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. Although his body is found by a snowmobiler a day and a half later, Alex McNight doesn’t hear about the suicide for another three months.
Alex McNight is a former Michigan State Trooper out of Detroit who now resides along the shores of Lake Superior, in Paradise, Michigan. He took early retirement after his partner was killed and he was shot multiple times. He still carries a bullet close to his heart. After a short stint as a private investigator, he now rents out cabins for a living, but spends much of his free time hanging around the Glasgow Inn.
On a cold evening the last night of March an unexpected visitor comes into the bar to see if Alex can help him on a case. Roy Maven is the Chief of Police in St. Sault Marie, and the two men have had an antagonistic relationship for many years.
The father of the boy who hung himself had sought Chief Maven’s help in finding some answers to why his son committed suicide. Maven was also a former State Police Trooper as was the young man’s father, Charles “Raz” Raznieski, now a U.S. Marshal stationed in Detroit.
Alex reluctantly agrees to check out the boy’s friends at Northern Michigan University to see if he can determine what might have led the boy to such tragedy. After meeting with Raz, Alex takes off for Marquette approximately 250 miles away. His investigation takes an unexpected turn when Raz is murdered, and he finds out it’s not the first time a father and son has both died and the father has ties to law enforcement.
Soon Chief Maven joins him in the investigation in an unlikely truce that ends up leading them to the ruthless killer. Along the way they also find an unexpected respect, and even a possible friendship, with one another. With numerous obstacles facing Alex including a law enforcement agency bent on controlling the case, an increasing number of similar deaths coming to light, and the need to fight his own personal demons, Alex finds himself on the edge of death.
Fans of award-winning author Steve Hamilton will welcome the return of Alex McNight after a six-year absence in this eighth book of the series. Misery Bay is written in a somewhat hard-boiled conversational tone reminiscent of past noir thrillers. Readers are drawn into the present-day life of Alex and other familiar characters from the past. The cold, harsh winter weather of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan plays an important part in the reader feeling as if they are part of the landscape watching as the horror plays out.
This is a must read for thriller fans. In an interview posted on the Amazon page for Misery Bay, Steve Hamilton reveals there are at least two more Alex McKnight novels coming their way. This is great news!
A special thank you goes to Amazon for sending me a complimentary copy of this advance readers’ edition of Misery Bay as part of their Vine Voice program. If you would like a copy of this book, or any of the other novels in this series, they are available through Amazon.com.