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Misery Bay (Alex McKnight #8)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  2,830 Ratings  ·  285 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
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Minotaur Books
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Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Giovanni Gelati
May 26, 2011 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
Mark Stevens
Jul 07, 2011 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
Jun 13, 2011 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 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 13, 2011 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 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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rob Cook
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been quite a while since I've read an Alex McKnight story and it was good to come back. I've enjoyed all the books in this series and this one as much as any. The relationship with Alex and Chief Maven has always been bad and in some books has been too much for me. Flipping that around and having them work together was a great twist and as usual the mystery itself had a nice twist to it as well.
Larry H
Jan 02, 2012 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
Andreea Daia
May 31, 2011 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
Oct 10, 2014 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
Craig Sisterson
Mar 16, 2012 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
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
Foster Winter
Mar 04, 2014 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
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 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
Aug 03, 2016 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
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!
Feb 01, 2015 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.
Misery Bay arrived in today's mail and I immediately read it cover to cover. SO happy to have Alex McKnight back!
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is a lot like driving fast on a twisty road with snow and ice, although you personally know that you the reader will arrive safely. Worth the ride.

What the author(s) do with this series: Steve Hamilton started off slow but gets better and better this is part of the series called the Alex McKnight Novels. This paragraph applies to all books in this series. Alex is a former pro baseball player and a former cop. Both of those careers ended before they barely got started. McKnight
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories have settled into a familiar formula by now, but I still find myself unable to put them down. Yes, Alex alienates everyone around him again. Yes, he is critically injured, but manages to survive. Again. Yes, he is starting to fall for yet another attractive woman in the law enforcement community (FBI this time). But in this story he spends a lot of time in the Keweenaw, my favorite place on earth. I'm such a sucker.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars! My first novel by this author- so glad I came across this series. Will definitely be looking for more!
Russell Miller
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was the best in the McKnight series so far. Steve Hamilton is terrific writer. Moving on to Die a Stranger. This is one series that is best to read in order.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
unexplained deaths
Jerry King
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2011 audio
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good all the other Steve Hamilton books I've read but still a heck of a read. I like the simplicity of the settings, of the characters and of their dialogue. They talk like real people and I find that refreshing in stories. The reason for a lack of that 5th star in my rating is two-fold. 1) the ending seemed rushed and convoluted. The story progressed at a steady pace and all of a sudden, assumptions were made and conclusions were draw, even though they did prove to be correct. 2) W ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminded me of "JA Jance's Beaumont character and/Parker a bit. Low keyed type characters due to physical or other ailments. Was worth a read but looking forward to Hamilton's new character "Nick Mason".
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The Mystery, Crim...: Steve Hamilton is Quite Good 9 101 Oct 05, 2014 07:57AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Misery Bay 1 2 Mar 14, 2012 09:06PM  
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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)
  • Die a Stranger (Alex McKnight, #9)
  • Let it Burn (Alex McKnight, #10)