Saturday, February 25, 2012

Restless In The Grave by Dana Stabenow; Read by Marguerite Gavin

Few things are more pleasing than coming across a book that I know will be terrific before reading a single page or hearing the opening lines.  For me, that’s the case with Edgar Award winning author Dana Stabenow and her Kate Shugak series.  Born in Alaska Stabenow well knows the territory she limns, and it is this authenticity along with intriguing casts of characters and absorbing plots that make the series so fine.  Restless In The Grave is Stabenow’s  19th in the series, which seems only to get better with time.

    As the story opens there has been a fatal plane crash - aviation entrepreneur Finn Grant literally went down in flames along with his Piper Super Club.  Someone tampered with the engine - problem is there are too many likely someones out there including the wife of Alaska state trooper Liam Campbell.

    In an effort to prove his wife innocent he asks Niniltna post commander Sergeant Jim Chopin for help, and Jim brings Aleut private investigator Kate Shugak into the case.  She goes undercover (as a waitress at Bill’s Bar and Grill) where she not only fries burgers but learns a great deal.  Grant’s business has definitely been on a solid upswing - after buying a deserted Air Force base he poked his fingers into many pies - fishing, hunting, servicing planes and carrying freight.  Question is what kind of freight?

    Audio File Earphones award winner Marguerite Gavin has collaborated with Stabenow on a number of the Kate Shugak books, and she does so again with what can easily be described as one more listening pleasure as she perfectly captures the correct pronunciation of native names and places.  Not an easy task but she does it while at the same time delivering an engaging performance that holds the listeners’ attention.


    - Gail Cooke 

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