A Cold Day in Paradise is the 1998 mystery novel by Steve Hamilton. It won both the Edgar and the Shamus awards for best first novel. It is the first in the Alex McKnight series, which is up to 11 novels now. I enjoyed this, and I'm glad I found this series. It'll be fun catching up.
from the back of the book:
Other than the bullet lodged less than a centimeter from his heart, former Detroit police officer Alex McKnight thought he had put the nightmare of his partner’s death and his own near-fatal injury behind him. After all, Maximilian Rose, convicted of the crimes has been locked in the state pen for years. But in the small town of Paradise, Michigan, where McKnight has traded his badge for a cozy cabin in the woods, a murderer with Rose’s unmistakable trademarks appears to be back to his killing ways. With Rose locked away, McKnight can’t understand who else would know the intimate details of the old murders—not to mention the signature blood-red rose left on his doorstep. And it seems like it’ll be a frozen day in Hell before McKnight can unravel the cold truth from a deadly deception in a town that’s anything but paradise.Teaser from the flyleaf:
Blood is always the same. I tried not to think. It didn't happen. It was a bad dream. Uttley thanking me. Telling me to go home and get some sleep. Edwin standing there with that lost look on his face. For once all the money in the world wasn't going to make a problem go away. Chief Maven, playing his little hard-ass games with us. I had known so many cops just like him.Kirkus Reviews has a positive review. Crime Fiction Lover notes "the author’s wonderful sense of time and place" and says, "The author’s attention to detail is impeccable, and I found Alex McKnight to be a capable hero, but he’s certainly not without his flaws, and it’s that humanity that makes him so appealing."
Way back when, Alex. Back in Detroit.
Stop right there. Don’t think about anything else. You didn't really go into that motel room. You didn't really see it. The red, the red, all that red.
I tried to stop the next image from coming into my mind, but I could not. I saw the blood again. A vast shivering red lake of blood.
That day in Detroit. I am there again. The blood, just like tonight. The same color. The same quality. Blood is always the same.