Customer Reviews for

Night Work

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Looks can be deceiving, and so can feelings. Joe Trumbull learned this lesson not just the hard way but in a way that was almost fatal. To date, life hasn't been good to him. He's a juvenile probation officer in Kingston, New York. Some of the kids are petty offenders, others could be classified as hard-boiled criminals. So, we'd assume Joe was a pretty savvy guy. Perhaps so, but his mind is also clouded by tragedy. It was two years ago that he was looking forward to marrying Laurel. Then, on the night of his bachelor party she was strangled. Since then Joe has turned inward, retreated, doing his job and working out at the gym. But now he thinks that just maybe he's ready to make a better kind of life for himself, so he goes out on a blind date. Surprisingly to him the evening went well. Shocking to him was the murder of his date later that same evening. As other women are killed, women who had some contact with Joe, the police zero in on him as suspect No. 1. It seems the only way he can clear himself is to find the psychotic killer who is intent upon destroying him. Edgar and Shamus winner Steve Hamilton has crafted a suspenseful tale, which is read by another winner - Dick Hill. Named a Golden Voice and a Voice of the Century by Audiophile magazine, Hill delivers one more stunning narration. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2015

    Steve Hamilton is -- unfairly -- among the best-kept secrets in

    Steve Hamilton is -- unfairly -- among the best-kept secrets in the wide world of crime writers, possibly because in his stand-alone books he requires readers with a higher IQ than those who inhale genre work in a single sitting and judge its worth on the basis of how many get killed per chapter, and did the hero or heroin get laid.
    That requirement for a fondness for plot and character development - versus police chases and gunfights - applies to "Night Work" just as it did to "The Lock Artist." I wonder how many of those reviewers who are knocking the book actually caught the almost subliminal key to Joe's relationship with Laurel? This book is a classic laying out of a devious plot to frame a somewhat clueless, decent guy for murders staged to placate a demented woman "of a certain age"? Or have I given away too much? By all means, do not be deterred by the negative reviews here. Being from Michigan, I have read all of the Alex McKnight novels set in the Upper Peninsula and give them five solid stars too, immensely entertaining, yet they are formulaic, genre pieces and cut from a different cloth than the likes of "Night Work." Get this book and enjoy it, and don't miss the more than casually revealing hint about Miss Laurel, and her actual relationship with poor, paranoid, clueless, beaten up Joe.

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  • Posted November 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    In his first standalone, following his wonderful Alex McKnight s

    In his first standalone, following his wonderful Alex McKnight series, Steve Hamilton introduces Joe Trumbull, a probation officer in Kingston, New York, an upstate city in the Hudson Valley. He lives in an apartment above a converted bus station now serving as a gym, where he works out every day to try to keep in shape, at which he mostly succeeds. He describes his job as follows: “I’m part cop, part social worker, part guidance counselor, part rehab coordinator, part bounty hunter. Every hour of every day, I’m your official court-designated guardian angel. I can come to your house on a school-day morning and drag your ass out of bed, because going to school is an absolutely nonnegotiable part of your probation.” He sees himself as helping the kids with whom he works to make something good of their lives when those lives are at a critical juncture.

    Just as idealistic is the young woman to whom he is engaged: she works at a battered women’s shelter, and is passionate about her work, up until the day, three days before their wedding, when she is murdered. Her killer has never been caught. As the book opens, Joe has been at a sort of disconnect from the life around him, going into work on his day off, feeling “This was where I belonged, no doubt about it, reading over somebody’s PSI [presentence investigation] instead of being outside enjoying a perfect August day,” when he decides that “after two long years, it was time to start my life again,” and is about to embark on a blind date, his first date since the death of his fiancée, who he still refers to as ‘my Laurel.’ His date goes remarkably, and unexpectedly, well. And then the unthinkable happens, followed shortly by the unimaginable. At which point everything changes, and the book becomes impossible to put down. The suspense kept this reader glued to the page right up until the ending. My one complaint was that that ending was almost anticlimactic, and nearly fails to live up to what had preceded it. Which does not at all inhibit my recommendation of this terrific read.

    I particularly enjoyed Mr. Hamilton’s protagonist love of jazz, at one point describing a great saxophone solo “with the perfect smooth tone like the sound of your lover’s voice. It was impossible for someone to play that well, absolutely impossible, but that’s the thing about live jazz. When it comes together it sounds better than you ever could have expected. As good as anything you’ve ever heard.” In this, as well as in his fine writing, the author joins another wonderful contemporary mystery author, Michael Connelly—high praise indeed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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