At a Glance
The author Steve Hamilton (website) has several wonderful mystery novels in the Alex McKnight series, two books in his new Nick Mason series, as well as 2 standalone novels. He is to date one of my favorite mystery authors who caught my attention from the start when I read his first debut novel, A Cold Day in Paradise. After publication, the book won two prestigious awards at the same time: the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best First Novel.
Steve Hamilton was born in 1961 in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in Detroit and he graduated from the University of Michigan. While at the university, he won the Hopwood Award for fiction, a prestigious award given to aspiring writers attending the university.
The author’s day job is working for IBM in New York, where he also lives with his family.
Steve Hamilton’s popular Alex McKnight series focuses on Alex, a private investigator in Paradise, which is a small town in Michigan. He is a former Detroit policeman who let go of his job after almost being killed by Maximilian Rose who also killed Alex’s partner. He still has the bullet lodged in his chest to prove it, and with a small disability pay, he wanted to find peace in a small town with not much crime going around. Sadly it looks like wherever Alex goes, crime follows him relentlessly.
I really enjoyed this series. It is very atmospheric, lightly reminding me of the writings of Lee Child and Harlan Coben, two other favorite authors. It is also very dark. One thing I remember from each book is that I was feeling constantly cold 🙂 The books have this cold and chilly feel to them, not quite supernatural, but at times really creepy.
The novels are mostly sent in winter, in Michigan, where is darn cold, windy, snowy and rainy. However that hasn’t detracted me from reading yet another one in the Steve Hamilton book list, which I love. I really hope this author gets more credit among readers as he is worth checking out for a fun and thrill time.
His newer Nick Mason series is also well worth reading. A previous criminal who is given a second chance along with a few quite dangerous missions … sign me up!
Alex McKnight series In Order
So here are the Steve Hamilton books in order of publication, as well as chronological order. It is a series well worth checking out if you like a good mystery with a PI that finds trouble when he’s not looking for it at all.
- A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight book #1), published 1998
- Winter Of The Wolf Moon (Alex McKnight book #2), published 2000
- The Hunting Wind (Alex McKnight book #3), published 2001
- North of Nowhere (Alex McKnight book #4), published 2002
- Blood is the Sky (Alex McKnight book #5), published 2003
- Ice Run (Alex McKnight book #6), published 2004
- A Stolen Season (Alex McKnight book #7), published 2006
- Misery Bay (Alex McKnight book #8), published 2011
- Beneath the Book Tower (Alex McKnight book #0.5), published 2011
- Die a Stranger (Alex McKnight book #9), published 2012
- Let It Burn (Alex McKnight book #10), published 2013
The Alex McKnight series has currently 10 novels and a short story, which while was published in 2011, has it story taking place while Alex was still a Detroit cop, before he moved to Michigan. Except for the last two books in the series, each is available on the Kindle at really low prices, at least at the moment.
Nick Mason Series In Order
- The Second Life of Nick Mason (Nick Mason #1), published 2016
- Exit Strategy (Nick Mason #2), published 2017
- An Honorable Assassin (Nick Mason #3), published 2018
Steve Hamilton standalone novels
- Night Work, published 2007
- The Lock Artist, published 2009
Should we read the Steve Hamilton books in chronological order?
I’ve read all the Alex McKnight books and I’ve kind of read them out of order. However, I haven’t felt that I lost something in the process. I could follow the plot quite well, so I think reading the books in order is not a major requirement unless you are a stickler for doing them in proper order.
And of course the standalone novels can be read any way you want, they are not related to anything else the author has currently written.