Let It Burn
Review: When former Detroit police officer and now sometime private investigator Alex McKnight receives a phone call that a teenager he identified as the brutal killer of a woman he found slain is getting out of prison, he doesn't think much about it. That was part of his past life. But considering his former sergeant has suggested they get together for a drink the next time he's in the city, he decides to make the trip from the Upper Peninsula, if only to also have dinner with someone special to him, in Let It Burn, the tenth mystery in this series by Steve Hamilton.
Returning to the UP after his impromptu trip to Detroit, Alex can't shake the feeling that something went wrong about that case long ago. In fact, at the time he was in the hospital recovering from being shot in the chest while on another case, and never participated in the questioning of Darryl King. He'd heard about what happened, that Darryl had confessed to the crime, but he'd never read the transcript as he left the force after recovering from his wounds. Requesting a copy, he realizes that Darryl never actually says he committed the brutal stabbing of the woman, but simply allowed himself to be convicted. Convinced that Darryl was covering for someone, he heads back to Detroit to right and old wrong.
There is much to like about Let It Burn. The storyline is well crafted and unfolds at a steady pace, allowing the reader to follow along with Alex as he reconstructs what must have happened. A lengthy backstory is interwoven into the first two thirds of this mystery, and while largely unnecessary — it fills in some details but otherwise adds little to the overall story — it is structured nicely and not overly intrusive. The whodunit element is cleverly integrated, seemingly coming out of nowhere at the end but really present all along, a fine way to close this really quite good murder mystery.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Let It Burn for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Let It Burn: Detroit, Upper Peninsula, Michigan
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Let It Burn by Steve Hamilton — An Alex McKnight Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 2013
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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