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

Steve Hamilton
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 2002 Alex McKnight Mysteries (Book 3)

Alex McKnight is sipping his beer in the Glasgow Inn when Randy Wilkins, a friend from his days in Detroit, turns up out of the blue. Finally he gets to the point. Randy's in love with a girl called Maria and wants to find her. The only problem being that he last saw her thirty years ago. It's a test of friendship to say the least and, at first, Alex can't think of anything worse. But loyalty gets the better of him and together Alex and Randy go back to Detroit where, as a police officer, Alex got shot. The bullet is still lodged in his chest.

Their search for Maria leads them back to the past - a strange country which is unsavoury for Randy and painful for Alex as they hunt for Randy's lost love and Alex's lost life.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312980264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312980269
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,246,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

'The calendar said April, but April in Paradise is still cold enough to hurt you ' - a terrific Alex McKnight novel from award-winning Steve Hamilton. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born and raised in the Detroit area, Steve Hamilton lives in upstate New York with his wife and two children. He is a winner of the prestigious EDGAR AWARD. Visit his website: --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of twists to hold your interest 12 Jun 2009
By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER
Steve Hamilton writes books that read like Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series crossed with Lee Child. His hero, Alex McKnight, is a former police officer and one time baseball pitcher living the quiet life in northern Michigan. Out of the blue, Randy Wilkins - a former baseball teammate - turns up and asks Alex to help him track down an old flame who he hasn't seen in 30 years. The story starts slowly with what seems to be a simple "cherchez la femme" mission, but it quickly emerges that virtually no one and nothing is what it initially seems.

Steve Hamilton has created a likable protagonist (imagine a less violent, more human Jack Reacher), but his real gift is keeping the story twisting so that the reader's interest is sustained throughout. Everytime I thought I had a handle on how things would play out, it would surprise me. A nicely crafted thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Few Blustery Showers 13 Feb 2008
Alex McKnight is somewhat of a recluse, after serving 8 years as a Detroit police officer he decided to call it a day when he barely managed to stay alive after being shot and left for dead. Now he lives in the cold north of Michigan were he rents out his six cabins. During the off season he finds little to do so he has stumbled into becoming a private detective. Therefore, when an old friend from 30 years ago turns up looking for help finding a woman he knew when he was twenty; McKnight goes against his better judgment and decides to lend a helping hand. The road trip back to Detroit will lead to a far more dangerous investigation than McKnight would first realise with not everybody being who they seem at first.

`The Hunting Wind' is a relaxed action thriller whose laid back pace makes it an effortless read, but one devoid of great impetus. It does not really get started till page 100, and although the build up is fun it's still slow. When the action does occur it is good, but personally I could see some of the twists far too early. Hamilton also makes the mistake of trying the same trick twice and it fails. As another in the series of McKnight books its good, but as a stand alone novel it lacks anything for the new reader. It's a testament to Hamilton and his excellent McKnight books that `The Hunting Wind' feels so mediocre, the rest of the series is amongst the best in crime fiction.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ex- pitcher tracks down femme fatale 31 Mar 2003
Alex McNights ex baseball buddy comes to see him after some thirty years.
He is looking for an old flame. It rattles along with lots of lies and deceipt and is well written if slightly hard to swallow in the end.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  73 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific! 11 Jun 2001
By Charlotte Vale-Allen - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Hunting Wind was my introduction to Steve Hamilton and, wow, what a wonderful introduction! Here is a man who writes with humor, with assurance, and with plotting skills that are right up there with the best of the best; certainly a fine, convoluted, narrative Ross Macdonald would have been proud to have written. Alex McKnight is a weary, highly believable (and very human) former cop who once had a brief-lived baseball career. It is this former career that brings Randy Wilkins, the left-handed one-time pitcher, back into his life after thirty years. Randy is a charming chatterbox who, in many ways, is still the very young man who had a shot at the big time and blew it in the first inning of his one and only major league game. And it is Randy's desire to track down Maria, the love of his young life, that takes the two men on a journey so labyrinthine that much of the state of Michigan is traversed in pursuit of the woman. Along the way the two men encounter some of the most intriguing and eccentric characters ever to appear in print--most notably the exquisitely drawn Maria and the strangely touching Chief Rudiger.
Before writing this review I ordered Hamilton's two previous books, and I will certainly buy anything else he writes. Here is an author with enormous talent who deserves all the kudos and a wide audience.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAMILTON ONCE AGAIN DELIVERS!!! 4 July 2001
By Wayne C. Rogers - Published on
Steven Hamilton's newest book, THE HUNTING WIND, is another home run straight out of the park. He brings back Alex McKnight (A COLD DAY IN PARADISE & WINTER OF THE WOLF MOON) for a third outing that takes a hard look at the meaning of friendship and what it entails. McKnight is in the Glasgow Inn one cold night, drinking his favorite Canadian beer, when Randy Wilkins suddenly walks in to ask for his help in locating Maria Valenescu, a woman he once loved and whom he hasn't seen in thirty years. Normally, McKnight would say no to a case like this, but Wilkins was a close friend of his when they played together in the minor leagues over three decades ago, plus he's a hard man to refuse. Together, they begin to slowly track down Maria, using information on the Internet, birth records, and knocking on doors in the old neighborhoods around Detroit. Something, however, isn't quite right. When they finally locate Maria's family, both men are beaten up and almost killed by the woman's brother. It seems that Maria has been hiding from an individual named Charles Hardwood for several years. Hardwood used to be business partners with her husband, Arthur Zambelli. When Maria's husband was mysteriously murdered, she suspected that Hardwood was the one behind it so that he could take over their real estate business and marry her after everything quieted down. Maria didn't wait around. Out of fear for herself and her daughter, she took off, moving from place to place, barely managing to stay ahead of Hardwood and his private detectives. McKnight quickly realizes that he and Wilkins have gotten caught in the middle of something very deadly. It isn't until his friend is nearly killed, however, that our Michigan detective begins to understand that nothing is quite as it seems. Everyone appears to be lying and more people are definitely about to die. McKnight puts his life on the line in order to get through the tangled web of deceit, trusting no one, not even the man who was once his best friend, fighting the temptation to run as he seeks to learn the truth of who Maria really is. THE HUNTING WIND explores the bond of friendship and what it means. Through the character of Alex McKnight, we are able to learn that the image we have of someone close to us is often only a partial glimpse into the actual person. People change, people wear masks to hide their true nature, and people lie to either protect themselves or to get what they want. How good do we actually know our friends, and how far are we willing to go for the sake of friendship? These are questions posed by the author that every man must answer sooner or later. As with his first two novels, Mr. Hamilton once again weaves an intriguing tale with underlying subplots and riveting suspense, carrying the reader on a meandering path, whose final destination is unknown. The characters are vivid and true to life, making us care, hate, desire, mistrust, and ultimately to believe in them. I especially liked Maria, feeling the intense desire for her that McKnight experiences, knowing that it would be easy for any man to succumb to her seductive manipulations. The prose is taut with not a word wasted, and it grabs the reader by the shirttails in the first couple of paragraphs, demonstrating what good writing is all about. With just three novels, Steve Hamilton has managed to take his place amongst the top authors in the field of "mystery" writing. If you're an individual who likes the "Matthew Scudder" series by Lawrence Block or the "Dave Robicheaux" books by James Lee Burke, then give the novels by Steve Hamilton a shot. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warming Up To Alex 14 April 2002
By sweetmolly - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In "Cold Day in Paradise," I thought Alex McKnight was a nervous breakdown waiting to happen. In "Winter of the Wolf Moon," I thought depression was his middle name. In "Hunting Wind," I am pleased to say Alex has settled in for the long haul with dogged determination, a delightful sense of humor, and a trustfulness indeed rare in a full grown man. I think Kevin Costner should play him in the movies.
While imbibing his favorite Canadian beer in his bar of choice in Paradise, MI, the Glasgow Inn, Alex is confronted with a blast from the past, Randy Wilkins. He hasn't seen or heard from Randy, a former phenom left handed pitcher, since his minor league baseball days thirty years ago. Randy has used everything but a dog sled to get to Alex and informs him that he wants help in finding the love of his life, Maria. He hasn't seen her in thirty years either. Randy had one idyllic week with her at the height of his career (he'd been called up by the Detroit Tigers). Do any warning bells go off? Sort of, but Randy is a silver tongued devil and enchants the entire Glasgow Inn (not an easy feat.) Joe Lansdale would love this situation.
By some impressively slick detective work, Alex does by-God locate the elusive Maria. Then we get into the "be careful what you wish for, it may be granted" scenario. Everyone's character and story goes through massive shape shifting with Alex along for a rueful ride.
The dialogue is crisp and frequently hilarious. I have never read of an off-season resort town recounted so well. I particularly liked the one knot left untied: Randy. Maybe I'll figure him out by 2005.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read 15 Oct 2005
By In the AmaZone... - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hamilton does a fairly good representation of Upper Michigan and the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan/Ontario and area. Clearly he has spent enough time there to cite specific locations and directions, and he captures the atmosphere pretty good, if somewhat cliche. The location lends a different backdrop to basic plotlines, and he works that backdrop into the stories in this series. A refreshing approach to a well used genre.

This is a good weekend read and very enjoyable -perfect for an afternoon by the pool or a rainy weekend at the cottage. It is a little on the 'easy reading' side of things, and not as involved plotwise as something by Ludlum or Clancy, but it is very easy to fall into the story very quickly, or pick it up again after a break. A good style for a tired mind after a busy week. I have recommended this series to others and will continue to do so as I look forward to the next book.

-Start at the beginning, as parts of the stories build on each other.

A Cold Day In Paradise 2000

Winter of the Wolf Moon 2001

The Hunting Wind 2002

North of Nowhere 2003

Blood is the Sky 2004

Ice Run 2005
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This author has leapt to the top of my list 31 Oct 2001
By Lorraine Milligan - Published on
Steve Hamilton has a natural grace as a storyteller. His character is compassionate and decent, yet filled with mischief. I hope the next novel is not too long in coming. Keep up the great work.
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