Alex McKnight Books

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Alex McKnight is the lead character in the Alex McKnight series of novels by American author Steve Hamilton. The first book featuring the McKnight character was A Cold Day in Paradise published in 1998. The Alex McKnight series are classified as mystery thrillers.

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Order of Alex McKnight Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Cold Day in Paradise ( By: Steve Hamilton) 1998 Description / Buy
2 Winter of the Wolf Moon ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2000 Description / Buy
3 The Hunting Wind ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2001 Description / Buy
4 North of Nowhere ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2002 Description / Buy
5 Blood is the Sky ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2003 Description / Buy
6 Ice Run ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2004 Description / Buy
7 A Stolen Season ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2006 Description / Buy
8 Beneath the Book Tower (Short Story) ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2011 Description / Buy
9 Misery Bay ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2011 Description / Buy
10 Die a Stranger ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2012 Description / Buy
11 Let it Burn ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2013 Description / Buy
12 Dead Man Running ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2018 Description / Buy
13 Riddle Island (Short Story) ( By: Steve Hamilton) 2020 Description / Buy
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The first book in the Alex McKnight series, A Cold Day In Paradise,, was released in 1998, to a lot of critical acclaim. Steve Hamilton picked up the Private Eye Writers of America Award for Best First Mystery by an Unpublished Writer, and upon publication, A Cold Day In Paradise picked up the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel, as well as the Private Eye Writers of America equivalent, the Shamus Award. A Cold Day In Paradise introduces us to Alex McKnight, upon his departure from the police force, and how he’s coping with the near-fatal shooting he was involved in. When a killer appears in Paradise, Michigan, exhibiting the same characteristic and trademarks of the man who almost killed Alex McKnight, Maximilian Rose, our hero must work out just who is behind these murders in the town of Paradise.

Steve Hamilton followed up A Cold Day In Paradise with Winter of the Wolf in 1998, followed by The Hunting Wind in 2002, North of Nowhere in 2003, Blood is the Sky in 2004, Ice Run in 2005, and then A Stolen Season in 2006. Hamilton then took some time off to create the next book in the Alex McKnight series.

In 2011, Steve Hamilton brought Alex McKnight back in from the cold with the publication of Misery Bay, the eighth book in the Alex McKnight series. In Misery Bay, we are reintroduced to Alex McKnight, and the cold wilderness he seems to find himself in in Paradise, Michigan. During a particular cold January, a young man apparently commits suicide at a place known locally as Misery Bay. While McKnight does not hear about this tragedy initially, in March of the same year, he is asked for help from a very unlikely person. The mystery in Misery Bay takes McKnight to a darker place than he has been to in his previous mysteries, and it will leave him feeling unprepared for what he encounters along the way.

After the great reception the return of Alex McKnight received in Misery Bay, fans didn’t have to wait long for the next book in the series as the ninth book in the series, Die a Stranger was released in 2012, followed by Let It Burn in 2013. The Alex McKnight series has won Steve Hamilton several awards and continues to be a hit with critics and fans alike.

Alex McKnight is an Ex Detroit police officer turned private investigator in Paradise, Michigan. He left his job after nearly being killed by a gunman who killed his partner. He still carries around the memories from that day in the form of a slug in his chest. Taking his small disability pay, he moved to the small town to avoid the crime and violence of the big cities. Even so, it seems that crime has a flair for finding him whenever he goes.

The first novel in the Alex McKnight series begins the story of McKnight just after he quits the police service and settles in a cabin in the woods in the small town of Paradise. He has put his near fatal injury and his partner’s death behind him, and only has the bullet in his chest to remind him of his former life.

With the man responsible for the fatal shooting safely locked away for the rest of his life, he is confident that he can live out his years in peace. However, it is not long before he starts seeing reports of murders in his small paradise town papers, which bear the unmistakable trademark of the convicted killer. Who could be privy to the mode of operation of the criminal, to execute them so perfectly? What follows is a whirlwind of a tale as McKnight tries to unravel a mystery so compelling, that it is no wonder that the book is a recipient of over five awards since publication.


The Alex McKnight series has won and been nominated for numerous awards over the years. The first novel in the series A Cold Day in Paradise won the 1997 Best First P.I. Novel by an unpublished writer awarded by St. Martin’s Press/Private Eye Writers of America. In 1999, the book was a finalist for Barry Best First, Anthony Best First, and won the PWA Shamus for Best First and the MWA Edgar Allan Poe for Best First. North of Nowhere published in 2003 was a finalist for the 2003 Barry for Best Novel, Anthony for Best Mystery, and Shamus for Best Novel. The 2000 published Winter of the Wolf Moon was featured in the year 2000 New York Times Notable Book List and was a finalist for Barry for Best Novel. The 2006 novel A Stolen Season was a Nero Finalist. The 2004 novel Blood is the Sly won the 2004 Gumshoe Award, and was a finalist for the 2004 Anthony for Best mystery and Shamus for Best Novel.


While none of the McKnight books has been made into movies, one of the most popular novels by Steven Hamilton, The Lock Artist was bought by Shane Salerno and is currently being adapted into a movie. Lionsgate has also bought the rights to his 2016 published book The Second Life of Nick Mason. Richard Wenk of the Equalizer fame will write the movie’s script.


The first book in the series, A Cold Day in Paradise has won multiple awards, and many fans deem it, the best book in the Alex McKnight series.

The eighth book in the Alex McKnight series, Misery Bay is one of the most highly regarded. When a young man that Alex barely knows commits suicide at Misery Bay, what seems like a straightforward quest for answers suddenly turns into something more deadly than Alex has ever faced. He is suddenly in the firing line of a methodical and ruthless killer who leaves violence in his wake, in the quest for bloody revenge. While he has previously dealt with hit men, drug dealers and even mobsters, nothing could prepare him for the dark nature of this killer.

Another brilliant book in the Alex McKnight series is the fifth book Blood is the Sky. A reluctant investigator, Alex finds himself dragged into the hunt for his longtime friend’s brother and his friends that seem to have vanished in northern Ontario. A heart pounding series of happenings soon leaves them stranded in the middle of the Canadian wastelands, miles from civilization. It seems someone is determined to ensure they do not come out alive.


Fans of the Alex McKnight series are also fans of the “Charlie Fox” series by the author Zoe Sharp. These novels are thrillers that features Charlie Fox a feminine version of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, with her Special Forces training, and subsequent disgrace from the army. Alex McKnight fans might also love the “Moe Prager” series by Reed Farrel Coleman. Moe Prager is a an ex-cop turned private investigator who works in the New York City underground of criminal gangs, biker bars and sex clubs.

Alex McKnight FAQs

Q: Who writes the Alex McKnight series of books?

A: The Alex McKnight series of books is written by the American author Steve Hamilton.

Q: What is the first book in the Alex McKnight series?

A: The first book in the Alex McKnight series is A Cold Day In Paradise, which was released in 1998.

What Is The Next Book in The Alex Mcknight Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Alex Mcknight Series. The newest book is Riddle Island and was released on February, 4th 2020.

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