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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense and terrific
Alex McKnight is an ex-cop and occasional private investigator who lives the quiet life in northern Michigan. One cold winter's night, he receives a visit from his adversary, Police Chief Roy Maven. But this time round, Maven has come to ask for a favour. The teenage son of Maven's former partner has committed suicide (in aptly named Misery Bay), and the boy's grieving...
Published on 18 Jun. 2011 by Julia Flyte

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant way to while away a couple of hours
I don't normally start in the middle of a series of books but this had good end of year reviews and I got it cheap. The premise is that a young man has committed suicide in the middle of winter at a place called Misery Bay, miles from anywhere and deep in snow. His father can't cope with not knowing why and so enlists the help of his friend in the local police who then...
Published 23 months ago by Plucked Highbrow


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense and terrific, 18 Jun. 2011
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Alex McKnight is an ex-cop and occasional private investigator who lives the quiet life in northern Michigan. One cold winter's night, he receives a visit from his adversary, Police Chief Roy Maven. But this time round, Maven has come to ask for a favour. The teenage son of Maven's former partner has committed suicide (in aptly named Misery Bay), and the boy's grieving father is desperate to know why he might have done this. Alex reluctantly agrees to talk to the boys' friends, and it seems that the matter will end there. Until something happens which makes it clear that in fact things are far from settled.

I love Hamilton's writing because it's as much about the characters as it is about the mystery, but make no mistake - this is a terrific mystery that develops at a steady pace, twisting and turning and building tension as it goes. I was reminded in some ways of Lee Child's book The Visitor, when Reacher is more of a sleuth than a muscle man. The action takes place across Michigan and you get a very tangible sense of what the different places are like (and yes, they are all real places).

This is the eighth book in the Alex McKnight series. It's not necessary to have read the others, but you'll pick up more nuances in the characters' interactions if you have. Plus, it's a terrific series. The first book is A Cold Day In Paradise.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McKnight is back..., 5 Feb. 2012
By 
Raven (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Misery Bay (Hardcover)
Having waited (almost) patiently for four years for the next instalment of the Alex McKnight series I tucked myself up for an evening in front of the fire and immersed myself in this tale of wintry despair, suicide and murder.

What never fails to disappoint with Hamilton's writing is his depiction of place and atmosphere. As a reader you are transported to the snowy bleakness of the shores of Lake Superior or the warm confines of McKnight's watering hole the Glasgow Inn and you feel that you are really getting the authenticity of each location.

Likewise you never have to take `leaps of faith' as in Hamilton's drawing of characters or plot-line, you really believe that people can act in the way they do for whatever reason. McKnight's formerly frosty relationship with police chief Roy Maven reaches a new level of grudging mutual respect as they find themselves drawn into this convoluted investigation and it's a joy to behold.

The plot-line is exceptionally well-executed and the story twists and turns keeping the reader on the back foot as our intrepid duo seek to unveil a killer targeting law enforcement officers and their families.

If you have not read Hamilton yet I would heartily recommend him- you will not be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jump right in..., 19 Feb. 2012
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Misery Bay was my first encounter with Steve Hamilton's series about ex-cop Alex McKnight. Set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, what can indisputably be said is that a sense of place is very quickly and firmly established. Despite this being (I think) the eleventh in a seies, Hamilton doesn't take shortcuts to appease old readers and alienate the new. We are always conscious of where we are. The plot is straightforward - McKnight's old non-buddy asks him for help in investigating the suicide of the son of a US Marshall. Reluctantly assisting, McKnight and the non-buddy soon realise there's a lot more going on than it at first seems, as murder follows murder. The FBI get involved and (here's my only real cavil) some predictable antagonism brews up between our heroes and the Feds. I suppose this schism helps the plot along a bit - how could our hero make all the discoveries himself if he was chumming up to the G-Men? - but it's a bit prosaic.

But that's all I can offer by way of criticism: From very early on, I was there, not in my warm suburban sitting room, but standing on Misery Bay, watching my breath chill on the cold Michigan air. Good stuff.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant way to while away a couple of hours, 13 April 2013
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This review is from: Misery Bay (Paperback)
I don't normally start in the middle of a series of books but this had good end of year reviews and I got it cheap. The premise is that a young man has committed suicide in the middle of winter at a place called Misery Bay, miles from anywhere and deep in snow. His father can't cope with not knowing why and so enlists the help of his friend in the local police who then calls in Alex McKnight, a PI with a history. The father is then killed and so begins a pattern of 'suicides' of the children of a number of policemen followed by their murders. McKnight looks for the link.

So far, so routine. In fact this is a routine and predictable story, I had worked out the identity of the killer by about halfway but needed the ends tying up. It's a perfectly enjoyable book, easy to read and exciting enough to grip but is not going to change the world.

The one thing that lifts this book above the ordinary is the sense of place. The Great Lakes area is unfamiliar and the writing about the people of this area and the way they cope with the harsh weather is excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely brilliant, 19 April 2012
Steve Hamilton is in my top 3 thriller writers along with Lee Child and Michael Connelly. His Alex McKnight series is absolutely brilliant and best read in order if you can. This latest thriller is as good if not better than any of them - not like some authors e.g Grisham whose work has deteriorated the more he writes. The scene setting is fantastic and transports you to another world of snow and freezing temperatures. You feel like you are actually there or certainly would like to experience that part of the frozen world. The characters are very well portrayed and realistic and the plot great in its detail. His endings are comprehensive and dont leave you in the dark at all - not always happy but then neither is real life. This is not a book you can put down or not for long anyway. Only problem is you therefore,finish the book too quickly and now have to wait for him to write his next one. That cannot come soon enough.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another exciting page turning Alex McKnight novel, 12 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Misery Bay (Alex McKnight Book 8) (Kindle Edition)
After several McKnight books I really feel that I know the characters and the area that McKnight and his acquaintances live in. Again Hamiton has painted has painted a vivid picture of life in snow bound Michigan. .The plot was woven in such a way that for some time I was kept guessing. Mavern's softer side was exposed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual story with a twist., 25 July 2013
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This review is from: Misery Bay (Alex McKnight Book 8) (Kindle Edition)
This kept me guessing to almost the end. The only drawback I found was that being set in America and an area no familiar it was difficult the follow at times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book review, 9 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Misery Bay (Alex McKnight Book 8) (Kindle Edition)
I have enjoyed everyone of Alex Mcknight's adventures, love the characters, can't wait for another one to come out, hope it is soon
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5.0 out of 5 stars Literary crime at its best, 30 Dec. 2012
By 
S. J. Blackburn (West Yorks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Misery Bay (Alex McKnight Book 8) (Kindle Edition)
I am surprised Hamilton is not better known. He writes beautifully and his characters are 3 dimensional and sympathetic. His stories are original in a very crowded genre. I love the sense of place, few of us have visited this area and I don't think the tourist board will thank him but it is fascinated to be transported to the Great Lakes. In my view this is one of his best.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Misery Bay, 9 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Misery Bay (Alex McKnight Book 8) (Kindle Edition)
Reasonably involving. Felt a little reminiscent of others one has read. However, there was a sense of place which was quite well evoked. A fairly good read with a good crescendo.
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