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ICE RUN
by Steve Hamilton
St Martin's Minotaur, June 2004
320 pages
$21.95
ISBN: 0312301219


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It's February in Paradise. It has been a very warm winter for this part of the world. In fact, the snowmobilers who usually rent Alex McKnight's cabins during the winter have been canceling their reservations, but Alex doesn't seem to be bothered by this. In fact, he is just as happy hanging out in Jackie's Glasgow Inn, drinking on the Canadian beer that Jackie brings across the border for him, and making plans to be with Natalie Reynaud, the OPP officer who he met in BLOOD IS THE SKY.

Just as he is about to set out to meet Natalie, a snowstorm intervenes and Alex stays behind to clear the snow from his cabins. Natalie has already left her home in Blind River, Canada for "The Soo" so Alex heads there early the next day. They meet in the classic Ojibway Hotel and have a day and a night that can't be beat, even meeting a strange well-dressed elderly man. Later that night, Alex and Natalie find the hat in front of their door with a note I KNOW WHO YOU ARE on top. Neither are too bothered by this because they don't understand it, and when they find out that the old man has been found dead, in the snow, a few blocks from the hotel, they are sad at the loss of life, but have no personal connection to the death. Or so they think.

This time it really is winter in Paradise, but Alex seems to be warming. He definitely has feelings for Natalie. The more she pushes him away, the more he wants to be with her. He has to solve the mystery of the old man and the hat, a mystery reaching back to Natalie's grandfather's time, before he can make her understand he loves her.

No one does character studies of the damaged people living, by choice, in the desolate region called the Upper Peninsula of Michigan better than Steve Hamilton. His books are good combinations of characterization, adventure, and mystery. When Alex gets beat up, he doesn't pop up like some super hero and get the bad guy the next day, he hurts like the rest of us, and his friends, Vinnie LeBlanc and Jackie, make sure he has time to recuperate. But neither of them can help with Natalie. If you like a good story, peopled with characters you would like to meet, Steve Hamilton really delivers.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, April 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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