Let It Burn

By Steve Hamilton
Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312640224, 276pp.

Publication Date: July 2, 2013

List Price: $25.99*
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"Let it Burn" is the newest novel in the acclaimed Alex McKnight series by two-time Edgar award-winner and "New York Times "bestselling author Steve Hamilton.

Even though Alex McKnight swore to serve and protect Detroit as a police officer, a trip to Motown these days is a trip to a past he'd just as soon forget. The city will forever remind him of his partner's death and of the bullet still lodged in his own chest. So he's more than happy to stay in the little town of Paradise, three hundred miles and half a lifetime away.

Then he gets a call from his old sergeant. It turns out that a young man Alex helped put away will be getting out of prison. That one big case marked the highlight of his career, before his partner was killed, before his marriage fell apart, before he left Detroit, forever. Now that man is about to walk free.

When the sergeant invites Alex downstate to have a drink for old times' sake, it's an offer he would normally refuse. However, there's a certain female FBI agent he can't stop thinking about, so he gets in his truck and he goes back to Detroit. While there, he's reminded of something about that last case, a seemingly small piece of the puzzle that he never got to share. It's not something anyone wants to hear, but Alex can't let go of this gut feeling that they arrested the wrong man.

And that the real killer not only got away, but went on to kill again.

And again.

And again.

About the Author
Steve Hamilton's first novel, A Cold Day in Paradise, won the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin s Press Best First Private Eye Novel Contest before becoming a USA Today bestseller and winning both an Edgar and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel. His stand-alone novel, The Lock Artist, was named a New York Times Notable Crime Book, received an Alex Award from the American Library Association, and then went on to win the Edgar Award for Best Novel, making him only the second author (after Ross Thomas) to win Edgars for both Best First Novel and Best Novel. He attended the University of Michigan, where he won the prestigious Hopwood Award for writing, and now lives in Cottekill, New York, with his wife and their two children.

Praise For Let It Burn

Praise for Steve Hamilton:

“A proven master of suspense.”


“I’m often asked to recommend a detective series readers might have missed. This is it.”


"I really like his main character, Alex McKnight, and I'm ready to revisit Paradise, Michigan."


“Already one of our best writers.”


"Hamilton writes tough, passionate novels.... This is crime writing at its very best.”


“Hamilton’s compelling, vigorous prose doesn’t allow the option of taking a break.”

Los Angeles Times

“Steve Hamilton writes the kind of stories that manly men and tough-minded women can’t resist.”

 —The New York Times

“Hamilton . . . paints a rich and vivid portrait of a world where the chill in the air is often matched by that of the soul.”

 —The Providence Journal

“Hamilton gives us mysteries within mysteries as well as a hero who simply won’t be beaten down.”

The Miami Herald

“Hamilton’s prose . . . remains an unself-consciously terse pleasure.”

Entertainment Weekly

Praise for Let It Burn:

“As the tense story unfolds, the action builds to a violent climax. This beautifully crafted novel lives up to the standard fans have come to expect from one of the few writers to have ever been honored with two Edgar Awards.”

—Associated Press

“This may be his best one so far.”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Let It Burn may be Hamilton's best novel yet.”

Shelf Awareness

“McKnight’s vision of now-devastated Detroit is tremendously compelling.”


“Steve Hamilton has written another compelling addition to his continually outstanding Alex McKnight series with Let It Burn. As always, Hamilton's writing is realistically stylized with three-dimensional characters and atmospheric locales. You literally feel the heartbreak of present-day Detroit in comparison to its former glory days as the renowned Motor City. Let It Burn is thrilling crime drama at its very best.”

—Fresh Fiction

“A great read, for all the right reasons.”

—Criminal Element

“As good as it gets for an Alex McKnight mystery, and that’s a high standard indeed!”

—Book Loons

Let It Burn is a tense, well-constructed, and sometimes poignant tale that will make newcomers to Hamilton’s series want to go back and read the previous entries.”

—The Rap Sheet

“The Alex McKnight series is head and shoulders above most in the crime genre today and Hamilton writes with such an easy style it is impossible to not get instantly drawn into the drama. Let It Burn is a great and unforgettable read and one that does the Alex McKnight series proud.”

—New Mystery Reader

"This is a police procedural of the highest order. The chapters in the first half of the book alternate between the present and the events which took place all those years ago at a pivotal, life-changing time for McKnight. The second half of the book follows him trying to go back over everything in the initial investigation to find out what he missed. Ultimately this already fast-paced tale takes a totally unexpected twist. And from that point on, I couldn’t put the book down."

Crimespree Magazine

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