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By Steve Hamilton

St Martin's Minotaur Press, 1998 (reissued Feb. 2000) $5.99.

Reviewed by Rick McMahan

Steve Hamilton's first novel, A COLD DAY IN PARADISE, won him critical acclaim and numerous awards, including an Edgar. Earlier this summer, I was browsing for a book to read, and I decided I'd try A COLD DAY IN PARADISE. I quickly saw why this novel won awards and praise.

Alex McKnight is a medically retired Detroit police officer who has retreated to the cold Michigan Upper Peninsula where he takes care of his hunting cabins, and occasionally does some PI work to supplement his income. He's also a man who longs for Sylvia Fulton, the wife of a man who calls Alex his best friend. McKnight feels guilty for coveting the man's wife, and so when Edwin asks Alex McKnight to help him with a problem over a gambling debt, he feels obligated to do so. When the bookie turns up dead and Edwin is a suspect, Alex is sucked into the investigation. But quickly, it's a monster from McKnight's past that comes into the scene. The murder seems to be the work of the man who nearly killed McKnight, and is supposed to be sitting in a maximum-security prison.

Steve Hamilton's writing is brisk and Alex McKnight is a welcome addition to the ranks of PI heroes. If you haven't read this book, pick it up.

Other titles by this author include: WINTER OF THE WOLF MOON

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