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A Cold Day in Paradise ()


Edgar Award Winner: Best First Novel (1999)

Steve Hamilton's debut entry in the Alex McKnight won both the Shamus and Edgar awards for best first novel.  McKnight is a former Detroit policeman now living in the Upper Penninsula town of Paradise.  He was shot three times--one of the bulletts remains lodged near his heart--and his partner killed, by a madman named Maximillian Rose.  Now, as McKinight reluctantly investigates the killing of two local bookies, it seems that Rose, who is supposed to be in prison, has entered his life again.

Mr. Hamilton offers a mildly unconventional P. I. in McKnight, who is still openly traumatized by his shooting, and the encounter with Rose generally, and who is carrying on an affair with his friend and client's wife.  These two facets of the novel are apparently what grabbed folks' attention.  Personally, I thought they made McKnight rather off-putting.   Detectives like Lew Archer were pretty routinely frightened by the plight of their clients and would routinely fall in love with one or more of the women involved in the case, even if married--Sam Spade was even getting his phreak on with his partner's wife at the beginning of The Maltese Falcon.  So, it's hard to see these twists as particularly unusual and once you take away the novelty factor you're left with a competent but somewhat formulaic Thomas Harris rip-off, right down to the prison confrontation, and a detective who's hard to root for.

(Reviewed:)

Grade: (C)

  

Websites:

Book-related and General Links:
    -Steve Hamilton--Official Site
    -INTERVIEW : BookBrowser Interview: Steve Hamilton (Jo Peters, October 2001)
    -INTERVIEW : Interview with Steve Hamilton (Jon Jordan, 9/24/01, Books n Bytes)
    -INTERVIEW : The Education of Steve Hamilton (Anthony Rainone, January Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of Cold Day in Paradise (Mystery Ink)
    -REVIEW of THE HUNTING WIND by Steve Hamilton ( J. Kingston Pierce, January Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of North of Nowhere (Anthony Rainone, January Magazine)
    -REVIEW : of North of Nowhere (Victoria Esposito-Shea, HandHeld Crime)
    -AWARD : Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1999

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