The Penalty Killing

A Martin Carter Mystery

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
The action is intense in this debut mystery featuring Martin Carter, a former hockey star whose career was cut short by a head injury. Now he's has to solve three apparent, related murders - one of them his own - to get his life and reputation back.

Former hockey great Martin Carter now works for the New York St. Patricks, a team with a rare chance at winning a playoff spot. Their fans are hungry for the Cup, but their hopes are smashed when a crucial game ends in a violent, bench-clearing brawl, and a star forward is left in a coma.

Only one person saw what happened. She caught the attack on video and intends to use it for some expensive blackmail. When her body is found by the cops two days later, Carter is in deep trouble. His DNA is all over her and her apartment, and hers in his. And the footage, which now only he has seen, is missing.

In a story full of unexpected twists, the action is intense, the stakes are high, and the main player very cool under pressure.

From the Hardcover edition.


A bell rang, and it began.
“Hello?” Martin Carter said into his office phone late in the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day. On the other end was Douglas Bleecker IV, his voice rising at the end of the sentence with a question mark, like a teenager’s at the mall....
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"McKinley breaks away into a unique and enthralling new genre - the hockey thriller! This fast paced novel encompasses an innovative story line, beautifully created settings, and brilliantly developed characters - a literary hat trick!"
— Christopher Ralph,

"McKinley's voice is a solo sax from an alley and his book is pure night in the city — silky and dangerous. This is noir they way they did it back when they really did it." 
— Don Winslow, author of The Dawn Patrol

"Michael McKinley knows hockey. . . . [His] take on violence in pro hockey is refreshing."
— NOW magazine

"McKinley's prose is punchy. . . . As a character, Martin Carter strikes just the right balance of abrasiveness and charm." 
— Quill & Quire

From the Hardcover edition.