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Misery Bay (Alex McKnight #8)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  2,481 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
On a frozen January night, a young man hangs himself in a lonely corner of the Upper Peninsula, in a place they call Misery Bay. Alex McKnight does not know this young man, and he won't even hear about the suicide until two months later, when the last person Alex would ever expect comes to him for help.

What seems like a simple quest to find a few answers will turn into a n
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published June 7th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 06, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it
A fast-paced interesting mystery with alot of great characters. The ending was a bit of a surprise, but it was believable. I really liked how Chief Maven and Alex McKnight worked together to solve the mystery, even though they didn't exactly like each other. Great dialogue, too. I will definitely be reading more books in this series.
Mark Stevens
Jul 07, 2011 Mark Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s a reason Steve Hamilton draws fine comments from the likes of Lee Child, George Pelecanos and many others at the rule at the top of the American mystery heap.

He’s very, very good. Nothing flashy, no gimmicks. Just good.

Hamilton is such a confident, powerful writer. He doesn’t rush or force anything. Despite the body pile-up in “Misery Bay,” the events don’t feel forced or contrived. There’s lots of plot and good detective work by Alex McKnight, but the whole book is so character-driven
Giovanni Gelati
Jun 04, 2011 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to end the week with a bang and I chose this novel to start it off.
Let’s get rolling on” Misery Bay”! Here is the synopsis:
“On a frozen January night, a young man loops one end of a long rope over the branch of a tree. The other end he ties around his neck. A snowmobiler will find him 36 hours later, his lifeless eyes staring out at the endless cold water of Lake Superior. It happens in a lonely corner of the Upper Peninsula, in a place they call Misery Bay, a good 250 miles west of Pa
Jun 13, 2011 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since Hamilton published an Alex McKnight mystery, but this book was worth the wait.

Alex is still drinking Canadian beer at the Glasgow Inn under the grumpy eye of barkeep Jackie, still working on rebuilding his cabins with Vinnie, still wondering why on earth he lives in a place where winter never seems to end. Everything in his life is reassuringly normal---and then he receives a plea for help from his arch nemesis, local police Chief Roy Maven. As strange as it seems to
Tim Niland
Aug 09, 2011 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
After enduring a sweltering summer here in the armpit of the nation, it was refreshing to read about snow and winter. Alex McKnight, a sometime private investigator in Upper Michigan is sought out one snowbound evening at his favorite bar by his erstwhile nemesis, the town's chief of police. The chief swallows his pride and asks for McKnight's help on a baffling case - the son of a friend and fellow officer has has committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. The chief wants McKnight to do ...more
May 10, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed for Library Journal:

There are not many places as remote or as unique as Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and few authors capture it better than Hamilton (whose stand-alone The Lock Artist won this year's Edgar Award for Best Novel). It has been six years since his last Alex McKnight novel (A Stolen Season), and eager fans won't be disappointed. McKnight, a former Detroit cop who retreated to the tiny town of Paradise after being shot and severely wounded by a psychopath who killed his partne
Jan 14, 2015 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, not a book I'd be attracted to by the title; but I've very much enjoyed this series, and this was the next in line. Winter in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is even more a character than usual in this outing, and the hero drives hither and yon over most of the UP several times. He and the local sheriff have hated each other with a visceral hatred since they met in the first book of the series; but here they are forced to investigate together (and I mean together, for hours, in the cab of ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Kmalbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Foster Winter
Mar 20, 2014 Foster Winter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've followed this series primarily because I'm familiar with, and love the locations. This story takes place in locations that, while in Michigan, are separated by more miles than NY to Detroit; from Bad Axe (yes there is such a place) to Houghton home of Michigan Tech University, a frozen but well respected school known for its engineering program. (Okay some of my kids went there so I am a bit biased).

Of course I may have been somewhat influenced by the fact that I read this soon after return
Aug 06, 2016 wally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hamilton
3 aug 16, another from hamilton for me...don't know what # this one is, just that i've read others. was out in vegas riding in the elevator to the top of the they call it the paris casino? elevator operator noticed my shirt. i think that's how it goes. something on my shirt about the u.p. 'up north' maybe? don't recall. asked if i've ever read any steve hamilton. no, haven't. i have since. been down near misery bay, too, fishing streams in the area.
onward, ever onward.
6 aug 16, fini
Oct 13, 2014 Ted rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Misery Bay marked the return of Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight character after a five-year hiatus. McKnight hasn't changed much, which is good news, but Hamilton's storytelling becomes more nuanced than he demonstrated in the series' first seven titles.

Hamilton's tendency has been to interrupt scene-setting passages with rapid-fire action sequences that can be abrupt. In the past we've met characters such as Ontario Provincial Police Officer Natalie Reynaud who was very likable, but after gettin
Larry Hoffer
Jan 04, 2012 Larry Hoffer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steve Hamilton may be one of the best crime/mystery writers in the literary world today. After his spectacular book The Lock Artist, Hamilton returns to the town of Paradise in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and his series of books featuring baseball player-turned-cop-turned-sometime-private investigator Alex McKnight. And it's truly like the return of an old friend, as Hamilton hooked me within the first few pages and kept me racing breathlessly until the book's conclusion.

One cold night, a colle
Ronald Roseborough
This one has more twists than a hangman's noose. Alex McNight is a part time private investigator and a full time retired Detroit police officer with a bullet lodged near his heart. He is reluctantly drawn from his rustic cabin in Paradise, Michigan, into the investigation of an apparent suicide of a young college student. The father, a U. S. Marshal, just wants to know why. Why would his son hang himself? Before Alex can report back from Misery Bay, the scene of the suicide, he finds the body o ...more
Craig Sisterson
Jun 17, 2012 Craig Sisterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thrillers
Following the acclaim for, and award-winning success of, his standalone thriller starring a mute safe-cracker, The Lock Artist, US crime writer Steve Hamilton brings back to the page his troubled hero, ex-cop Alex McKnight, for the first time in several years.

McKnight, a former city cop from Detroit still haunted by his own bloodstained past, finds himself investigating the hanging suicide of a young University student in the frozen wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – prodded by the most
Andreea Daia
Feb 11, 2012 Andreea Daia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, mystery, read-2012
This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program.

I thought that this was an excellent read from all points of view - character development, plot, and atmosphere. What attracted my at this novel was its realism. I sometimes find the detective figure to be over-the-top in a way or another (smart, witty, valiant to foolishness, or empathic). But there is nothing excessive about Alex McKnight: he makes mistakes, he is in no particular way courageous, his level of compass
Jim Nolt
"Misery Bay," the eighth in Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series, begins with an apparent suicide in a cold and desolate site on the upper peninsula of Michigan. Strangely, soon after the boy's father asks McKnight to look into the reasons behind his son's suicide, the father is found murdered. And it doesn't end there. Soon there are several "suicides" followed by the murder of a parent. McKnight is once again a reluctant investigator, but what makes this story different is that his usual comp ...more
Jan 07, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to give this book four stars because there were several days when I couldn't put it down. Plus, it takes place in my beloved UP. My husband is devouring this series in a way I've never seen him move through books before. I enjoyed reading a story that covered so much familiar ground and I also enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery. However, this book exaggerates characteristics of the UP climate and people, and sometimes Hamilton gets his facts just plain wrong (characters looking out ...more
Mar 12, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
Sheriff Roy Maven has been riding private investigator Alex McKnight since he took office. Now, he needs his help. Maven's partner during his days on the Michigan State Police is seeking independent research into his son's suicide, found hanging from a tree overlooking Lake Superior. A little digging by McKnight reveals that he isn't the only former state cop's kid to have recently killed himself or herself. Further developments strongly point to a pattern …

It is tough to review this book withou
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
Alex McKnight is an ex-cop and occasional private investigator who lives the quiet life in northern Michigan. One cold winter's night, he receives a visit from his adversary, Police Chief Roy Maven. But this time round, Maven has come to ask for a favour. The teenage son of Maven's former partner has committed suicide (in aptly named Misery Bay), and the boy's grieving father is desperate to know why he might have done this. Alex reluctantly agrees to talk to the boys' friends, and it seems that ...more
Apr 14, 2014 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This was my first book in this series. It was a very good read. The story begins with an apparent suicide in a place known as Misery Bay. Two months later, PI Alex McKnight is asked by his professional nemesis Sault Ste. Marie police chief Roy Maven to investigate the event as a favor to an old friend, a U.S. Marshall, whose son was the one who died. As Alex begins his investigation, the father is found murdered. Since he was a federal officer, the FBI is now involved. As Alex, Roy, and the FBI ...more
Harry Roger Williams III
Hamilton interlaces an unfamiliar technique through this satisfying mystery. The familiar elements of Alex McKnight, the reliability of his steadfast friends and the frightful Upper Peninsula environment confront twists and turns of evil that keep you guessing - and reading. I "had it figured out" more than once, only to find the plot bobbing and weaving and deflecting my comprehension. While reviewing the fourth in the series, North of Nowhere, I wrote, "The satisfying conclusion left questions ...more
Tara Russell
Feb 20, 2016 Tara Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
It's been quite a while since I read a Steve Hamilton book, and I'd forgotten quite how good a writer he is. Alex McKnight, former police officer with a bullet fragment lodged near his heart, gets an unexpected visit from the unlikeliest of people, local police chief who far from being his biggest fan...but who needs his help investigating the suicide of a friend's son down in Misery Bay. As you'd imagine, all is not as straightforward as the initial investigation suggested and McKnight is pulle ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I overlooked this one when it first came out. I read the next Alex McKnight mystery and there were references to events that I could not remember happening. While at my local library recently looking for the newest Alex McKnight I found this and realized this was the missing book. Like most of Steve Hamilton's books, I couldn't put this down once I started reading it and I finished it in just over a day. The unlikely teaming of Alex with Chief Maven actually worked quite well. And even t ...more
Kathleen Lawrence
This murder mystery is the 8th in the Alex McKnight series. Like all in this series, it takes place in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel for A Cold Day in Paradise which introduced Alex McKnight--and probably the book a new reader should start with. He has also won an Edgar Award for a stand alone, The Lock Artist.
Having lived in Marquette for a few years growing up, it is fun to hear the readers' Yooper accent. Hamilton also peppers his books with descripti
Sandy Kell
Not as good as "The Lock Artist" (which was great!), but another entertaining Alex McKnight novel with great discriptions of northern Michigan, now added to my 'places to avoid' list - at least during their 10+ months of winter!
Mar 13, 2016 FM rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, mystery
I loved "The Lock Artist" so I wanted to try another of this author's books. I knew he had a series detective but was too lazy to start at the first book, and this was on the shelf in the library.

I liked it enough that I'm now going to go back and read the series from the beginning . . . not that that's entirely necessary because it worked as a stand-alone book, too, but because I found the main character, Alex, intriguing enough to want to read more about him. Mostly, though, it's because I lik
Mar 01, 2015 Bart rated it really liked it
Hamilton is one of those series writers who respects his readers enough not to just churn 'em out in time to satisfy a contract obligation with agent and publisher. Unlike Patricia Cornwell, Jonathan Kellerman and the execrable James Patterson (whose work is a crime against humanity) there are writers like Michael Connelly, John Sandford and Steve Hamilton who sustain the quality of their later books in series at the same high standard that established their appeal in the first place.

Misery Bay
Apr 16, 2015 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the story and characters! the ending is little bit weak, but overall I love the character's colorful personalities, the plot is good and intense, some humors are the icing on the cake.
Jun 05, 2015 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Misery Bay by Steve Hamilton.

A young man is found hanging from a rope next to Lake Superior on a January night. This little corner of the Lake is called Misery Bay. Alex McKnight is asked to investigate this apparent suicide when suicide just doesn't pan out. Then another suicide is reported this time of a young girl. Alex finds something these "suicides" have in common...the bodies of these victims appear to have been placed. If there's a meaning behind these murders Alex will find it.

This was
Misery Bay arrived in today's mail and I immediately read it cover to cover. SO happy to have Alex McKnight back!
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  • Blue Wolf in Green Fire (Woods Cop, #2)
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  • Northwest Angle (Cork O'Connor, #11)
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  • Concourse (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #2)
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  • Mirror Image
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 (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight, #1)
  • Winter of the Wolf Moon (Alex McKnight, #2)
  • The Hunting Wind (Alex McKnight, #3)
  • North of Nowhere (Alex McKnight, #4)
  • Blood is the Sky (Alex McKnight, #5)
  • Ice Run (Alex McKnight, #6)
  • A Stolen Season (Alex McKnight, #7)
  • Die a Stranger (Alex McKnight, #9)
  • Let it Burn (Alex McKnight, #10)
  • Untitled (Alex McKnight, #11)

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