The Hunting Wind
Alex McNight series
By Steve Hamilton
St Martins Press - June 2001
ISBN: 0312268947 - Hardcover
Suspense / Private Investigator

Reviewed by: Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.Com
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Alex McNight retired to Paradise in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when a bullet lodged close to his heart ended his career as a Detroit policeman. In Paradise where the snow doesn't melt until May he lived a solitary life in one of the cabins his father built.

This placid life was disrupted one night while he was at the Glasgow Inn enjoying his favorite Canadian beer when Randy Wilkins arrived from Los Angeles.

Randy and Alex were team members of a minor league baseball term 30 years ago. Randy was a southpaw pitcher and Alex a catcher. Alex never made it beyond the minor league. Randy had a chance at the major league but never made it beyond the first game.

Now 30 years later he seeks out Alex, who is a sometime private investigator, to find Maria with whom he had a brief affair while in the major league and who he claims is the love of his life.

Alex is reluctant to undertake the search, but is persuaded to do so because of their onetime relationship.

His search for Maria takes him back to Detroit and to a small town where he locates Maria. All is not what it seems. He is threatened by the locals and the police of the town who are doing everything in their power to protect Maria.

In the course of his investigations he learns that Randy is not all he purports to be. Alex is caught in a web of deceit and betrayal, causing him to question Randy's motives and veracity. This will inevitably lead to a final fatal confrontation between Randy and Maria's protectors.

This is a well-plotted, complex story which moves easily and swiftly to the final outcome. It is full of unexpected twists and turns, leaving the reader in suspense. There are flashes of humor in the relationship between the two men.

The glimpses of life in the baseball minor league and the rapport between catcher and pitcher are enlightening.

The author has a fine sense of atmosphere, conjuring the feel of the cold Michigan Upper Peninsula all too realistically. He raises the question of how much loyalty does one owe a long forgotten friend.

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