Thomas Dunne Books, Sep 2007
The only thing keeping Joe going, after the murder of his fiancée Laurel two years ago, is his job as a probation officer. Laurel's career was to save women from their brutal husbands, and it looked like she angered the wrong husband. But now Joe has decided to try dating again – and his new lady has also been murdered. Suddenly it looks like it was Joe who angered the wrong person, not Laurel. It's the worst revenge he can imagine.
If only the out-of-town cops saw things the same way. They can't find another option beyond Joe. While Joe is looking for his enemy and trying to protect every woman he has been in contact with, the cops are building a case against him.
Like most thrillers, Joe ends up on the run from the authorities. Unlike most thrillers, Joe is a multi-dimensioned, feeling human being. I have read thrillers that don't even have enough emotional dimension to build psychological consistency. That is not true of author Steve Hamilton. I read his Nero Award finalist A STOLEN SEASON as background for this review; it also was full of the dramatic emotion and friendship that make the hero a person to care for.
Up until NIGHT WORK, Steve Hamilton has been writing about detective Alex McKnight, and has been either winning or shortlisted for awards with them. This is his first standalone – with the same high quality. I am far from being a thriller fan, but reading Steve Hamilton is a don't-put-it-down pleasure.
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