Lisa (Harmonybites)'s Reviews > A Cold Day in Paradise

A Cold Day in Paradise by Steve Hamilton
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's review
Nov 26, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: contemporary, mystery, ultimate-reading-list, crime, fiction, novels
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List
Read on November 26, 2010

This fits fairly well into the noir genre--first person, a private detective who gets involved with The Wrong Woman (tm)--beautiful and rich. This one is set in a cold Michigan November. Alex McNight, a private investigator and former Detroit cop, has a bullet permanently lodged one inch from his heart from the same shooting that killed his partner. It's 14 years later, and that shooting still haunts Alex. Now Alex is getting notes from a man claiming credit for two murders--and giving details only the shooter should know and signing his name--despite the shooter being locked up in prison.

The story is told in a fairly spare, yet smooth style that conveys a great sense of place. I liked Alex and the secondary characters that helped create a sense of Paradise, Michigan. It was well-paced, at times suspenseful, novel I read in one sitting.

The problem I had was with the resolution. Some aspects of the twist was clever and worked for me and I didn't see it coming. Others--primarily motivation--just didn't work for me. I couldn't see these people acting the way they did, taking the risks they did, for the reasons given, and I had a problem with Alex's decision about how to act on his knowledge. All in all, I felt dissatisfied with the ending.

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