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Misery Bay: An Alex McKnight Novel [Hardcover]

Steve Hamilton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 7 2011 Alex McKnight Mysteries (Book 8)

The New York Times Bestseller

One of The Boston Globe's Best Mysteries of 2011

ALEX MCKNIGHT IS BACK in the long-awaited return of one of crime fiction's most critically acclaimed series.

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.


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Review

A Boston Globe Best Crime Book of the Year

A Michigan Notable Book

Praise for Misery Bay:

"Misery Bay showcases Hamilton's dark vision and his talents as a sturdy plotter. ... Hamilton's view of the harsh, bleak landscape of winter in Michigan's Upper Peninsula will have readers grabbing their coats and gloves as the frigid air seems to seep through the pages. Misery Bay is like a visit with an old friend with whom you can't wait to catch up."--Sun-Sentinal
 
"A triumphant return for McKnight. Misery Bay is as good as the previous ones in this critically acclaimed series. The plot is as suspenseful as they come, with lots of unpredictable twists and turns."--The Associated Press
 
"Superb.... Assured prose, a thrilling plot, and a surprising, satisfying conclusion make this a winner."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
"Hamilton's prose is straight and clean, as devoid of pretense as the author's name — Steve, just Steve, with no accompanying initials. The book's complexity comes in Hamilton's gift for layers and the slow reveal."--Seattle Times
 
"The best mystery novel I’ve read in a while."--John J. Miller, The National Review
 
"I'm often asked to recommend a detective series readers might have missed.  This is it. Hamilton has been flying under the radar with his Alex McKnight series for too long. Misery Bay will change that, I hope."--Harlan Coben
 
"This new entry in Hamilton's Alex McKnight series is one of his best. ... You'll not put this down willingly, and when you do, you'll still be thinking about it."--Romantic Times
 
"Outstanding."--Yahoo! Shine
 
"A solid, character- and conflict-driven procedural with one of his twistier plots."--The Boston Globe 
 
"Hamilton is as good as anyone out there when it comes to fast-paced dark mysteries."--City Pulse

"A definite winner. ... Hamilton delivers with his latest, giving readers the adrenaline rush they need after a five-year wait."--Las Vegas Review-Journal

"A sheer pleasure to read."--Spinetingler Magazine

Praise for Steve Hamilton:

“Hamilton’s compelling, vigorous prose doesn’t allow the option of taking a break.” —Los Angeles Times

“Steve Hamilton writes the kind of stories that manly men and tough-minded women can’t resist.” —The New York Times

"Hamilton writes tough, passionate novels.... This is crime writing at its very best.” —George Pelecanos

“Hamilton gives us mysteries within mysteries as well as a hero who simply won’t be beaten down.” —The Miami Herald

“Already one of our best writers.” —Laura Lippman

“Hamilton’s prose moves us smoothly along and his characters are marvelously real.” —Publishers Weekly

“Hamilton’s prose...remains an unself-consciously terse pleasure.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Hamilton... paints a rich and vivid portrait of a world where the chill in the air is often matched by that of the soul.” —The Providence Journal

“Hamilton never misses a beat.” —Rocky Mountain News

"I really like his main character, Alex McKnight, and I'm ready to re-visit Paradise, Michigan."--James Patterson on North of Nowhere

From the Back Cover

When faith and facts collide, Jo March—a young woman born into an Evangelical Christian dynasty—wrestles with questions about who she is and how she fits into the weave of her faithful family. Chasing loose threads that she hopes will lead to the truth, Jo sets off on an unlikely quest across boundaries of language and religion, through chasms of sectarian divides in the Muslim world. Against the backdrop of the War on Terror—travelling from California to Chicago, Pakistan to Iraq—she delves deeply into the past, encountering relatives, often for the first time, whose histories are intricately intertwined with her own . . . only to learn that true spiritual devotion is a broken field riddled with doubt and that nothing is ever as it seems.

A story of forbidden love and familial dysfunction that interweaves multiple generational and cultural viewpoints, The Sweetness of Tears is a powerful reminder of the ties that bind us, the choices that divide us, and the universal joys and tragedies that shape us all.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars McKnight is back... June 18 2012
By Raven
Format:Paperback
Having waited (almost) patiently for four years for the next instalment of the Alex McKnight series I tucked myself up for an evening in front of the fire and immersed myself in this tale of wintry despair, suicide and murder.

What never fails to disappoint with Hamilton's writing is his depiction of place and atmosphere. As a reader you are transported to the snowy bleakness of the shores of Lake Superior or the warm confines of McKnight's watering hole the Glasgow Inn and you feel that you are really getting the authenticity of each location.

Likewise you never have to take `leaps of faith' as in Hamilton's drawing of characters or plot-line, you really believe that people can act in the way they do for whatever reason. McKnight's formerly frosty relationship with police chief Roy Maven reaches a new level of grudging mutual respect as they find themselves drawn into this convoluted investigation and it's a joy to behold.

The plot-line is exceptionally well-executed and the story twists and turns keeping the reader on the back foot as our intrepid duo seek to unveil a killer targeting law enforcement officers and their families.

If you have not read Hamilton yet I would heartily recommend him- you will not be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good suspense Sept. 4 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The story held my interest right to the end which is always a good thing, particularly in a mystery. It started off really well. I like a book that has a good first page that grabs my interest and with a story that follows up. The characters are believable and so is the story. All in all, I'd recommend it to anyone who likes murder mysteries.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  117 reviews
48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton and McKnight are wonderful together May 15 2011
By Burgmicester - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The feeling of ease and comfort with his main character are immediate in this newest Steve Hamilton story featuring his Numero Uno detective, Alex McKnight. The last McKnight story was six years ago. This has been one of my favorite series over the years and I was truly waiting for this latest installment. This one did not disappoint.

The story starts with an eerie preface that alludes to the upcoming events and then immediately a well done background of the characters and past events is done by Hamilton - and it was done just right - so as not to leave out readers that had not been fortunate enough to have found this series years ago. In the previous five stories, Hamilton takes one of the main characters and places them in danger with Alex on the trail. In this one, Chief Maven and McKnight, Maven's arch enemy in the Paradise area, are placed together as they attempt to unravel the madman with which they are entangled.

The writing is crisp, the dialogue is genuine and humor dry and without forced effort. The story is complex and moves at a good pace. The rhythm is just right between the characters and the storyline. There is very little not to like in this novel. If I had to pick something it would be the fact that Alex could remain ahead of the FBI on the trial of the bad guys. However, that said, the story never felt forced or fake.

There is plenty to like in this installment, and it can play very well without going back into the series. There are several lines in the story about past incidents and they will make you want to start at the beginning of this series. I would rate this as the best of the six books by Hamilton that I have read. Definitely one for the pile of reading material, especially if this is your genre.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best McKnight yet April 30 2011
By Auntie Annie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Misery Bay is the ninth installment in Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series. Like the others, this one takes place in Michigan's upper penninsula. Hamilton capture's perfectly the bitter cold, ice and winds off Lake Superior, the bleakness of the landscape, and the isolation of its inhabitants. In this book, McKnight joins forces, albeit reluctantly, with his nemesis, Chief Roy Maven, whose friend's son has committed suicide. The friend is distraught with the enormity of his loss. McKnight agrees to investigate what could have driven the boy to suicide, if only to bring the man some peace of mind. Then, the man, himself, is murdered--in Chief Maven's home. Other suicides come to light, always children of law officers, and in each case, the officer is subsequently murdered. No one except Maven and McKnight see the pattern. The FBI sees coincidence. And, scattered thoroughout the book, between chapters, are snippets of conversation from filming sessions. Slowly the reader begins to suspect what might be going on. Equally as slowly, McKnight and Maven unravel the mystery. The final few chapters bring it together with McKnight alone and in great danger. Gripping conclusion. A must read for Hamilton fans!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Latest in a Fine Series May 10 2011
By Carol Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Once again Steve Hamilton takes us to the town of Paradise in the Upper Peninsula-the UP-of Michigan, the home of Alex McKnight in the latest in a fine series. McKnight is a former Detroit policeman, for a short time a private investigator, and the full-time proprietor of cabins he rents to snowmobilers during the long UP winters.

To his surprise, the chief of police with whom he's almost always at odds, asks him as a favor to help a friend. The investigation of the suicide of the friend's son leads him to discover other similar deaths. The police chief and McKnight form an uneasy alliance to link the deaths and to try to prevent more killings in a fast-paced, absorbing tale.

Fans of Hamilton's books will find the Paradise regulars in residence as well as the Scottish pub where McKnight socializes and drinks his beer brought in from Canada for him by the owner. This is a book that those new to the series will enjoy and perhaps lead them back to the beginning to read the others. Warning: Best read in the summer months if the reader is sensitive to snow and ice!
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars These Are Getting A Little Formulaic For Me... July 9 2011
By Mr. R. H. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've read everything he's written. And this wasn't bad in any way. It was entertaining, but they're all pretty much the same plot, just with different killers. Someone comes into the bar to try and get him to help. He doesn't want to, but reluctantly agrees. He winds up driving all over Michigan, and sometimes into Canada. Sometimes he falls in love, sometimes he doesn't. The murders are solved and he goes back to the bar. There's some snow plowing and cabin building thrown in for the DIY set. So if you've read all of the previous books, unless you're really bored, there's nothing new here. If you're just looking for a book to kill a few evernings...have at it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Big Disappointment - Audiobook Dec 6 2011
By Laura Todd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I won't repeat the plot that you can read in other reviews.
I have loved the whole McKnight series up until this book.
It lacked so much that the others had to offer.
It was a little slow and I had a difficult time staying engaged.
The previously enjoyable characters were not as colorful.
If you have not yet read one in this series, please do not start with this one.
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