Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Addendum to Hamilton series

I continued with my intention to complete the Alex McKnight series by Steve Hamilton, and I have just read the final volume (so far). I read the two fill-in books that I missed (#2 and #4), and just read the last two, Misery Bay and Die A Stranger.

On Goodreads, the star ratings are, from one to five: did not like it, it was okay, liked it, really liked it, and it was amazing! While none of this series quite made it to amazing for me, book #4 (North of Nowhere) and the last two received four stars.

These three were particularly satisfying because of the unexpected twists that Hamilton introduced into the plots. North of Nowhere features a poker game that Alex attends just by chance, with his friend Jackie (proprietor of the Glasgow Inn), only to be held up at gunpoint by a trio of masked men; but where this mystery finally takes him by the end is just far-fetched enough to feel true.

Misery Bay sees Alex back in his uneasy role of private detective as a favor to a man who simply wants to understand why his son would commit suicide when it seemed like he had everything to live for. But while looking into the last days of the young man's life, Alex uncovers similarities to other suicides in the region and discovers an odd connection that proves elusive until the suspenseful, action-packed end of the book.

And the ending of Die A Stranger, which focuses on Alex's best friend, the Ojibwa blackjack dealer Vinnie LeBlanc, makes me wonder what Hamilton will do next? Can Alex really keep such dark secrets from those he loves the best?

As I said in my previous review, this series really was a builder and a grower, but it has grown into something to which I will return whenever the next episode appears!

Parenthetically, I also enjoyed living vicariously through the Upper Peninsula Michigan winters with Alex. I think that if you actually lived there, these books might resonate with you because of the fellow feeling you would have for surviving that extreme climate, but as a Californian I got to have some winter in my reading, even though we haven't been having much winter in our weather!

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