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BLOOD IS THE SKY
by Steve Hamilton
Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin's Press, June 2003
304 pages
$24.95
ISBN: 0312301154


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Alexıs long time Ojibwa Indian friend, Vinnie LeBlanc, takes a major role in BLOOD IS THE SKY. Vinnieıs younger brother, Tom, went up to Canada as a hunterıs guide for some Detroit men who wanted to bag a moose. Because Tom was on parole he knew that his leaving the country would be a violation, so to get around that problem Vinnie loaned him his name and identification papers. Now Tom still hasnıt gotten home, although itıs many days later than when he and his party should have returned to Michigan. There is no sign of the group of hunters and phone calls to the menıs homes go unanswered.

Vinnieıs large, close-knit family is very worried and they convince Vinnie and Alex to make the long drive to the northernmost forests of Ontario to find Tom and bring him home. Traveling in Alexıs car, they undertake the long drive and after a couple ofincidents with the locals, along with the information that other men are also inquiring about that same hunting party, their trip finally takes them to a lakeside lodge where the group was supposed to have stayed. The owners of the lodge assure Vinnie that Tom and the hunters left a few days earlier and should have returned to Michigan by then. They have no further information about the hunting party.

Although warned off it by the local police, Alex and Vinnie decide to do a little investigating on their own. They soon discover the car that Tomıs hunting party used, abandoned with all their wallets in it, near an Indian Reservation in Ontario. Where are the hunters and Tom, and who are the other two men who are also searching for the lost group? Vinnie and Alex will not give up until they get answers to their questions and find Tom.

BLOOD IS THE SKY, takes the readers deep into northern Canada with all its beauty and lonely, solitary lakes. The book is filled with fast paced adventure, containing a couple of exceptional chapters that have you racing to read as fast as possible to see what happens. Usually chapters like these come at the very end of a book, but the first heart-pounding chapter is just past the middle. Hard to believe as it is, the novel continues to keep your interest high-pitched.

Steve Hamilton gives us a terrific story filled with the idea of brotherly love and concern of family, while at the same time, it covers Alexıs very different background.

Alex McKnight has basically separated himself from the world since he left the police force. He lives by himself and rents out cabins to hunters and winter enthusiasts who come to northern Michigan looking for some outdoor fun. In his loneliness, Alex picks the people he associates with care. He becomes a loyal friend to those people, and when he sees the type of relationship that Vinnie and his family have, he begins to develop a longing to experience that closeness again himself.

We learn a lot about the tradition and ways of Native Americans and the kinship that all Indians of North America have for each other. BLOOD IS THE SKY introduces the readers to Ojibwa culture as we see the strong bonds between the members of Vinnieıs family. Steve Hamilton also does a nice job in letting us know how much Alex is beginning to feel the need for this sort of connection himself.

BLOOD IN THE SKY is a somewhat violent tale, more so than Mr. Hamiltonıs previous books. But it is never gratuitous.  It is that violence that propels us further along to not only discover the answers to the questions but also to see what happens to the characters.

Iım a great fan of this series and Iım looking forward to seeing what the author has planned for Alex McKnight and all the other wonderful characters that live within the pages of this series.

BLOOD IS THE SKY is a marvelous book and I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, April 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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