This book is Steve Hamilton’s first novel and began a series featuring Alex McKnight that now extends to eight novels. At the time of its publication in 1998 it won the Edgar award for best first novel. While some of the book now seems a little dated and the plot now a bit over-used, this book is an excellent lead in to the other books in the series. And, as with all Steve Hamilton books that I’ve read, the story moves at an incredible pace leaving you keen to get into the next book.
Alex McKnight’s police career ended 14 years ago when he and his partner were both shot by a madman named Rose. Alex survived the shooting and has a bullet permanently lodged close to his heart, while his partner was killed. He lives with the guilt of his partner’s death and now Rose, although still in jail, has come back to haunt him.
Alex has recently become a Private Investigator in the small town of Paradise in Upper Michigan. When his friend Edwin calls him in the middle of the night, having discovered the body of his bookmaker in a bloody hotel room, Alex quickly becomes involved in looking for the murderer. But the murderer is also stalking him and leaving him notes containing information that could only be known by Rose.
Further murders follow and Alex finds himself continuing to receive messages from Rose and at loggerheads with the local police Chief Roy Maven. The story continues with Alex’s life and that of his friends in danger from a serial killer.
The end of the story was exciting, fast moving and completely unexpected. And the conflict between Alex and Maven is never fully resolved leaving you wondering where it will go next.
This was a brilliant first novel and having read other novels in the series, I know that the pace never lets up. I’m looking forward to the next in the series ‘Winter of the Wolf Moon’.
Book Published 1998