Featured Review: ‘Dead Man Running’ by Steve Hamilton

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DEAD MAN RUNNING official coverAlex McKnight returns with a bang in Dead Man Running, the thrilling new novel from New York Times bestselling author Steve Hamilton.

Alex McKnight, last seen in Let it Burn (2014), is still living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula when readers meet back up with the former Detroit cop turned private detective. While he’s still battling the tundra-like winter conditions and living in near isolation, McKnight has a new gig this time around working as a “fugitive recovery agent” (a fancy way of saying bounty hunter) for Superior Bail Bonds out of Marquette.

While on a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea, Frank Thompson takes a moment away from sunbathing on the deck with his wife to check his security camera at home. At first, the video feed coming through seems normal, until a man suddenly appears in his home. Switching cameras to follow the intruder around, Frank sits six thousand miles and eight time zones away while a stranger walks through his Scottsdale, Arizona home, making his way into the Thompsons’ master bedroom. What he saw next was truly horrifying. 

After Thompson alerted the police to what he’d witnessed on camera, seasoned FBI agent Roger Halliday assumes control of the scene in Scottsdale, convinced that the man captured on camera is the serial killer he’s been hunting across the US, through California, Utah, and Nevada, in relation to at least six kidnappings and murders. Hoping they finally caught a break in the case, Halliday lays a trap for the UNSUB, who has a penchant for returning to the scene of the crime over the course of several days to revisit his victims and engage in disturbing acts.

The trap works, but once in custody, the suspect, who is identified as Martin T. Livermore, flips the script on the FBI. 

After revealing that he fully intended to be caught on camera and that he knew the FBI would be waiting for him when he returned, Livermore, who is as unsettling as any character Hamilton has ever created, drops a bomb. . . his seventh victim is still alive, but he will only take the FBI to her location under one condition: that a former Detroit police officer named Alex McKnight be brought in and along for the ride. 

As Hamilton’s story unfolds, it becomes clear to Alex that he has no connection whatsoever to Livermore. Not from his time as a cop, or a PI. At the same time, McKnight realizes that while Livermore means nothing to him, he clearly means something to the deranged killer, who seems to be playing an elaborate long game. But as Alex races to figure out the killer’s master plan, he’s confronted with a shocking reality. In an instant, the tables have turned and McKnight suddenly finds himself in the most dangerous, emotionally draining, and physically exhausting case of his life. 

Alex McKnight’s been put through the ringer before, but never quite like this. . . Steve Hamilton rakes his hero over the coals, taking him to hell and back as he faces off with a man so evil that he’d scare the hell out of the devil himself. 

Full of twists and turns, Hamilton’s latest McKnight novel is raw, dark, and absolutely relentless. . . Dead Man Running proves that Steve Hamilton is one of the best crime writers on the planet, and his latest showing will leave readers begging for more. 

Book Details

Author: Steve Hamilton
Series: Alex McKnight #11
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399574441
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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