Reviews for Die A Stranger

Booklist Reviews 2012 May #2
This begins like the prose equivalent of a well-crafted movie: a single-engine plane, flying low in the dark, lands on a private strip in upper Michigan. The pilot expects a quick trade, cash for those bales of weed in the hold, then back into the sky. We've seen the movie; we know the deal goes terribly wrong. One of the men hurt is a friend of semireclusive ex-cop Alex McKnight, who must do something. As he noses about, he's joined by his pal's ex-con father, and it's about here that readers may feel they've picked up a machine-tooled artifact rather than a novel. The ex-con talks like a middle-school teacher. The boss bad guy, when we meet him, orates irony-soaked speeches. Villains are vanquished, friends and family are back together, but by then most readers will have checked out. Hamilton has done fine work in the past (Misery Bay, 2011), but this time he seems to be running on autopilot. Series fans will want to keep up, but others should wait for next year. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews 2012 July #1

Hamilton brings back detective Alex McKnight (after Misery Bay) in his ninth Michigan series thriller. The crash of a drug-smuggling small plane doesn't bode well for the Upper Peninsula residents. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/12.]

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 May #1

Every word counts in Edgar-winner Hamilton's masterful ninth novel featuring ex-cop Alex McKnight (after 2011's Misery Bay). McKnight, who rents out cabins on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is trying to put his time in the Detroit PD behind him, while his best friend, Vinnie Red Sky LeBlanc, mourns the death of his mother, Hazel. Considered a mother to the entire Bay Mills Indian Community, Hazel mistook Vinnie shortly before her death for his estranged father. The older LeBlanc killed three people while driving drunk, a crime that made Vinnie a teetotaler. Given Vinnie's strong antipathy toward alcohol, McKnight is shocked to find his friend knocking back a few scotches in a bar one night. Vinnie's disappearance soon after may be connected with illegal smuggling across the porous Canadian border. Through his emotionally intelligent characterizations, McKnight transforms what could have been a mundane plot into a sensitive exploration of tragedy and redemption. Author tour. Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (July)

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