Restless in the Grave – Review

Currently on Loan from the Library:

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

Better to Rest  by Dana Stabenow

Restless in The Grave by Dana Stabenow

 Other Books I’m Reading:

I’m always tempted to put a title here that makes me look smart and witty.  Sadly, I’m not reading anything else right now.   The crazy busy is eating into my reading time.   

Here is what I have come to appreciate about Dana Stabenow books.  It’s never the same book twice.  Many authors come to a point where you know exactly what you are getting when you pick up their books.  Think James Patterson, even in the long ago days when he was not more industry than author, or Tami Hoag, as much as I enjoy her work, or pretty much any romance novelist ever.  There just does not seem to be a formula that Dana Stabenow is working with, or maybe there is, but she uses a different formula for every book.  I really delight in that aspect of her writing.  Although I freely admit, I have not yet read everything she has written.  Not even most of the Kate Shugak novels.  

 I came to the Kate Shugak novels through a friend who recommended them.  I’ve read five now, out of about fifteen.  I do have plans to slowly work my way through the other ten.  Hopefully while keeping up on the new installments as they come out.  I know that by hunting and pecking my way through Dana’s work, I am in a sense short changing her efforts.  There seems to be, even to my out of sync eye, a great deal of foreshadowing and inside joking, in these books.  Which is defiantly part of their charm.  I am already starving to see what next Kate Shugak book holds.  

 Restless in the Grave starts with Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell showing up in Niniltna, Kate’s hometown, looking for help investigating a possible murder.  Liam is apparently an old friend and student of Chopper Jim, Kate’s current beau.  Liam is also apparently the main subject of another Stabenow series.  Which I obviously also have to read.  Bringing to fourteen the number of books added to my must read list from this author.  

 Kate agrees to help Liam, apparently any woman would, and heads off for Newenham, Alaska to investigate the possible murder.  Since it’s a Stabenow novel, I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by telling you, it was a murder.  Although I wasn’t entirely sure it was until a good three hundred pages in to a three hundred and seventy page book.  Also, the murderer, while not entirely a surprise to me, was also not really my suspect list until a bit of foreshadowing around page three hundred. Gotta love a book that keeps you guessing until the end.  

 Kate takes the usual amount of abuse in this book.  Including being covered in trash, and blood.  There are fewer guns than usual, although they are of the larger more powerful type.  So I guess that makes up for the number.  The body count is reasonably low.  As are the, as usual, very tastefully done scenes of corporal exuberance.  There are tons of planes.  Restless in the Grave has more than convinced me I never need a pilot license.  Just like skinning a moose is not for me, flying a plane is not for me.  Breaking and entering also figures largely into this book, and more than a little marital strife with a side of fortune hunting.  

I am a little worried that Chopper Jim is on his way out.  Which is too bad.  I kind of like Chopper Jim.  Not just for the cool nickname either.  Watch for the return of the very menacing Erland Bannister.  Also, I feel that the next novel may be about a serial killer.  Or at least about a body buried in a basement.  Call me crazy.  I hope wherever Dana Stabenow is today, she’s working on it.

Enjoyability: A nice four and a half star read.  It does drag a little around the two thirds mark.  Still it’s a humdinger.     

Where to read this book: Over your drink of choice.  Daylight not required.  

Further reading:  The Forever War which I absolutely must get to before returning it to the Library.  Also, obviously the first Liam Campbell mystery.  


Posted on March 7, 2012, in Fiction, Reading, review, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’ve gotta figure out where I stopped with Kate Shugak series and start reading them again.

  2. Yeah, I guess. Since you’re the one who recommended them to me. :). Great pick by the way!

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