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The Hunting Wind: An Alex McKnight Mystery [Mass Market Paperback]

Steve Hamilton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 15 2002 Alex McKnight Mysteries (Book 3)
In the remote, wintry reaches of Michigan's upper Peninsula, it's hard for a man to remember what springtime is like, let alone Spring Training. But when a former teammate tracks him down, erstwhile minor league player Alex McKnight is instantly transported back to the good old Toledo dugout, circa 1971. Unfortunately, Randy Wilkins didn't trek 3,000 miles to the bleak shores of lake superior to sit by the fire with a couple of imported beers, dissecting the past, inning by glorious inning. He's here to pitch a proposal: that Alex help him find the woman with whom he had a brief, passionate affair three decades ago. Who is Alex to deny a fellow the chance to ward off classic midlife chill by rekindling an old flame? What he doesn't consider is that there might be a good reason the mysterious, missing Maria is more elusive than a starting position in the majors--and that his trusted old pan might not have told him the whole score...

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From Amazon

Alex McKnight, the burned-out former cop turned PI of Steve Hamilton's Edgar Award-winning first novel, A Cold Day in Paradise, was a promising catcher who never quite made it to the majors. But his old teammate Randy Wilkins did, for one game with the Detroit Tigers that effectively ended the pitcher's career. What Randy can't forget about that game was the beautiful young woman he met the night before he blew his future in professional sports. Over two decades later, he's come to McKnight to track down the mysterious Maria, whose memory still haunts him. The trail is pretty cold after all these years, but Alex manages to get a line on Maria's relatives, who aren't exactly thrilled to make his acquaintance. In fact, they're downright hostile when Alex finds them in a small Michigan town, and he just barely escapes with his life. But he perseveres, and ultimately makes his way to an even smaller resort town, where the natives are almost as unfriendly. The police chief is so hostile to Alex's efforts that he quickly realizes someone else is on her tail, and that there's a good reason she's been hiding out for so long. Not only that, when someone shoots Randy and almost kills him, Alex is in for another nasty surprise. His old friend isn't who he seems to be, and Alex himself may be the victim of exactly the kind of scam Randy's been running since he left the majors.

Hamilton has a well-developed sense of place, and he's good at exploring the complexities of his protagonist. But it's Randy the reader wants more fully realized, even after the mystery is solved and Alex makes a beeline back to Paradise. This is a taut, well-written thriller that fulfills Hamilton's promise as a writer to watch. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Edgar and Shamus Awards-winner Hamilton's third Alex McKnight thriller (after A Cold Day in Paradise; Winter of the Wolf Moon) is the next best thing to Evelyn Wood. It is un-put-downable. McKnight, a former Detroit cop, was "retired" by a bullet that remains lodged in his chest. He owns a small business in upstate Michigan and likes to spend his time in the local pub watching his beloved Tigers on TV. One day, an old friend walks in a man he hasn't seen for 30 years. Alex has a soft spot for old buddies who exploit him mercilessly. This one is no exception. He wants Alex to help him find an former girlfriend whom he hasn't seen in decades. As he won't listen to reason, he and Alex are soon in Detroit on the almost nonexistent trail of his boyhood love. It is a leisurely but interesting trek that doesn't quicken until it seems to peter out entirely. Then, an unexpected act of violence causes everything we have believed real to blur into a haze of doubt. We are in the glorious, shadowy realm of noir where nothing is what it seems. Alex, the street-smart cop, is momentarily a babe in the woods in a pit of vipers. Hamilton's prose moves us smoothly along and his characters are marvelously real. His world is an existential one merciless to the innocent but in this exceptionally entertaining novel, McKnight is a decent man whose wits are a match for a whole world of vipers.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When the left-hander found me, I was sitting in my usual chair in front of the fire, trying to stay warm. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Ok so it had a bit of redeeming value June 11 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The plot was good. The characterization shabby. I sincerely wondered about Alex's sanity in the first 50 pages. In fact it was hard to buy that he was stupid enough NOT to see thru his old friend. The old friend's characterization was even stupider. The same ole refrain repeated shallow and whining again and again and again and again until by page 100 I was screaming OH SHUT UP. Either Alex was a saint [he isn't btw] or just plain stupid. [well, now.. one does wonder.]
What could have been a fantastic story got lost in stereotypes, cliches, and just plain dribble. Boy meets girl. Boy looses girl due to his own ego he claims. Boy hunts up moronic friend stupid enough to help him. Friend almost got his (...) blown away. Finds out girl is a gypsy con artist. Boy almost gets (...) blown away. Friend finds out that Everyone Else in the Universe knows Boy is a big mouthed lying con including his family who is sick of him and hopes he dies. And so does readers by this point. "Like, duh." and you are suppose to be an investigator and your partner can't even find this out about old friend? Cut me a break.
Bad noir, worse characterizations, great plot idea if worked on.
readable but why when there is so much better out there?
So glad I helped out Goodwill to the tune of cents instead of dollars for this.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dumb, dumb, dumber May 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Don't listen to those 4 and 5 star ratings, this was truly a dumb story, with no redeeming qualities at all. No point to the story at all that was the truth and the readers were left with the question of why Randy wanted to find Maria in the first place. She certainly was a charmer and had everyone dancing to her tune. Ah men and their peabrains.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DANDY RANDY AND ALEX MCKNIGHT Aug. 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This latest entry in the well-written Alex McKnight series finds Alex faced with an old friend he hasn't seen in almost thirty years. They were on a minor league baseball team together and for one year, they were the best of buddies. Now, this buddy, Randy has come to Paradise to ask Alex to help him find a woman named Maria whom he hasn't seen since their brief one-week affair. The novel starts out in a rather humorous tone; a scene with an elderly couple who used to live near the mysterious Maria, have a hilarious confrontation with our heroes. One begins to wonder just where the novel is going with this seemingly absurd quest. Never fear, once we find Maria, all hell breaks loose, and McKnight finds himself fighting for his life as usual.
Hamilton has once again achieved the brilliant atmosphere of the Michigan peninsula, and also demonstrates how sometimes the people we think we know are nothing like they seem.
This is a taut, quite original novel and one of McKnight's best cases.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enter Into a World of Mystery and Action April 28 2003
Format:Hardcover
Alex McKnight used to be a Detroit police officer but when he got shot, his career ended. With a bullet still lodged in his chest and a failed marriage behind him, Alex decided to move to his father's property in the cold northern town of Paradise, Michigan.
Now, as a non-practicing private investigator, he spends his time drinking Canadian beer in the local bar. His comfortable lifestyle is about to change when Randy Wilkins shows up.
Randy is an old friend who played baseball with Alex in the Minors more than thirty years ago. He needs Alex's help to find a girl named Maria. Randy hasn't seen her since 1971 but he hasn't ever been able to forget her since.
As the search for Maria unfolds, the two find themselves in a whole lot of trouble as they become entangled with Maria's gypsy family and the dark secrets they are hiding. Before Alex and Randy get in too deep, they decide to give up the search.
As soon as Alex returns home to Paradise, he receives an urgent phone call informing him that his friend has been shot and is in a coma. He soon discovers that Randy continued the search for Maria on his own and he's also been withholding information.
It turns out that not only does Randy have a dark past, but he's also been lying. The whole time during the search for Maria, Randy may have had a hidden agenda. Now Alex has to find out who shot him and what Randy's motives have been all along.
In "The Hunting Wind," Steve Hamilton spins a mystery full of unexpected twists and mounting tension that will leave you wanting more. His character, Alex McKnight, is so personable you may feel like you've known him your whole life. It's no wonder the Alex McKnight series makes such a great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed. Feb. 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Steve Hamilton's third Alex McKnight novel, "The Hunting Wind" held me hostage from the opening paragraph. I could not put it down and finished it less than twenty-four hours later.
Truly an absorbing mystery/thriller filled with intriguing characters, intricate subplots and riveting suspense.
What starts out as a trackdown for an old friend turns into a sinister, tension filled adventure filled with deceit. Former cop (and reluctant P.I.) McKnight gets caught in the middle and learns to trust no one.
Steve Hamilton is a fresh and refreshing voice who wastes no words and gives readers a believable protagonist surrounded by eccentric and engaging supporting characters.
This is an phenomenal series...not to be missed.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hunting Wind
ANother excellent book by Steve Hamilton. I have just two words to describe his writing "MORE PLEASE".
Published on Nov. 30 2002 by SLP books
4.0 out of 5 stars Hunting Wind Steve Hamilton
Alex is pondering whether spring will ever arrive when the snow brings in a long lost pal. A friend he hasn't seen in 30 yrs since they went their separate years as baseball drew... Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to those one star reviews.....
This is a very good book. There is no reason for those one star reviews....
I read this book in slightly more than 2 days (which is incredibly fast for me and my schedule). Read more
Published on June 9 2002 by Brian
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to those one star reviews.....
This is a very good book. There is no reason for those one star reviews....
I read this book in slightly more than 2 days (which is incredibly fast for me and my schedule). Read more
Published on June 9 2002 by Brian
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice pace, great characters....
"A Cold Day in Paradise", Hamilton's first novel, was outstanding! For some reason I lost track of him, and just by chance picked this paperback up when I was in book... Read more
Published on May 23 2002 by L. Quido
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good one!
Like his first two novels, Steve Hamilton has given us another great Alex McNight story! It funny, exciting, surprising and a great read!
Published on May 18 2002 by Judy S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Hamilton WINNER!
I enjoyed this almost as much as his first 2 novels. The characters are well developed, and the story well thought out. Read more
Published on May 12 2002 by Mr. R. H. Thompson
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Hamilton
This Alex McKnight story is a page-turner with a leisurly pace like his first two stories. There is never a deadened moment, and each scene propels the plot forward. Read more
Published on April 15 2002
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