The creator of Alaskan Park Ranger Kate Shugak (Killing Grounds, 1997, etc.) begins a new series by dumping Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell out of the plane that’s taking him to his new posting in backcountry Newenham and onto a tarmac to join the late Bob DeCreft, whose career as a herring spotter has been ended by a doctored propeller Bob didn’t know was live, and by Bob’s boss, contract pilot Wyanet Chouinard, who used to fly Liam around, and sleep with him too. And that’s not all. Before he’s had a chance to unpack his uniform, Liam will have to deal with a mob eager to lynch Teddy Engebretsen, who accidentally shot up a local bar’s jukebox, and begin a search for Kelly McCormick, who shot up the local postmaster (not so much hurt as peeved) in front of just as many witnesses. The slew of police business, duly handed over by a predecessor who shakes his hand and promptly leaves town, might at least take Liam’s mind off his own problems—he’s been sunk in depression ever since a hit-and-run driver killed his son and sent his wife into an irreversible coma, and he’s been busted from sergeant down to trooper and exiled to Newenham ever since a second fatal accident back in Anchorage left him with egg on his face—if only Wy, whose affair with Liam predates the hit-and-run, didn’t have so much to do with those problems in the first place. As in the Kate Shugak series, Stabenow supplies lots of quirky people, adventures, and scenery—there’s a particularly exciting bout of herring spotting in story for Liam himself—before attending to a mystery that’s still thickening when most authors would be calling it a day.