This is the fifth book in the Alex McKnight series about a former cop turned rental agent that works in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on the shore of Lake Superior. We start out with Alex rebuilding his cabin that has burned to the ground. He is doing this in late fall and it appears he might not get it built before the winter snows start.
A friend of his by the name of Vinnie, an Ojibwa Indian, offers to help him rebuild the cabin and tells him that he is doing everything the wrong way. Vinnie doesn't show up to help Alex one day and Alex being the good friend that he is goes looking for him. Vinnie has given his brother Tom his driver's license, because Tom has had trouble with the law in the past. Tom needs this identification to leave the U S and enter Canada to take some Americans on a moose hunt.
Tom doesn't return and Alex and Vinnie try to follow the trail of where he could be and why he hasn't returned home. This trip takes them all over the Interior of Canada to areas that are not reached by vehicle but by float planes and at times it appears they will not survive. Without some of the Indian survival techniques they might not.
This report prepared by Connie Rutter
Dunne, Jun 2003, 24.95, 304 pp.
Though it is October and winter is establishing its frozen grip on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Alex McKnight begins rebuilding his devastated cabin. The ex everything (minor-league catcher, cop, and private investigator, et al) feels he must complete this job now as his humble abode, wrecked by a nut case, once belonged to his dad. His stoic best friend Vinnie “Red Sky” LeBlanc reluctantly helps though he thinks Alex should add asylum time to his resume.
Works stops when Vinnie learns that his brother Tom, a professional guide currently escorting a group in the Canadian woods, is lost. This seems out of character for a skilled expert like Tom, which worries Vinnie as much as his concern that his sibling's parole officer might learn about the parole violation of crossing the border. Vinnie heads north while Alex follows his friend. Neither realizes that the biting cold is not the nightmare on this journey.
Edgar and Shamus Award winner, Steve Hamilton has written his best mystery to date, which seems impossible, as the McKnight series is one of the best of the last few years. The story line twists and turns keeping the reader guessing as to what the heroes will find behind the next corner yet keeps a fast albeit cold pace without losing the prime plot. In spite of the frozen tundra, Alex seems warmer yet not mellower than he has previously appeared and the support cast provides the depth to a grand slam tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner