems like a good deal. Liam will pay out of his own pocket and Kate has the freedom to do things her way.
As far as I know this is the first Kate Shugack, Liam Campbell crossover book. Kate is moving into Liam's territory to solve a crime and as we all know it won't be pretty, because secrets will be revealed and they can never be buried again.
As well as solving the crime and being a very solid mystery with many twisty turns along with a plethora of suspects, readers get to visit some characters they haven't heard from since Fire and Ice.
This is also a story about change. Things are changing in the park -- there's now cell phone coverage and internet connectivity. There's a lot of people who aren't native to the area because of the mine. There's the changes in Kate's and Jim's relationship as they now live together -- something that's very new for Jim.
All in all, Restless in the Grave is very satisfying entry into the Kate Shugack series. There are wonderful quirky and believable characters. There's a convoluted mystery that highlights our current political hotspots, corporate greed, the devastation of war on the families of veterans, and, as always, how all these issues play out in the lives of people -- people who just happen to be characters in a book, but no less real to the reader than their neighbors and friends who are dealing with some of the same issues.
Stabenow's Restless in the Grave satisfies readers who want more in their fiction than entertainment.