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.
©2000 Steve Hamilton (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This is a well written book, the dialog between the characters is written with depth and realism and I loved it. One comment on the characters, they are a quirky lot and are fun to follow as you listen to the story. This book reminds me of some of the early mystery writers, as I stated in my headline like Agatha Christie, not high on the body count or action hero stuff, more Nero Wolf style, which I like. I would say that if you like some of the early mystery writers of the 1900's then you will like this book a lot. If you like a well written mystery but have never read any of the early mystery writers then you will like this book and will find it a great gateway to some wonderful classics in the wold of mystery writing.
No matter where you go, there you are.
It had to be one of the main characters, and it does not take long to figure out who's up to no good. The main character (all of them, but he in particular) is underdeveloped and not very attractive as the protagonist. Everyone in this thing is a nutcase or a wimp.
This guy needs to learn how to create attractive characters, even if they are evil. This plot has some promise, but the weak writing and poor editing make it more potent than Ambien.
I may try one more book by Hamilton, but I am not optimistic.
As an avid reader, I have worked my way through the real talent and now roam the periphery of the second (or lower) tier in search of quality writing. Suggestions welcome.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
The premise and story in this book is okay, average in terms of holding your interest. The setting up in the north woods area provides an interesting backdrop for the plot.
But..... I found the characters quite annoying and shallow. Specifically the main character is just not believable, he is a former cop and he says things like "if you don't shut up I'll punch you in the face, and I'll beat you up if you don't cooperate".... etc. This is not how people speak to one another, really he does this threatening dialog over and over and a few other characters do also and it is pretty silly actually. So I cannot recommend this book, sorry.
The protagonist in this book has virtually no redeeming qualities. He is not brave or smart and is constantly whining. He is constantly flying off the handle with little provocation and has more hang-ups than a telemarketer. When stalked by a homicidal maniac, he leaves his gun and flashlight laying around where he can't find them. He is so pathetic it is hard to root for him and difficult to understand why any of the supporting characters care about him at all.The author seems to be in love with himself and drags the predicable plot to the pace of a funeral procession by going off on descriptive prose tangents that appear to have no other purpose but to insert projects from his last writers clinic.There was one funny part when the protagonist's now deceased partner described how boring baseball is. Maybe that was a metaphor for the book itself but one laugh does not a book make.
Nothing by Steve Hamilton.
Good character separation.
Knowledge of the locales for the story earns high marks, and two or three scenes had well written tension, while most lacked any semblance of suspense or tension. Part, but not all, of the major problem for me is that the character is not believable.
His dialogue becomes almost comic at times, he repeats words in monologues and in direct address to the point of boredom and amateurish writing, he mutters and thinks out loud and from this he moves on to the next scene.
His character, an ex cop and now a PI, makes decisions that even a rookie cop would not make and don't seem justified in scenes meant to escalate his desire. He speaks like someone who has only seen 40's gangster films and wants to be one of those characters. At times he talks tough but there isn't anything behind it.
The dramatic thrust of the story doesn't hinge on situations or actions that engage the character, rather on his musings. He often simply ruminates in a monologue about wanting to find out more, then we go to a new scene. I never felt there was a strong thrust that kept me involved. This happens in the last two major sections of the book, where you want tension driving the character to risk and pull you, the reader, along.
I don't experience knowledge of a locale to be a substitute for engaging dramatic writing that is rich with tension, suspense and mystery.
I try to avoid comparing writers to other writers and let their work stand on its' own. Having said that, this story, for me, doesn't warrant a read or a listen.
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