Another book down in my Steve Hamilton catchup reading project. This one from 2006. Mr. Hamilton's website says that I've got eight more to go, but by the time I get there, he'll probably have written more. Paradoxical, Captain Zeno!
This is the seventh book in his series with protagonist Alex McKnight: ex-baseball player, ex-cop, ex-private eye. As always, he just wants to take care of his cabin-rental business in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but events keep dragging him into a world of criminal violence.
Specifically, Alex and his buddies are coincidentally on hand to witness the crash of a big old boat into a defunct railroad bridge's pilings. This calls for a rescue, ably carried out, but the guys they rescue are obviously less than savory, and there's some discussion afterward: what happened to that big box we had on board with us?
Another complication: Alex's Canadian girlfriend, Natalie. Unlike most Canadian girlfriends, she's real. But after the events of the previous books, she wants to get back to her job, which is Canadian law enforcement. Which (in turn) requires her to go on a dangerous undercover mission in Toronto, attempting to sting a notorious gun-running gang.
Another Dickensian coincidence: the two plot threads are related. It's a funny old world. (Sounds like a spoiler, but it's mentioned on the back of my paperback.)
I admit that Mr. Hamilton presents a plot twist slightly over halfway through that I did not see coming. I did not think he was going to Go There.
Other than that, this is a step down in quality from the previous books in the series. Alex's first-person narration is mopier than usual; also, he insists on ticking off the names of the towns he drives through, the streets he drives by. Nobody cares about U. P. geography that much, Alex!