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Misery Bay: An Alex McKnight Novel Hardcover – Jun 7 2011

4 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 7 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312380437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312380434
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.9 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,100,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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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Top Customer Reviews

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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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 (beta) HASH(0x9e7edac8) out of 5 stars 146 reviews
50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e81f528) out of 5 stars Hamilton and McKnight are wonderful together May 15 2011
By Burgmicester - Published on
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.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e81f774) out of 5 stars Best McKnight yet April 30 2011
By Auntie Annie - Published on
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
HASH(0x9e81f9a8) out of 5 stars The Latest in a Fine Series May 10 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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!
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e81fcf0) out of 5 stars These Are Getting A Little Formulaic For Me... July 9 2011
By Anonymous - Published on
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
HASH(0x9e81ff30) out of 5 stars Very very good but not the best May 14 2011
By MysteryPoodle - Published on
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I really love the Alex McNight novels. I looked forward to this one and I will look forward to the next one. Some of them have been absolutely brilliant, so atmospherically desolate and desperate that it was hard to breathe and read at the same time. This book was suspenseful (mostly) and certainly was well-written, but didn't quite come up to the standard of some of the previous novels.

The biggest problem with the book, as I see it, is that it starts out by telling you how bad things are going to get, rather than setting it up so you come to that conclusion on your own. I've never liked that in a mystery novel and I think it does a disservice to this one. The second problem is that Hamilton is true to his scene and it doesn't do him any favors -- characters spend hours and hours driving from one end of Michigan to the other, and, although we're not counting mileposts or anything, it does slow things down and string things out. If he is going to have the action take place in different parts of the state, he really doesn't have any choice, and I respect the desire to include more of the features and interest of this diverse and lovely place... but all the driving made me really tired!

In this book, Alex more or less teams up with Police Chief Roy Maven, a man who hasn't had much good to say about Alex previously and the reverse is also true. The circumstances and the dynamics between the two are very well done and make this a much more interesting book than it would have been otherwise.

The book does definitely build on the earlier books in the series; if you think you might like these books, I strongly recommend that you start at the beginning with "A Cold Day in Paradise." If you start now, you can be done with #9 before Misery Bay is out, and you'll have loads of fun in the meantime!