A superb new Alex McKnight novel from Edgar award-winning author Steve Hamilton.
It is February in Paradise, Michigan, and for the first time since moving there, Alex is taking a hard look at his life. This is what happens when a middle-aged solitary guy falls in love. The woman is Natalie Reynaud, an officer from the Ontario Provincial Police whose partner has recently been killed. As far as the OPP are concerned, Natalie is responsible for her partner's death. She needs a break - from the past as well as the present.
Alex and Natalie spend a romantic weekend together, but just as everything seems to be going so well, they are disturbed by someone who knows all about Natalie, and about a dark episode buried in her family's past which still drives men to violence.
As much as Natalie doesn't want Alex to get involved, there's no way he can let her face this danger alone. After all, he's been beaten up and shot at, all to help a friend in need. How much further would he go for the woman he loves?
This gripping, roller-coaster read, the sixth in Hamilton's Alex McKnight series, commences in the forlorn burg of Paradise, Mich., where ex-cop Alex ekes out a living renting cabins to snowmobilers from "down below." Alex's conspicuous consumption of salads and newly dyed hairdo alert his pub owner/protector that he's smitten with someone. But love isn't enough to shield Alex and Constable Natalie Reynaud, on leave from the Ontario Provincial Police, from the violent fallout of a Reynaud family secret. A merciless snowstorm threatens Alex's plans for a rendezvous with the traumatized Natalie, who witnessed the killing of her partner in Blood Is the Sky (2003), but they meet halfway at a charming hotel on the Canadian border. A cryptic note in an old Homburg hat left outside their room arouses Alex's curiosity. McKnight, with the aid of his former PI partner Leon Prudell, plumbs local Prohibition history to find the seed of enmity between two destructively intertwined clans. His efforts earn him a brutal beating, an incomprehensible breach with Natalie and the discovery of more than one untimely death. Hamilton expertly delivers sharply etched characters, a vivid setting and a thoroughly enjoyable hero, leaving us breathless, perched at the edge of our seats for this chilly ride. FYI: Hamilton has won Edgar, Anthony and Shamus awards.