Let It Burn

Mysterious Book Report No. 124

by John Dwaine McKenna

One thing you may not have picked up from all the cops n’ robbers shows we all watch nightly on the telly—as we have since we’ve had television, and the radio dramas before them, is this: all arresting and prosecuting officers of the law take a keen interest in the whereabouts of the miscreants they’ve put away.  Let’s face it.  No one wants to get jumped by a criminal who’s spent the last howevermany years rotting in jail, or gladiator school as some smart-alecs call it, plotting their revenge against the persons who put them there.  And therefore a notification system exists, formal and informal as well, to notify certain police or lawyers when certain convicts are released from prison, which is how this week’s MBR No. 124 begins.  Let It Burn, (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 276 pages, ISBN 978-0-312-64022-4) by Steve Hamilton, features his serial character named Alex McKnight, and this is his eleventh appearence in one of Mr. Hamilton’s novels.  McKnight is a medically retired, disabled Detroit policeman with a bullet still lodged in his chest, next to his heart.  He lives 300 miles north of the city at the extreme end of the Upper Michigan peninsula in a tiny town called Paradise.  It’s just before Labor Day, when McKnight . . . who is closing down the tourist cabins he makes his living with in preparation for winter . . . gets a phone call.  It’s from his old desk sergeant, a retired cop named Grimaldi, who is advising McKnight of the imminent release of a murderer that McKnight identified, helped arrest and send to prison.  It was a case that was closed just a couple of weeks before McKnight was shot three times by an insane man with an Uzi submachine gun and his partner was killed by the same crazed individual.  After a long convalescence, during which his marriage fell apart, McKnight left Detroit for the northernmost part of Michigan.  But, like an itch he can’t reach to scratch, the old case keeps nagging him because another detective closed it out . . . and McKnight isn’t one hundred percent certain that the kid who went to the Michigan State Penitentiary actually did the deed . . . which means that the real killer is still out there somewhere, still murdering other victims.  The case takes new and bizarre turns in every chapter until the conclusion blasts the reader into the realization that Hey this guy is a damn good writer!  There’s a reason he’s won more writing awards than I can even count, including a pair of those treasured Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America!  Read him yourself and see!  You’ll not be disappointed.

Have you sampled the selections your local library has to offer?  Read or surrender yourself to ignorance.  It was true 4,500 years ago when Confucius said it, and it’s still true today, so read on brothers and sisters, read on.

Check out our websites:

johndwainemckenna.com

and

rhyolitepress.com

The websites are enhanced and improved and easier to navigate.  Check it out for yourself and sign up for our FREE NEWSLETTER.  It’s an all-new feature.  While there, if you like us on Facebook and join our ever growing community of book lovers and adherents of the other Literae Humaniores, you’ll automatically get our weekly blogs and book reviews at 8 am Eastern time on Monday mornings, just as you get into work.  That way, you can relax with your coffee and still look busy as you re-adjust from the weekend back to the workweek.  Colorado Noir is off and running.  A limited number of author signed copies are available from Rhyolite Press LLC, P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO  80901, for $16.95 plus $4.00 shipping and handling.  The book is 318 pages, and eleven stories that will take you for a walk on the wild, dark and seamy side of one of the most controversial cities in America via the award-winning pen of John Dwaine McKenna, author of The Neversink Chronicles and The Whim-Wham Man.  In Colorado Noir you’ll ride along with a homeless, autistic woman named Elaine, as she tries to pick her living from the garbage in The Aluminum Mistress . . . Hang out with Yazzie and Darrell Lee as they learn to live rough, surviving by petty theft until one of them commits a capital crime in The Ghosts of Christmas Present . . . There’s merry mischief and pathos aplenty in Mosby’s Retreat, where you’ll meet a four-footed usher of death . . . Experience utter terror at 30,000 feet on a B-17 flying abattoir in The Rising, an unforgettable WWII story . . . And treat yourself to the second Jake McKern novella in A Mischief of Rats, as you countdown to a crime spree and shootout that will leave the reader gasping and blood running in the streets of Colorado Springs.  All these, plus six more of the best noir stories in town.  If you love crime fiction and mystery, don’t you DARE miss Colorado Noir!  Available at Amazon, Kindle eBooks, Barnes & Noble and bookstores everywhere, as well as the publisher, Rhyolite Press.

–JDM

 

 

 

Submit a Comment