Misery Bay by Steve Hamilton

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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 thirty-six 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. Alex McKnight does not know this young man, and he won't even hear about the suicide until another cold night, two months later and 250 miles away, when the door to the Glasgow Inn opens and the last person Alex would ever expect to see comes walking in to ask for his help. What seems like a simple quest to find a few answers will turn into a nightmare of sudden violence and bloody revenge and a race against time to catch a ruthless killer. McKnight knows all about evil, of course, having faced down a madman who killed his partner and left a bullet next to his heart. Mobsters, drug dealers, hit men - he's seen them all, and they've taken away almost everything he's ever loved. But none of them could have prepared him for the darkness he's about to face.

About Steve Hamilton

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Steve Hamilton was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1961. He graduated from the University of Michigan where he won the Hopwood Award for fiction. He is the author of the Alex McKnight Mystery series. A Cold Day in Paradise won the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin's Press Award for Best First Mystery by an Unpublished Writer and the Edgar and Shamus Awards for Best First Novel. The Lock Artist won the 2011 Edgar Award. In 2006, he won the Michigan Author Award for his outstanding body of work. He also works for IBM.
Published November 1, 2012 by Charnwood. 424 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Misery Bay

Kirkus Reviews

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Predictably, the suicide turns out to be a murder, while the killer involved turns out to be a bizarre kind of filmmaker in whose eerie epic Alex comes within an eyelash of playing a death scene.

Jun 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

Publishers Weekly

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In Hamilton's latest thriller in the popular Alex McKnight series, when a young man apparently commits suicide in Misery Bay, police chief Roy Maven convinces McKnight to set aside their differences to investigate.

Mar 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

Publishers Weekly

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In Hamilton's superb eighth suspense novel featuring PI Alex McKnight (after A Stolen Season), McKnight looks into the murders of three young people, all made to look like suicides.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

Book Reporter

With MISERY BAY, Hamilton returns to the world of Alex McKnight with a new invigoration that results in what is arguably not only his best work to date, but also one of the best books of the year.

Jun 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

RT Book Reviews

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Reviewing the Evidence

Alex McKnight and Chief Roy Maven go back a way.

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Deseret News

Bay" (Minotaur Books), by Steve Hamilton: Alex McKnight is having a beer at his favorite Northern Michigan haunt when his nemesis, chief Roy Maven of the Sault Ste.

Jun 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay


Misery Bay opens with a haunting scene about a young man who has driven miles from his home in frigid weather to hang himself from the branch of a tree at the edge of a bay overlooking Lake Superior.

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Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the setting of Steve Hamilton’s tough-minded Alex McKnight series, is bone-chilling and snowbound much of the time, but the opening scene of Misery Bay is particularly desolate: a road dead-ended at Lake Superior, a car with its door open, the dangling body of a young ...

Jun 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

I certainly felt as if Alex (and Steve Hamilton) were just not ready to deal completely with the hardships from the prior book, although you could feel the pain that Alex still has.

Jul 03 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

Spinetingler Magazine

This from a man whose relationship with McKnight could at best be described as ‘fraught’ – as the Chief says, ‘just call it a persistent lack of liking each other.” The dead boy’s father had been Maven’s partner on the police force, and Maven wants McKnight to investigate the circumstances that ...

Jan 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

North Jersey

Although it was 2006 when Steve Hamilton last published an Alex McKnight novel, the author hits the ground running in his excellent eighth thriller about his reluctant private investigator from upper Michigan.

Jun 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay


Here we find McKnight in the cosy Glasgow Inn, Paradise, Michigan, on the frozen shore of Lake Superior, where he is trying to lead a quiet life, when he is approached by police chief Roy Maven, probably his least favourite person in town after many run-ins.

Jan 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

Sunshine Coast Daily

Ex-policeman Alex McKnight has the task of trying to find out why the boy decided to end his life in this particularly eerie setting in Michigan.

Jul 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

Shine from Yahoo

Within a few days, Alex, the Chief, and two FBI agents are confounded by a series of more deaths, all involving law-enforcement officials and their adult children, up to the point where Maven is convinced he's on the hit list.

May 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay


I still get the cage-free.” “I meant the eggs that made your children.” Not everybody could pull it off, but Zephyr can, and one hopes Poughkeepsie resident Uviller will look downriver and find more trouble for her to get mixed up in soon.

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Misery Bay

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