I may have mentioned previously how much I enjoy series-based books. Not “series” in that you must read the first before reading the next (although I like that too.) But I enjoy a group of books where the same main characters appear in each. It lessens my remorse when I finish a book, because I know I can catch up with my favorite characters in the next one!
A Cold Day in Paradise, by Steve Hamilton, is the first book in just that type of series. It was published back in 1998, but I only discovered this author last fall while browsing around The Island Bookstore on Mackinac Island. They carry quite a nice collection of Michigan-based fiction, including the Steve Hamilton series which takes place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula along the shores of Lake Superior.
A Cold Day in Paradise introduces us to Alex McKnight, a former Detroit police officer disabled by an unfortunate encounter with a bullet some years earlier. He’s currently running a set of cabins built years ago by his father, renting them out to hunters and snowmobilers needing accommodations in Paradise, Michigan.
Alex wants to live a quiet, uneventful life while he continues to heal emotionally from his scars. Trouble, mystery, and intrigue seem to find him and he ends up with a private investigator license, smack dab in the middle of a mess after a friend asks for help. That’s the kind of guy McKnight is. I liked him immediately.
Our reluctant PI finds himself as a target, when an unwelcome someone brings his past to the present. I won’t give away any more of the story other than to say I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the characters, the geographical location, and especially the humor. I love McKnight’s (and Hamilton’s) wit! It takes the book from good to great, in my opinion.
I have already read additional books in the Alex McKnight series, which I will review soon.
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