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The Blood Knot (Fly Fishing Mysteries) Hardcover – October 25, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Fly Fishing Mystery Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Galligan's rewarding if grim second fly-fishing mystery (after 2003's The Nail Knot) offers an emotionally tortured protagonist, Ned Oglivie (aka Dog), and a clan of misfits and survivors worthy of Faulkner, the Kussmauls, who coexist uneasily with each other and their Amish neighbors in remote Avalanche, Wis. Searching for oblivion on a three-year fishing trip and suffering from a vicious beaver bite, Dog is tramping through the woods one morning when he sees 10-year-old Deuce Kussmaul fire his kid-sized .22 into the body of "barn lady" Annie Adams lying in a stream. (Annie liked to paint pictures of barns.) After Deuce's mother, Eve, who's a banned Amish and a meth-user, treats Dog's beaver bite, he agrees to try to prove her son didn't kill Annie. The author brilliantly draws the Snopes-like Kussmauls while writing with flair and passion about fly-fishing, art and fate. But like J. Robert Janes's St. Cyr and Kohler series, Galligan will need to be hand-sold to reach the right audience.
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Review

"The Blood Knot grabs, yanks and hauls the reader in with the lure of intelligent, atypical and dark prose." -- January Magazine (best of 2005 crime novels)

"A superbly told tale of trout and red herrings chased with vodka and Tang. One helluva story." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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Product Details

  • Series: Fly Fishing Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Bleak House Books; 1st edition (October 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932557121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932557121
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I thought that Mr. Galligan's first fly fishing murder mystery (The Nail Knot) was really great. "The Bood Knot" blows it out of the water. It's a nice, tight murder mystery, that keeps you guessing until the end. It is full of dry, dark humor and bizzare characters. You don't need to be a fly fisherman or woman to enjoy this tale immensely! I'll be first in line for the third adventure with "The Dog"!
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Format: Hardcover
The Blood Knot by John Galligan is the engagingly entertaining story of a young, devoted fly fisherman named 'The Dog', and his survival in the Wisconsin town of Avalanche. As the Dog's exploratory quest for the greatest fly fishing brings him to the spiteful people of Kussmaul County and a the biting of a beaver thought to be rabid, The Blood Knot tactfully and vividly carries readers through page-after-page of an evermore gripping and intriguing mystery novel as the Dog finds yet another dead body, and even more peculiar, an outcast Amish woman high on crystal-meth. A superbly crafted mystery, The Blood Knot is very highly recommended reading as a man who's only intentions are peacefully fly fishing in country finds himself enveloped in peculiar happenings and a genuine "who done it" conundrum.
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Format: Hardcover
John Galligan is a terrific writer. The readers of Crimespree Magazine picked this as their favorite book of 2005. And with good reason. Galligan has written one of my favorite books of the last ten years.

The Blood Knot evokes such a sense of place it's like you're actually there, smelling the smells and experiencing the weather right along with the characters. It's also a wonderful story. Our reluctant hero, Dog, just wants to be left alone, he wants to fish and forget the past. But he is drawn into a murder investigation and before long is working the case.

Galliagan is someone to keepyour eye on, I predict big things for him and Bleak House books. I've enjoyed every Bleak House book I've read.
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Format: Paperback
John Galligan is among the best mystery writers putting out books today. There's a fresh twist to his writing and a strong character-based point of view. That might sound like English teacher mumbo-jumbo; the point is you feel like you are in a fresh land with fresh prose and fresh imagery.

I do believe that if you read the snippet of prose that is opening "chapter" of The Blood Knot, you will turn the page. And all the rest--even if you don't know fly fishing, Wisconsin or the Amish in Wisconsin. Galligan--and Oglivie--will give you reason to care.

The title of The Blood Knot pretty much lets us know that Ned Oglivie gets all wound up in a gnarly family feud. This one involves barn paintings, meth, voyeurs, a clash of cultures and the kind of backwoods, small-town darkness you might find in Dickey's Deliverance, for instance, or the dark inner jungles of Willliam Faulkner. Oglivie--a.k.a. The Dog--finds himself inexorably pulled into figuring out how barn-painter Annie Adams was murdered and what roles were being played by members of the odd Kussmaul clan. In order to solve this one, The Dog must assemble how the Kussmaul "family" fits together--or not.

But, what's fresh about that? How many times do you read a mystery and wonder how the non-cop, non-detective main character is going to be the one to sort things out and then chase down and face down the bad guys?

Galligan makes it work. Oglivie resists as much as he moves ahead. He is in his own self-inflicted kind of purgatory, constantly questioning his role and place in the work ahead.

Galligan does not hold the reader's hand. You are asked to keep up. I found one moment where The Dog stops to sort things out, but it's not much.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This crime novel is set in the Wisconsin countryside, I am sure not far from where I was born. I remember seeing Amish horse drawn buggies along Highway 29 when it was still a narrow road. They all wore orange triangles on the rear, warning signs that they go slow. The story here is not fast-paced either; you creep into it along with the protagonist, looking over your shoulder.

I must admit that Galligan's depiction of the Amish was a shock to my romantic sensibilities. It's hard to make wholesome farmers into loutish ghouls, but by putting them into a religious sect frequently shunned by mainstream Christians, you give them reasons to be secretive. They become suspicious and their neighbors more so. The women here are (mostly) marvelous.

I have read all but one of this author's quirky "Fly Fishing Mysteries." "The Dog" is a joy to be with, even though he is a rather physically disgusting companion. The Dog is a loner with guilt, brave and true, so you learn to excuse his manners.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again Dog Oglivie is moving around the country fly-fishing some of the best rivers when he gets himself involved with a murder among some Amish people. This one is like the first book in this series in that is well written with great character development. All I can say about the ending is that, if you saw this one coming you are much better than I am. Well, let me clarify a little. I had a suspicion who the murderer was, but the motivation was pure left-field. Would not have EVER come up with that! Great read
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