Die a Stranger: An Alex McKnight Novel

Steve Hamilton. Minotaur, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-64021-7
Every word counts in Edgar-winner Hamilton’s masterful ninth novel featuring ex-cop Alex McKnight (after 2011’s Misery Bay). McKnight, who rents out cabins on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is trying to put his time in the Detroit PD behind him, while his best friend, Vinnie Red Sky LeBlanc, mourns the death of his mother, Hazel. Considered a mother to the entire Bay Mills Indian Community, Hazel mistook Vinnie shortly before her death for his estranged father. The older LeBlanc killed three people while driving drunk, a crime that made Vinnie a teetotaler. Given Vinnie’s strong antipathy toward alcohol, McKnight is shocked to find his friend knocking back a few scotches in a bar one night. Vinnie’s disappearance soon after may be connected with illegal smuggling across the porous Canadian border. Through his emotionally intelligent characterizations, McKnight transforms what could have been a mundane plot into a sensitive exploration of tragedy and redemption. Author tour. Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2012
Release date: 07/03/2012
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