Saturday, March 24, 2012

Currently reading: MISERY BAY

Last year, I read and enjoyed my first Steve Hamilton book, the Edgar Award-winning THE LOCK ARTIST. Hamilton was a new-to-me author who I hadn't even heard about here in New Zealand, until I read about THE LOCK ARTIST being shortlisted for (then winning) the Edgar. While THE LOCK ARTIST was a standalone novel, Hamilton is also known, in the US especially, for his popular series starring former Detroit cop Alex McKnight, who retires to the quiet North Michigan town of Paradise after the violent shooting death of his partner. The first book in that series, A COLD DAY IN PARADISE, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel (along with other awards), making Hamilton a rare dual Edgar winner.

This year, the eighth novel in the Alex McKnight series, MISERY BAY, the first since 2006, has been published - and it's the book I'm currently reading.

It's my first taste of Hamilton's McKnight tales, and I'm really enjoying it thusfar (about a third of the way through). Here's the blurb:

On a frozen January night, a young man loops one end of a long rope over the branch of a tree. The other end he ties around his neck. A snowmobiler will find him thirty-six hours later, his lifeless eyes staring out at the endless cold water of Lake Superior. It happens in a lonely corner of the Upper Peninsula, in a place they call Misery Bay.

Alex McKnight does not know this young man, and he won’t even hear about the suicide until another cold night, two months later and 250 miles away, when the door to the Glasgow Inn opens and the last person Alex would ever expect to see comes walking in to ask for his help.

What seems like a simple quest to find a few answers will turn into a nightmare of sudden violence and bloody revenge, and a race against time to catch a ruthless killer. McKnight knows all about evil, of course, having faced down a madman who killed his partner and left a bullet next to his heart. Mobsters, drug dealers, hit men—he’s seen them all, and they’ve taken away almost everything he’s ever loved. But none of them could have ever prepared him for the darkness he’s about to face.
I'm looking forward to seeing where Hamilton takes me on this journey - MISERY BAY doesn't have the 'uniqueness' of THE LOCK ARTIST, but it's a very enjoyable crime tale thusfar.

Reviews of MISERY BAY:

Have you read any of the Alex McKnight books? Which would you recommend for me to read?


  1. Yes, have read them all. This is my favorite series. I know it sounds trite to say you should begin at the beginning, but you really should because A COLD DAY IN PARADISE will give you McKnight's background.

    Worth mentioning in case this kind of thing bothers you: in a couple of cases, reading out of order will give you slight spoilers for earlier books.

    Speaking subjectively... I think the best books in the series are the one you're reading now and BLOOD IS THE SKY, but my personal favorite is WINTER OF THE WOLF MOON.

    Whichever you choose, hope you enjoy it!

  2. Hi Craig,

    I love the Alex McKnight series. I've read Blood is the Sky and the first book, A Cold Day In Paradise which was pretty good. Ice Run and a few others were good but those two I listed first were awesome. I couldn't finish Misery Bay. I felt it took too long to unravel. Hope you enjoy! PS. Like the look of your site! --Keishon