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A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight, #1)
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A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  5,984 Ratings  ·  541 Reviews
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 trad ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 15th 2000 by Minotaur Books (first published 1998)
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May 30, 2015 Monnie rated it really liked it
When it comes to credit, it must be given where it's due: this time, it goes to our multi-talented daughter-in-law, Lilla, for finding this series. Truth is, she didn't find it for me - but rather for my husband Jack. When it comes to books, he and I have similar tastes, but he's much harder to please. Turns out he loved this one (and as I write this, I believe he's in the middle of the eighth book in the series) - and he's been so enthusiastic about every single one that I simply had to see for ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime

An interesting enough mystery that kept my attention and didn’t out stay its welcome but will be one I will no doubt forget before the turkey has even been carved. A private investigator in a remote location looking at his own inner demons whilst trying to hunt down a killer and possible crazy lunatic who seems to be hunting him down. The style of writing was a breeze to get through here and the book was relatively short considering there were a number of things going on so credit where cred
Oct 07, 2008 Craig rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers, Michael Connelly fans
Recommended to Craig by:
"The Year of Mystery Continues!"... This book was a great surprise! I picked it up at Partners & Crime after discovering it on the "first in a series" display, after I noticed that a) it's set in Michigan (had just got back from a week's vacation there), b) it won the Edgar Award for best first novel, and c) it's relatively short and I was looking for a break from another book that I was having a hard time getting into. The overall premise seems formulaic at first - former cop now PI encount ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Stacy rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first 15 chapters of the book. In fact, I mentioned it to a friend as a book to look for. And then we reached chapter 16 and the entire book went weird. As in, I wondered if I had accidentally plugged in the wrong book. A suspect suddenly appears, the former cop makes a series of stupid B-movie decisions and an implausible showdown occurs. At that point, the end seems clear but I listed to the next few chapters while I waited for him to figure it out. I finally reached chapter 22 a ...more
This was a pretty interesting mystery with a damaged main character who has to come to grips with his fear. His phobia or PTSD (He was a cop who got shot on the job.) is the main thread running through the story. Occasionally it was a bit much & it was a long, twisty road to a satisfying end. Very well read.

The path was a bit too long & the characters weren't particularly well developed save for a couple of main ones. Several were just caricatures, but this was his first book. I came clo
May 26, 2014 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
A former Detroit cop, having been wounded in the line of duty, settles deep in the woods, chopping wood and serving as a PI on the side ... all while having an affair with his "best" friend's wife. What could be wrong with this picture? Other than the fact that he's a Detroit cop living in the woods and betraying his friend, it appears the man who shot him multiple times and who murdered his partner is back, leaving red roses, notes, dead bodies, and wanting to relive the past.

Winner of the Edg
May 22, 2014 Hallie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Not bad mystery, with an interesting small-town Michigan setting. I only picked this up because it got recommended in a vague "readers also liked" kind of way for Julia Spencer-Fleming's books. Small town setting it had, ex-cop now PI for ex-army now chief-of-police it had, but other than that - Alex is no Russ, though he's mostly a pretty decent guy. I don't even know what to say about the "love interest" (it wasn't love)/ex (of an affair, as she's married)/clichéd gorgeous but maybe heartless ...more
Feb 25, 2011 Roberta rated it it was amazing
I agree that the overall premise seems formulaic at first - former cop now PI encounters a killer reminiscent of the case that ended his career. None the less I found that Alex McKnight is a detective that I can care about and I didn't guess the end too soon. It was also one of those books that makes me start casting the movie in my head which is a good sign.

I agree that this series is a "You might also like" for the earlier Julia Spencer-Fleming books. I would also recommend it to someone who
Scott Rhee
Jul 28, 2013 Scott Rhee rated it liked it
Alex McKnight was a Detroit police officer who witnessed the brutal murder of his partner and was nearly killed himself (he still has a bullet lodged an inch from his heart) by a psychopath named Rose. For fourteen years, McKnight has lived with the knowledge that Rose is behind bars. It's been a long, cold fourteen years, and McKnight doesn't carry the badge or the gun anymore. He lives in a quiet, uneventful little town called Paradise in the Upper Peninsula area of Michigan, far from Detroit ...more
Jun 24, 2013 Gary rated it really liked it
I read this book after a Goodread friend suggested I try reading Steve Hamilton. Sorry for my ignorance but I had never heard of him but decided to read his first novel anyway.
How glad I am, I got into the book instantly and finished it the same day. The style of the book reminds me of one of my favourite authors, Harlan Coban. The story is fast paced and full of action and more than a hint of humour.
Thank you Jan I will be reading more of this author.
Feb 13, 2013 Harry rated it liked it
Cautionary note: this review was written after reading the first novel in this series. Series reviews are fickled, unpredictable, and sometimes downright wrong if you base the entire series review on just the first puzzled bite. Maybe the cold weather outside's is making me grumpy, or I just don't wanna go all the way downtown to work, or maybe I just don't feel like pouring honey over my cereal. Whatever!

Not that this isn't a good read. I finished it in record time. Frowning for an acceptable
Paul Secor
A generic private eye mystery, but done with emotional intensity, which takes it somewhat above the norm.
I read this for a somewhat unusual reason - a friend of mine, who had some contact with Mr. Hamilton when they were both technical writers at IBM, sent me a link to a WSJ article about him and his books. Not a usual reason I'd read a book, but I'm glad I did.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Alex McKnight still thinks like the Detroit police officer he was for 8 years; however, he is still suffering from PTSD and three healed bullet wounds. He retired 14 years ago on partial disability and now takes care of vacation property his deceased father had bought in Paradise, Michigan. Five cabins were built on the forest acreage, and McKnight keeps himself fit chopping wood and delivering it to the deer hunters who rent the cabins. Despite the stiffness of his shoulder and the bullet still ...more
Darrell Delamaide
Oct 20, 2011 Darrell Delamaide rated it really liked it
Steve Hamilton's debut novel won both the Edgar and Shamus awards for first novel, and it is indeed very good. The writing is crisp, the voice fresh, the first-person main character, Alex McKnight, is well-drawn, able but flawed and mostly sympathetic.

And it is certainly a page-turner. After about the first third, you will want to finish the book at a single sitting because the author paces the suspense well.

But it is a first novel and not perfect. There are some big holes in the plot. The most
Narrator: Nick Sullivan

I'm not a fan of ex-cop, now-PI stories and this first Alex
McKnight book is a prime example why - Alex has no "teeth", (something Michael Connelly realized and so returned Harry Bosch to the force). Throughout the book, I found the protagonist a weak character, both professionally, and personally (as he puts it - fucking his friend's wife), and not having the balls to stand up to his friend's mother but constantly giving in to the overbe
Nov 11, 2011 Keri rated it really liked it
What is an ex-cop on 3/4s disability pay with a bullet still lodged near his heart to do with his time? Become a PI of course and in UP Paradise Michigan, Alex feels he will probably have alot of time on his hands and get paid for it. Right??? Up until that first murder, then the second and oh those notes left for Alex, they let him know real quick, his past ain't staying buried for long...nope it intends to come up and slap him right in the face.

SH is a brand new author for me and this will no
Dec 31, 2014 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Detroit policeman just shot in the line of duty and barely survives. The perp gets life in prison. The cop retires and moves back home to the Upper Peninsula where he takes on some P.I. work for a local lawyer. When a bookie gets shot and stabbed, it begins to look like the killer is is the same guy who shot the cop. But isn't he in prison?

This book has a pretty good story with a couple of really tense moments in it. But the wrap up contained some details that were a little hard to believe. So
L.A. Starks
Feb 03, 2013 L.A. Starks rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2013 Stefanie rated it liked it
I read this for my Detective Fiction course and was quite pleased with the plot. It was definitely more of a fast paced novels but there were some parts that where completely pointless.

McKnight was a nice protagonist and I enjoyed his back story as well.

A nice quick read if you like mysteries and psychopaths.
Cheryl Cooper
Aug 23, 2014 Cheryl Cooper rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book I hate. It's 11:00 pm and you need to get to bed but you think "just one more chapter to get to a good stopping place". Before you know it it's 1:00 am, you never found that good stopping place but you give up so you can get some sleep. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more about Alex McKnight.
Tom Swift
May 29, 2016 Tom Swift rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am late to this series and author. Retired from the Detroit PD, Alex McKnight owns some cabins for rent in the upper peninsula of Michigan. He is now a P.I., and a murder spree unfolds.
Feb 02, 2010 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mark Mallett,Ed Lynskey
Shelves: fiction, mystery
After I added The Lock Artist: A Novel to my To-Read queue, Steve asked if I had read any of author Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series. I had not, so I added it to my queue and found it at the library just a few days later. A Cold Day In Paradise opens the series and it is one excellent read!

Alex McKnight is an ex-cop from Detroit who moved back to his old summering place, Paradise, Michigan, where his dad built a set of hunting and fishing camps. He left the police force after a particularly
Gloria Feit
Aug 29, 2012 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it
This novel was the debut, in 1998, of the long-standing popular Alex McKnight series, introducing him as a Detroit cop, shot three times by a lunatic, forced to take a disability retirement three-quarters pension because one bullet remained near his heart and too dangerous to remove. So he left the Motor City and moved to the town of Paradise in the Upper Michigan Peninsula where his father had built several cabins for rental to hunters and winter recreationers. The man who shot him, one Maximil ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Dana rated it really liked it
I'm not usually one for detective stories, but when I went in search of another Steve Hamilton book I stumbled upon "A Cold Day In Paradise", and decided to give a try.  I was pleasantly surprised with this book.  After a slow start in the first 40 pages, this became an intriguing mystery I could not put down.   This wasn't a classic detective mystery where the story revolved around mundane interviews, which I don't prefer.  Instead, this was a mystery where the main character happened to be a d ...more
Becky ♡The Bookworm♡
Wow! I loved the fast pace of this book! The author did a great job of keeping things moving and the plot was very enjoyable. I loved all the surprises and twists. The story is told from Alex's perspective, a retired Detroit street cop who's partner was killed in the line of duty. Alex was also shot in the attack and fourteen years later is still struggling with PTSD. His "triggers" and the behaviors that followed were very realistic. I could feel his agony and fear from the first chapter. I wou ...more
Jun 29, 2012 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-modern
C1998. FWFTB: cabin, rose, Paradise, former, police-officer. I can not remember why I got hold of this book. And it is just too easy to be cheesy and say “It left me cold”. I was motoring along enjoying the pace and the dialogue and all was good. And then the end....well, I wasn’t totally convinced. “There are no sand beaches on Lake Superior, nothing that easy and inviting. Instead there are rocks, more rocks than there are starts in the sky, pounded and washed by the waves ever since the glaci ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Patty rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, readin-13
While traveling to the upper peninsula this weekend we listened to Steve Hamilton's first book in his Alex MeKnight mystery series. It takes place in the little town where we were going, Paradise.

I think Hamilton could have done so much more. McKnight is an ok main character but not very deep. I like it when a character has some little words that make me pause. (I did chuckle a few times though.) Or, if more of the silent type, then there better be some meaningful action. Driving back and forth
Aug 25, 2014 Ron rated it liked it
This book is a mostly enjoyable read for fans of the detective/crime novel genre. But it's nothing special.

Things I liked:

1. Fairly fast-paced, a couple good plot twists in the second half save what for a while appears to be a humdrum storyline.

2. The setting is Michigan's upper peninsula; Hamilton does a good job incorporating the setting into the story. If you're from there or have ever vacationed there, it's worth reading just for this.

Things I disliked:

1. The protagonist and a few charact
Feb 07, 2013 Marley rated it it was ok
This was not as good as I would have hoped. Here were my issues 1) I knew WHO did it half way through, didn't know how or any of the particulars but I kinda felt like it was obvious. 2) the dialog is not genuine at all. So many times characters would banter pretty antagonistically and the next sentence would say something like, "I thought I saw a smile" after he just told the guy to go to hell. WHAT? Was it supposed to be sarcastic? That contributes to 3) the characters felt so flat? one dimensi ...more
Maggie K
Oct 23, 2014 Maggie K rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
ok-this is the most implausible mystery I have read in a long time. It seemed the author was so intent on getting in jabs and jokes that the dialogue is just immature and unbelievable. This made the characters really one-dimensional, and stretched the plot really thin.

He had a police chief who calls up the prison and yells at the guards to quit eating donuts and get him some info???? A lawyer who keeps making home visits to check on his clients? The PI kees yelling and insulting the people he is
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THE SECOND LIFE OF NICK MASON, the start of a new series, will be out in May, 2016.

(Working on the next Alex McKnight book right now!)
More about Steve Hamilton...

Other Books in the Series

Alex McKnight (10 books)
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