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Book Review: Only the Dead

By Bameskaur Pabla @bameslive
Only the DeadOnly the Dead by Vidar Sundstøl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of the book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Only the Dead is the follow-up to Vidar Sundstol's Land of Dreams. In the Land of Dreams, U.S. Forest Service officer Lance Hansen finds a body of a Norwegian tourist on the shore of Lake Superior. The murder investigation gets painfully close to Hansen and he is facing a very difficult situation.

In Only the Dead, Lance Hansen is still haunted by the murder. As Lance and his brother, Andy, go out deer hunting; Lance is finding himself full of questions. He knows that Andy knows more about the murder than what he claims to know. Lance fears Andy may even be involved in the brutal killing.

Willy Dupree, Lance's ex-wife's father knows a lot about an old tale -- that of Swamper Caribou, an Ojibwe medicine man who was murdered about a century ago. Lance has always been fascinated with the story and when he found an old diary, he discovers that one of his relatives may have played a role in the Ojibwe man's murder. He also discovers that he has Ojibwe blood running through his veins.

The relationship between Andy and Lance begins to become tenuous as they go in pursuit of an elusive deer. Lance is sure that Andy is lying about something and he is uncomfortable about the knowledge that Andy may be the murderer. The deer hunters now appear to be hunting each other.

The Land of Dreams is a very interesting read and I would gladly read it again. Only the Dead starts off where the earlier book ends. It explains more about the story of Swamper Caribou and how he died -- and who killed him. It also tries to delve into the tense relationship between the Hansen brothers.

However, the story about the Hansen brothers seems to drag a bit. It is somewhat lacking a "thrill" or "tension" that will keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat. I actually find the Swamper Caribou story more interesting. Be that as it may, Only the Dead is still a good read though I need to mention that most readers may prefer the first book to this one.

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