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This is the ninth book in Steve Hamilton's terrific series about Alex McKnight, an ex-cop who lives a quiet life in Paradise, northern Michigan. At the centre of this story is his friendship with Ojibwa Indian Vinnie LeBlanc, who abruptly disappears while grieving the death of his mother. Alex is concerned and becomes more so when he realises there may be a connection between Vinnie's disappearance and a local drug smuggling operation which has gone violently wrong. He teams up with a long lost member of Vinnie's family and their investigation will lead them all over the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, trying to stay one step ahead of an extremely nasty and very angry drug baron.

This is a taut, twisting story that builds tension as it goes and doesn't let up, but it also contains very real and fleshed out characters. There is so much to like about Hamilton's writing - highly engaging, in parts gently humourous and at other times downright nerve-wracking.

You could read this as a standalone novel, but you'll pick up more nuances in the characters' interactions if you have read others in the series - and it's SUCH a good series! The first book is A Cold Day In Paradise, though I actually started somewhere in the middle and that was fine too. I was delighted to find out that Paradise is a real place and one day I am determined to visit it.
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on 31 August 2012
I have read all of Steve Hamilton's books. The Series about Alex McKnight is absolutely one of the best running mystery series currently being published. This latest book is no exception. The Story is fully believable and the characters are real people acting out in a situation that is changing for the worse in almost every chapter. Mr Hamilton's writing is very well developed and you just jump into the story and go with the flow. It is a pure pleasure to read.

This time the story ends in a way that indicates future and even more dramatic events. prefect. I can't wait for more of his books.
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on 20 June 2015
I am surprised Steve Hamilton is not better known in the UK. His books are among the finest in the genre, he creates an excellent sense of place and atmosphere.
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on 14 March 2014
The further exploits of not quite PI Alex McNight in another fast paced thriller with minor niggles, for example they drive around half of Michigan State and never stop for fuel but then no-one in this type of book has a pee either. Very enjoyable and I shall be reading the next as I have all the other books in the series.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 August 2012
Ace crime writer Steve Hamilton continues his popular Alex McKnight series with his usual clear, straight-talking presentation and slow mounting suspense. Die A Stranger is a pleasure to read and impossible to put down.

Ex police officer Alex has been living a mostly solitary existence in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for some time. His best and perhaps only friend is Vinnie LeBlanc, an Ojibwa Indian who has left the reservation and built a cabin of his own. When Vinnie's mother dies he is devastated. He seems distraught by the idea that while on her death bed she mistook Vinnie for his father, a man who was serving time for killing some people while driving drunk. Vinnie has sworn off alcohol, would never touch the stuff because of what it did to his father. Thus, it's even more perplexing when Alex finds him on the night of his mother's funeral downing one Scotch after another.

To further muddy the waters the next day Vinnie is gone. Alex soon discovers that Buck, Vinnie's cousin is also missing. To top all of this off Alex's search for his friend takes him to the airport which is awash with police cars and there are five dead bodies. The explanation? "It looks like a drug delivery gone bad. That plane over there is Canadian registered and it's stuffed to the rafters with bags of marijuana..."

Surely Vinnie had nothing to do with this. The timing of Vinnie's disappearance coinciding with the killings is just coincidence. Or, is it? Next, things really get dicey when a stranger appears in town also looking for Vinnie.

Leave it to this skillful, imaginative author to hold readers enthralled with one more gripping tale.


- Gail Cooke
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on 12 May 2013
I love his books and as my library didn't look as if they were going to stock it I had to wait and buy it. Not disappointed at all and great delivery
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on 3 June 2013
I love the stories about the Michigan Penninsular and now have all the books. if you enjoy American stories Hamilton is a good author.
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