Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book Review: "Misery Bay" by Steve Hamilton

Steve Hamilton may be one of the best crime/mystery writers in the literary world today. After his spectacular book The Lock Artist, Hamilton returns to the town of Paradise in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and his series of books featuring baseball player-turned-cop-turned-sometime-private investigator Alex McKnight. And it's truly like the return of an old friend, as Hamilton hooked me within the first few pages and kept me racing breathlessly until the book's conclusion.

One cold night, a college student hangs himself from a tree in the middle of a snowy, deserted field. He didn't leave a note, but suicides often don't. The boy's father, a federal marshal and an old friend of Alex McKnight's favorite nemesis, Police Chief Roy Maven, asks Alex to look into his son's suicide and try and find out why he might have chosen to end his life. But what appears to be a simple investigation uncovers a pattern of crimes more affecting and sinister than anyone ever expected, and Alex and Chief Maven find themselves thrown together, trying to find and stop a cold-blooded killer, all while Alex tries to put the demons of his past behind him.

Steve Hamilton knows how to tell a story amazingly well. It's a testament to his skill that he can make the eighth book in a series featuring many of the same characters feel as fresh as the first. The pacing is razor-sharp, the action is first-rate, and even as you think you've gotten the whole mystery figured out, he still has some tricks up his sleeve. If you've never read any of Hamilton's books, you don't know what you're missing—so remedy that right away! Can't wait to see what he comes up with next...

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