Lying face down on the floor with a gun to the back of his head is where Alex McKnight finds himself after a game of cards turns into a professional heist at the home of local developer Win Vargas. When the dust settles, McKnight is one of police chief Roy Maven’s lead suspects. Worse, Vargas’s own sense of vigilante justice has targeted the former private eye as well, and the brash millionaire may be responsible for the sudden disappearance of Alex’s best friend Jackie.Now, with officials pointed in the wrong direction and his closest allies either missing or in jail, Alex knows he is the only one who can uncover the truth. But McKnight can’t possibly know how dark this conspiracy truly is – or how close to guilt he actually stands.
©2003 Steve Hamilton (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Agreeable plot twists (the revelation of whodunit really is a surprise) and thoughtfully engages some larger questions about wilderness real estate developments and the limits of friendship.” (Washington Post)
By which I mean the narrator is overqualified for the material.
This is an OK mystery, but I had the feeling Steve Hamilton didn't put his all into it. Some of the scenes and plot elements seemed contrived, the dialog sounded a little stilted, and the denouement was vaguely unsatisfactory. I had no trouble putting it aside when something else wanted my attention. If you can apply the expression "page-turner" to an audiobook, this wasn't one of those. Nonetheless, it keeps the Alex McKnight series moving right along. And it's a sight better than that strange Hamilton novel (and Edgar winner!) "The Lock Artist".
Dan John Miller has risen rapidly up my list of favorite narrators. He and Grover Gardner are excellent at portraying the classic private eye, like Philip Marlowe or Nate Heller. Miller's talents are a bit wasted on this particular work, but that means he probably boosted the overall ranking up from 3 stars. On the down side, I don't really know the Canadian accent, and I'm not sure Dan John does either. Isn't there more to it than pronouncing "about" as "aboot"?
I was a little curious about the title. It comes from one line in one of the book's sub-plots, but it doesn't really have much to do with the main plot. It is sort of catchy sounding though, so maybe that's why.
You won't be disappointed, just not thrilled. It's worth a credit.
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