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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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Blood Is the Sky: An Alex McKnight Mystery Hardcover – June 24, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews
Book 5 of 10 in the Alex McKnight Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

One of the most promising secondary figures in Steve Hamilton's series about reluctant northern Michigan PI Alex McKnight has always been his teetotaling Ojibwa Indian pal, Vinnie LeBlanc. But Vinnie remained mostly to himself through the first four McKnight adventures. Blood Is the Sky finally lets him loose, and it's both a pleasure and painful to see what results.

Vinnie's younger, ex-con brother, Tom, has disappeared. In violation of his parole, Tom had guided a small contingent of moose hunters into the pacific forests of Ontario, but none of them had returned home on schedule. To assuage Vinnie's worries, McKnight agrees to drive with him into Canada and look for the men. No luck; the owners of a money-losing lakeside lodge where those sportsmen had stayed say they departed days ago. So where did they go? Who were the two other, unidentified guys who came looking for them in advance of McKnight and his friend? And why was the hunters' vehicle abandoned, with their wallets inside, near an Indian reservation? Looking for answers, the detective and Vinnie set off into the woods, where hungry bears are by no means the most dangerous creatures they'll have to face.

Despite its Deliverance-like moments, and an explosively violent conclusion that's not sufficiently foreshadowed, Blood Is the Sky is really a gracefully composed study of character, as focused on Vinnie's strengths and failings as Hamilton's previous novel, North of Nowhere, was on the backstory of another series regular, bar owner Jackie Connery. Yet McKnight shines here, too, his self-effacing humor keeping readers amused, when they aren't amazed--again--by the lengths to which this supposedly lonerish sleuth will go to help a friend in trouble. --J. Kingston Pierce

From Publishers Weekly

Edgar winner Hamilton's engrossing novel of revenge, the fifth in his Alex McKnight series (after 2002's North of Nowhere), alternates between well-paced action fraught with danger and Alex's slow, meticulous inquiries. A former Detroit cop sidelined by a bullet, Alex is living quietly in Michigan's remote Upper Peninsula when he agrees to help an Ojibway friend, Vinnie Red Sky LeBlanc. Vinnie's searching for his black sheep brother, Tom, who hasn't returned from a job guiding a hunting party of wealthy Detroit men in the Canadian wilderness. The staff of an isolated lodge on an island-dotted lake arouses Alex and Vinnie's suspicions with their unsatisfactory explanations about the hunting party's trip. Then the anxious wives report their husbands are missing to the Ontario Provincial Police, leading Alex and Vinnie deeper into an investigation that eventually points to a crime in Detroit in 1985. The fate of Tom's hunting party becomes apparent early on, as the reader gets drawn into a complex series of inexplicable, and highly improbable, coincidences. Nonetheless, Hamilton develops his plot carefully. A fine writer, he excels at describing the lonely locale as well as depicting such memorable characters as tough-minded cop Natalie Reynaud and Maskwa, a 70-year-old Cree still flying his clapped-out plane around the Canadian skies.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Alex McKnight Mysteries (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (June 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312301154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312301156
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. POOLE on August 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Blood Is The Sky - Steve Hamilton
This was my first Alex McKnight novel and it blew me away.
Alex McKnight, former Detroit police detective, beings to rebuild his previously destroyed (the last book maybe) log cabin in Paradise, Michigan, when a friend appears with bad news. Vinnie has lost his brother and needs Alex's help to find him. The two set off on a trail which takes them into the mountains and lakes of deepest Canada.
Switched identities, fearsome bears, moose with bad road sense and a deep, dark conspiracy test Alex and Vinnie's resilience and relationship to the limit. At once sad and funny, Hamilton has a great way of describing his surroundings, in what is obviously a well researched or well loved locality. You can feel the cold clammy weather under your shirt and you can imagine the miles and miles of unbroken forestland ahead of you. The camaraderie between Alex and Vinnie is excellent and all the other characters are carefully drawn.
In summary; great characters and an excellent plot, with a few twists to keep you on your feet, make this a sure fire award winner in the thriller genre.
Highly recommended.
Andrew Poole
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Format: Hardcover
This is another full-strength North Woods mystery from Edgar Award winning author Steve Hamilton. Sufficient background information is provided that a reader would not necessarily need to start at the beginning with "A Cold Day in Paradise," - but why miss all the fun and excitement?
Alex McKnight, former Detroit cop, former Major League Baseball player for a day, currently cabin concierge cum reluctant investigator in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) signs on to help Ojibwa buddy Vinnie LeBlanc (Misquogeezhig - Red Sky) locate his wayward brother, last seen "guiding" a bunch of Detroit chimookomanag. This leads McKinight and LeBlanc through Northern Ontario - but it ain't no lightweight Bob Hope/Bing Crosby Road Movie. It's a taut tale, often bleak and gritty as the two, with help from friends and family back home in the UP, search for answers in the mysterious North. It's a fine addition to the Hamilton oeuvre. Reviewed by TundraVision
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm really enjoying this series. In this book you don't really know who the good guys and the bad guys are until very near the end. And even then some of the bad guys aren't that bad and the other bad guys are really bad. It's very hard to put these books down until you get to the end. And then you want to read the next book immediately.

It's also fun to think about the settings. For example, I spent a day in Sudbury Ontario several years ago, and the book brought that place back.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never read an Alex Knight novel I haven't liked. This is no exception. Coming from Michigan's Upper Peninsula myself, I love to hear about the geographically correct locations in the book. The story line is always interesting and Alex is a wonderfully likeable character.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition Verified Purchase
I'm working my way through Steve Hamilton's books and just finished Blood Is the Sky. I enjoy reading and have been doing a lot of it because of chronic back problems and subsequent surgery. I try hard to stick to good, well-written books and Amazon helps me do this. The book descriptions and reviews are great.
Even with books I've enjoyed I invariably notice the occasional weak spot. Sometimes I wish I could turn off the critical part of my brain.
The point is that there weren't weak parts in this crime novel. Mr Hamilton is an exceptional writer. I began reading him because the protagonist lives in northern Michigan, an area familiar to me and one that I love. Its's fun to recognize roads, landmarks, towns and lakes that are a regular part of these stories.
I've become very fond of the regular characters in these books. McNight and LeBlanc are interesting characters and Hamilton has developed them well. There is violence but it's handled well without the gruesome details that some authors think is necessary to shock and horrify readers. Nor are these books smarmy (there's a word you don't hear much anymore). I'm from the 60s so I'm certainly not sheltered or a prude. But I have become weary of novels whose popularity depends on a lot of sex, what we used to call gratuitous sex. The Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy doesn't appeal to me. What I do like is good stories told well, believeable, likeable characters who I want to know more about, and solid well-crafted prose. In my opinion Hamilton provides his readers with just that. Selfishly speaking, I hope he continues to write books for us for a long time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr Hamilton continues his trend of excellent mystery writing with this his fifth book. His forte is having the protagonist find people who have disappeared. In this book, it is a double helping. After helping one of his friends find his missing brother, the hero has to go back out and find his friend who also disappears. As usual, the writing is excellent, the story flows beautifully, the characters are developed and believable, and the whole story feels real. Each book develops his characters a little further. Read this series in order for maximum enjoyment.

My only complaint is like slapping at waves at the beach. When authors use the phrase "went missing" or "gone missing" instead of "disappeared" it makes my mind cringe. While the terms may be marginally acceptable in the Ebonics language, I think it is poor English.
I know, petty, petty.

It is a great book, it is a great series of books. Read them all and enjoy yourself.
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