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Die A Stranger (Alex McKnight, #9)
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Die A Stranger (Alex McKnight #9)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  2,024 Ratings  ·  215 Reviews
The New York Times Bestseller

Late one night, a plane lands on a deserted airstrip. Five dead bodies are found there the next morning. And now Vinnie LeBlanc is missing.

Vinnie is a member of the Ojibwa Indian tribe and he just might be Alex McKnight's best friend. So Alex can't help but be worried when he disappears. There's a deadly crime war creeping into Michigan's Upper
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Minotaur Books
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Aroha Uea No, you don't have to although they sometimes mention incidents from past books but there's usually enough background given in each book to explain…moreNo, you don't have to although they sometimes mention incidents from past books but there's usually enough background given in each book to explain the characters. They can stand alone.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Larry H
Nov 24, 2012 Larry H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While reading Steve Hamilton's ninth mystery featuring Michigan ex-cop Alex McKnight, all I kept thinking was, "Why isn't Steve Hamilton more of a household name?" Having read every one of his books, I always walk away immensely satisfied by the depth of his characters, the complexity with which he imbues every plotline, and the emotions he touches on. That's a rare feat.

Alex McKnight lives in the small Upper Peninsula town of Paradise. Constantly living with the reminder of being shot as a poli
Jan 19, 2017 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this novel on my drive from Florida. While the subject matter is deep, Mr. Hamilton keeps things interesting and forward-moving. 6 of 10 stars
May 18, 2017 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Alex McNight series and Steve Hamilton is a fantastic writer and person, but this one simply isn't the best of the series. I can see the seeds of the Nick Mason series in the subtext and increased violence of this installment.
Dan Stinton
Apr 11, 2012 Dan Stinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Free books make me happy! Once again thank you to the folks at Goodreads and St Martins Press for the advanced copy of "Die a Stranger" through the first reads program.
I started reading Steve Hamilton back in 1998 after the release of "Cold Day in Paradise" for no better reason than I had a friend by the same name (still do). I was pleasantly surprised and remain a faithful reader. The highlight of his bibliography, in my opinion, was 2009's wonderful "The Lock Artist".
"Die a Stranger" is the st
Aug 12, 2012 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: page-turner
I have enjoyed 10 novels by this author prior to this current book. I have to say that this one is tiresome.

Alex McKnight, the continuing character, is a retired Detroit policeman. He has a PI license that he rarely uses. He rents out cabins (that his father built long ago and he rebuilds after a fire) in the Upper Peninsula (UP) in Michigan. I like the setting (in the vicinity of Lake Superior). It reminds me of William Kent Krueger novels, featuring Cork O’Connor, located in northern Minnesot
William Baker

Two stars means "it was OK".

And it was. This was not the weakest book of the series but ranks right next to it. For a good part of the book it was simply two guys driving around MI looking for two other guys. It was maddening. When the author finally dropped that, the story picked up a bit. In all, there was little mystery or suspense. The dialogue stalls quite a lot and is downright inane in places. This author has continuing issues with dialogue in many of his books. Not a strong poin
Mar 28, 2014 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I blame myself for my disappointment with this novel. Not that I had unreal expectations but that I had expectations at all proved to be an issue.

I was expecting crime/investigative thriller but after reading I would consider this a cozy mystery.

I've never read this author or series before. Never heard of it I don't believe. It was by chance; a casual browse off the library audiobook shelf and my need to fill roadtrip audio airspace in my car. I knew pretty early on that I was now dealing with
Jun 20, 2012 Shauna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Won this on a GoodReads Giveaway! Starting today, I think this will be a good one.

I really wanted to like this book, I did. It just wasn't that great. I feel bad because I won this book and want to be nice, but, alas...

There was no suspense. It was just a story about two guys trying to find thei friend/son, so it was kind of boring. These two don't run into a lot of problems and when they do there is nothing that leads up to the action, if you can even call it action.

The author would have done b
Jul 07, 2012 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tops, 2012-reads
SETTING: Michigan
SERIES: #9 of 9
RATING: 4.75

Drug dealing operations originating out of Canada have become more and more creative. In the latest twist, drugs are being flown in to small airfields in Michigan. The plane lands, the drugs are unloaded, and the plane departs in a matter of minutes. But this time something has gone terribly wrong, with several of the local smugglers being killed. AnOjibwa Indian named Buck Carrick is somehow involved and has disappeared, poss
Dec 26, 2011 Naomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-releases
Synopsis: Alex's buddy Vinnie, an Ojibwa tribal member and recovering alcoholic, disappears after his mother passes away and he relapses with several drinks. Alex must find what happened to him and if it has anything to do with several men being killed in a drug trade that Vinnie's name has come up with. To make matters worse, a man has just shown up claiming to be Vinnie's father, which is funny since Vinnie was told all his life that his father was dead. Alex must figure everything out before ...more
Mysterious  Bookshop
My earliest foray into mystery fiction involved the usual: Hammett, Chandler, Thompson—i.e. the progenitors of the hardboiled and noir. Although I still love this sub-genre, I find too many novels these days try and mimic the style instead of progressing it. Lucky for me Steve Hamilton is here to light the way. The Alex McKnight series has been one of my newest and best discoveries. Instead of the gritty urban settings of similar greats (Connelly, Estleman, Crais, etc.), McKnight operates in the ...more
Dec 22, 2015 Kit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Steve Hamilton novel. I enjoyed the character, the plot and location. Living in the desert, I am not familiar with the UP in Michigan. I think I was there once as a child. The Ojibwa nation has interesting contrasts to the desert peoples. I will probably go back and read some of Hamilton's earlier works featuring Alex McKnight.
Lynette Barfield
Jun 24, 2012 Lynette Barfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read all 10 of Hamilton's books. That says something right there. They are enjoyable, what I call lightweight suspense, that hold your interest with intriguing characters and plots. I recommend these books to everyone.
Jul 22, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story. Really enjoyed reading it. I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, so was very interested with the references made by Steve regarding specific locations and information on Sault Ste. Marie. I will be reading more of Steve Hamilton's books as they come out.
Nov 17, 2016 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well done book by an author that gets better and better.

The series is great, it’s a private eye noir set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where summers are short and winters are brutal and cold. I really enjoy the series, but our poor protagonist never seems to catch a break or have a good time. Despite that, this book, and the series is certainly worth reading.
Mar 24, 2017 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I missed this one and just read it last week. So glad I did. The Alex McKnight series is as solid as mystery series I know and you can always depend on Hamilton to deliver a compelling tale. His characters ring true and the setting of the UP in Michigan is so evocative that the location is a character unto itself.

I found "Die a Stranger" great reading and the ending was unexpected and quite the whammy. Highly recommend.
Bonnie Murray
May 10, 2017 Bonnie Murray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, really enjoyed.
Ray Palen
Jul 01, 2012 Ray Palen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steve Hamilton’s ninth novel in the terrific Alex McKnight series starts off with a bang. The night of his mother’s funeral, Alex’s best friend --- Vinnie Leblanc goes missing. What makes Alex particularly concerned is that he found out about a deadly shoot-out at the local airstrip which left five unnamed bodies behind and Vinnie may have been involved!

Vinnie, a reclusive Ojibwa Indian living off reservation in one of his friend Alex’s cabins, is not prone to drinking or any form of reckless be
Gloria Feit
Dec 03, 2012 Gloria Feit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The newest novel in the wonderful Alex McKnight series by Steve Hamilton starts
out, as do most of them, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The residents of the area, referred to as the “land of the Yoopers,” consist heavily of Native Americans, most of them living in the reservations in that part of the country. As the book opens, Vinnie Red Sky LeBlanc, an Ojibwa Indian who is probably Alex’ best friend, is mourning the death of his mother, a legend on the “rez.” Alex, a former cop from Detro
Gail Cooke
Aug 19, 2012 Gail Cooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Talk about multi-talented fellows - Dan John Miller is known for his film work, is the lead guitarist and vocalist for a band, and has received accolades for his voice work. It has been said that he “always expertly captures the emotional heart of a novel with his audiobook performances...How does he do it? "I want to get into the mindset of the author," Miller says. "The book is someone else's work of art, and I want to respect that."

Well said and Die A Stranger is extremely well read as ace
Sep 21, 2016 Lenore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the ninth Alex McKnight novel I have read in this series. I was not a big fan at the beginning but I am now. These novels have become familiar territory. They have interesting and well-thought out storylines.
Jun 06, 2012 Bre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-books
My ARC copy came today! Review to follow.
6/17 Finished. I'm happy I was able to obtain an ARC book in this series, otherwise I might have never discoverd it. The story centers around the disappearance of Alex McKnight's best friend Vinne. A mysterious stranger comes to Alex's aid in finding Vinnie, and that's when trouble starts in Paradise(yup, that is the town's name) The story behind the disappearance of Vinnie really kept me reading and up at night. Gangseters, hippie gansters(?!), drug trad
Kathleen Hagen
Die a Stranger, by Steve Hamilton, a-minus, Narrated by Dan John Miller, Produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from

This is the ninth in the Alex McKnight series. Alex, a former cop, with a private eye license and a number of cabins in a fishing camp in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, hears about a private plane landing at a nearby small airport, and the next morning five bodies are found. Everyone figures it’s the latest in the drug wars where planes come in from Canada loaded w
Oct 22, 2012 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the series where the cop who had been shot twice, one bullet still in his chest , owns a bunch of cabins in a cold state by Canada and the Indian man has one cabin on his road. he goes to the local bar for food and beer every day

the Indian man went missing after his mother died. his long gone dad who was in prison most of his life shows up and the x cop and dad go looking for him

there was a plane running pot from Canada to us that had a shoot out killed the pilot. the pilots brother was
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
This is the ninth book in Steve Hamilton's terrific series about Alex McKnight, an ex-cop who lives a quiet life in Paradise, northern Michigan. At the centre of this story is his friendship with Ojibwa Indian Vinnie LeBlanc, who abruptly disappears while grieving the death of his mother. Alex is concerned and becomes more so when he realises there may be a connection between Vinnie's disappearance and a local drug smuggling operation which has gone violently wrong. He teams up with a long lost ...more
Dec 14, 2012 Leew49 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
DIE A STRANGER holds true to the traditions of the preceding Alex McKnight novels. Set exclusively in Michigan, much of it in the upper peninsula, the story begins with what our culture insists on calling a Drug Deal Gone Bad (What's a "good" drug deal, I always wonder...) when a plane flying high-grade Canadian marijuana (Who knew?) is intercepted by a rival drug dealer, the pilot and contact people killed. An Ojibwa man sees the crime and becomes a target for the criminals. When he seeks the a ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only is this a heart-stopping crime fiction tale, but it is also a revealing time inside the world of Michigan Ojibwa culture in our days. The awareness of how men's friendships and alliances work is a rare gift, like this moment: "We got over it the way men get over things, not by talking things out heart to heart but by working on something together." And an unusual glimpse into male confusion and weakness in an alien culture: "Damn it all. That feeling of being the outsider, of being tota ...more
Oct 20, 2012 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#9 in the Alex McKnight series. Alex is a Detroit cop, retired after a shootout left him with a bullet near his heart, and now renting cabins in Paradise on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Alex also has an inactive P.I. license but the inactivity doesn't stop him from getting involved in situations where his police background may come in handy. In this outing, Alex takes an introspective moment to realize that he has only two living friends and half of them are missing.

Alex McKnight's best friend V
Jul 01, 2012 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the last week with Alex along for my daily commute. Even with some not so great secondary character voices on the audio, this was a really good book, one of the best in the Alex McKnight series. What a wild ride it was. The ending left me with much to consider, and things I don't want to imagine. I love the way we enter the UP area and are immersed in the setting with this series, and into a story of greed and loyalty; topical and yet timeless as we follow Alex as he searches for the t ...more
May 11, 2016 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, my first, Steve Hamilton novel. Although not even 300 pages in length, Die A Stranger is chock-full of realistic character development. Each character, from Alex McKnight to Vinnie (an Ojibwa Indian), to Vinnie's father, to the "bad guys", to the law enforcement officials, becomes a person that elicits emotions ranging from "like" to "despise".
Alex McKnight is the main character in 10 of Hamilton's novels. He is an ex- policeman now living in upper Michigan on
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EXIT STRATEGY, the second book in the Nick Mason series, will be released on May 16, 2017.
More about Steve Hamilton...

Other Books in the Series

Alex McKnight (10 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)
  • Misery Bay (Alex McKnight, #8)
  • Let it Burn (Alex McKnight, #10)

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