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A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton

A Cold Day in Paradise (1998)

by Steve Hamilton

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This book has been on my ereader for years. I think I bought it based on a friend's recommendation but I can't remember. I know I've almost started it several times but never actually got around to starting it. I decided to finally read it when I needed a title with a temperature in it for the What's in a Name Challenge.

Now that I have read it, I plan to continue with the series. Alex McKnight used to be a Detroit cop until he and his partner got shot. His partner died and Alex still carries around a bullet lodged in his body. He's now living in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and is working as a private detective.

I liked the main character and I liked the setting. The mystery was interesting and kept me guessing. I'm curious to find out where the author will go with this series. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Apr 24, 2019 |
Having met Steve Hamilton at an author event at my local independent bookstore, I knew I would have to read one of his books. There's a lot to like about A Cold Day in Paradise, and I can see why it won the awards it did. The setting is excellent and really gives readers a feel for life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The writing is marvelous, too, and really pulled me into the story as well as leaving me with several quotes that are stuck in my mind. (How about the one describing the man who left a bullet next to McKnight's heart? "I looked into his eyes. It was like looking down a mine shaft and seeing all the way down to hell.") The scene describing McKnight and his partner getting shot is particularly gripping.

I also liked the mystery. It's complex and certainly not easy to solve, although if you tend to be a reader who insists that all loose ends are tied up, the resolution may not be quite your cup of tea.

As I said, there's a lot to like about A Cold Day in Paradise. My problem is... I never really warmed up to Alex McKnight. To me, he's a bit of a wuss, and my opinion began to be formed when he and his partner were still alive. Of course, I have to be honest and admit that I have no earthly clue how I would react under the exact same trauma, but in all fairness, my feelings do not center completely on McKnight and his bullet. I won't go into detail because I want to avoid spoilers.

Since I'm not entirely sure that I want to read another McKnight mystery, I think the next Steve Hamilton novel I will read will be The Lock Artist. I look forward to it. The man knows how to write. ( )
  cathyskye | Dec 23, 2018 |
This is a terrific mystery with a real noir feel to it. And by that, I don't mean a tough guy doing a bad Sam Spade imitation. The detective, Alex McKnight, is a lonely man with a lot of personal issues, a soured romance with his best friend's wife, and a bullet lodged in his chest. When people start dying, his dark universe gets even darker, and he cannot rest (literally - he can't sleep) until he makes sense of it. The mood and main character are enough to make me enjoy the book, but as an added bonus, the mystery is great - the ending was completely surprising and completely satisfying. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Good effort, rather simple story. ( )
  sberson | Oct 15, 2016 |
Once Alex was a policeman in Detroit. Then he got shot, leaving one of the bullets close to his heart and he retired to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, close to the lake and tending the cabins that his father built once upon a time. Somewhere along the line, he got convinced to work as an investigator for a lawyer, making the previous investigator a bit unhappy. Despite that, things are going just fine - until a body shows up.

It would have been a regular case for the police except that some of the clues point to a man that is in jail. A second body and even more clues in the same direction make the police actually look at Alex (not surprising - almost a standard for a start of a PI series). But despite being expected, it works - the story is different enough, the backstory is fascinating. And the sense of the locale is handled masterfully.

It takes a while for the story to start pointing to what really happened and when it does, it took me by surprise. But looking back it is logical and it works. It is a good start of a series and Alex is a fascinating character. However - the end allows for it to have remained a standalone. And I want to see how Hamilton will continue the series. ( )
  AnnieMod | Jun 13, 2016 |
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To Julia and Nicholas
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There is a bullet in my chest, less than a centimeter from my heart.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312969198, Mass Market Paperback)

Doing their best to ensure the future of the genre, St. Martin's Press and the Private Eye Writers of America give out an award every year for the Best First Private Eye Novel. The 1997 winner was this splendidly evocative work by IBM employee Steve Hamilton, which takes just about every cliché in the field and turns it inside out. Yes, Alex McKnight was an athlete in his youth--but a minor league baseball player, not a top pro forced out by injury. And yes, he was a cop in Detroit before he moved up to the town of Paradise on the shores of Lake Superior--but even this overused genre icon is made believable by the details of a particularly bloody shootout. In Paradise, Alex runs a hunting camp built by his late father and only drifts into private investigations because of two friends, a persuasive lawyer and a local millionaire with a gambling problem who needs his help. When two bookmakers are murdered and the millionaire disappears, all the signs point to the psychopath who killed McKnight's partner and left a slug near Alex's heart 14 years before. The only problem is that this man has definitely, positively been in prison ever since. You might figure out the plot twists a page or two before McKnight does, but don't bet the farm on it. And the deep layer of details that Hamilton provides about life in this bleak part of the world add to the book's many pleasures. --Dick Adler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:13 -0400)

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Other than the bullet lodged less than a centimeter from his heart, former Detroit police officer Alex McKnight thought he had put the nightmare of his partner's death and his own near-fatal injury behind him. After all, Maximilian Rose, convicted of the crimes, has been locked in the state pen for years, But in the small town of Paradise, Michigan, where McKnight has traded his badge for a cozy cabin in the woods, a murderer with Rose's unmistakable trademarks appears to be back to his killing ways. With Rose locked away, McKnight can't understand who else would know the intimate details of the old murders-- not to mention the signature blood-red rose left on his doorstep. And it seems like it'll be a frozen day in Hell before McKnight can unravel the cold truth from a deadly deception in a town that's anything but Paradise.… (more)

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