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A STOLEN SEASON
by Steve Hamilton
Orion, October 2006
304 pages
18.99 GBP
ISBN: 0752873954


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The weather in Paradise, Michigan is unseasonably cold this July; it feels more like November, only without the snow. Alex McKnight is experiencing that peculiar emotional coldness that occurs when the object of oneís desire is hundreds of miles away, doing something dangerous. Natalie is working undercover, trying to take down a gunrunner in Toronto.

Alex and his friends, on a foggy Fourth of July, rescue three men who ram an antique wooden Chris Craft into some old pilings. The men donít appear particularly grateful at the time. They seem even less grateful when they come to buy Alex a drink, and ask if heís seen a floating lockbox. He hasnít, he tells them so, and they donít believe him.

There is a certain inexorable quality to the events in Alexís life, not just in this book but in all the McKnight novels. Alex is who he is, and bad things seem to cluster in his vicinity. A STOLEN SEASON is no exception. The men proceed to make Alexís life difficult and painful. They do the same for his friends Vinnie, Leon, and Jackie.

Vinnie has some issues with these men, totally apart from the incident with the boat. A woman from his past has some kind of connection with drug-dealing and Vinnie keeps trying to help her. He knows itís probably a lost cause, but he persists.

The other given in Hamiltonís work is the quality of the writing. When he talks about nature, or about the unseasonable weather, or Alexís feelings for Natalie, there is a clarity and a beauty that is as wonderful as the best autumn day in northern Michigan. Even though we know winter is coming, itís difficult not to revel in the crispness, the exhilaration of the present. So it is with Hamiltonís books.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, September 2006

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