Its a cold winter in Michigans upper peninsula and all PI Alex McKnight wants to do is curl up with some beer and enjoy the solitude of his cabin. When an Ojibwa friend, Vinnie LeBlanc, asks him to substitute for a player in a hockey game, the 48-year-old Alex reluctantly agrees.

At the game, Alex becomes the target of an opposing player, Lonnie Brockman, a brute who enjoys violence. Although McKnight avoids an altercation, Vinnie notices that Brockman has a woman with him, an Ojibwa named Dorothy Parrish.

Vinnie is sure Dorothy is not with Brockman willingly. Later on, Dorothy turns up at Alexs cabin, and asks him to help her get away from Brockman. He agrees, but the next morning shes vanished without a trace. As he searches for her, Alex finds himself entwined in a web of violence that leads to death.

WINTER OF THE WOLF MOON is a stark, gritty tale. One can almost feel the chill winter of the Northwoods as Hamilton tells his tale of vengeance and pride. The tone is not entirely bleak, for there are touches of humor as well. (On-sale Feb., 288 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg