Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Ice Run

Author: Steve Hamilton
Genre: Suspense/Mystery
Pages: 336
Series: 6th book in the Alex McKnight series
Series Order:
  1. A Cold Day in Paradise (1998)
  2. Winter of the Wolf Moon (2000)
  3. The Hunting Wind (2001)
  4. North of Nowhere (2002)
  5. Blood is the Sky (2003)
  6. Ice Run (2004)
  7. A Stolen Season (2004)

First Line: "In the land of hard winters, the hardest of all is the winter that fills you with false hope."

Synopsis: It's a typically cold winter in Paradise, Michigan for Alex McKnight, a former cop and private investigator. He decides to spend the weekend in Sault Ste Marie, Canada with his girlfriend, Natalie Reynaud who is an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

When the couple has a chance encounter with an old man, Simon Grant, they think nothing of it. But when the old man leaves an old hat and a mysterious note: "I know who you are!" outside their hotel room and is later found dead Alex decides to investigate what happened. This leads Alex into an old family feud involving Natalie's family. Will the people involved in the feud stop at nothing to end the investigation?

My Thoughts: When I initially picked up this book I was intrigued by the synopsis on the back cover of the book. I liked the fact that it was partly based in Canada. I had never heard of the author before but picked it up anyway.

Typically I like to read books of a series in order. Even if the individual stories make sense to new readers, if the reader hasn't read the series in order s/he misses out on the relationship development of the characters. That's my take on it anyway. I found that to be true with this book.

The relationship between Alex and Natalie confused me. I just didn't get it. Why would this seemingly smart man totally go out of his way for this woman? He was portrayed as this tough guy but he got all wussy when it came to this woman. There's romantic ... then there's push-over. Sadly, Alex came off to me as the latter. I didn't buy the romance between them at all. This tough guy dyes his hair, drops everything to drive 2 1/2 hours several times per week to help this woman and even endures a severe beating because of her. Ahhh, l'amour!

Also, as a Canadian I admit that I do say 'eh' sometimes. But this book had too many Canadian cliches for my tastes. Yes, we have amazingly good beer. Yes, we do occasionally (at least I do) say 'eh' but at times this book made Canadians seem like hokey small towners. Don't paint all of us Canadian's with the Hoser Brush, Mr Hamilton! ;)

As for the mystery/suspense part of the book? I did enjoy it. Hamilton threw enough curve balls and actually shocked me with one scene that I wasn't expecting. Overall, this was a good mystery but I didn't love the main characters so I don't think I'll be reading more from this series.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

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