Summary and book reviews of Blood Is The Sky by Steve Hamilton

Blood Is The Sky

by Steve Hamilton

Blood Is The Sky
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2003, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2004, 352 pages

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Book Summary

At once elegant and enormously suspenseful, Steve Hamilton's Blood Is the Sky heralds his arrival as one of the premier crime writers working today.

"When a fire is done, what’s left is only half-destroyed. It is charred and brittle. It is obscene. There is nothing so ugly in all the world as what a fire leaves behind, covered in ashes and smoke and a smell you’ll think about every day for the rest of your life."

Steve Hamilton is one of crime fiction’s rising stars. His first novel, A Cold Day in Paradise, won the Edgar Award, and each successive novel has met with widespread critical acclaim. Now Hamilton raises the stakes dramatically in his most accomplished work to date.

Reluctant investigator Alex McKnight finds himself drawn by friendship into a long drive north. The brother of Alex’s longtime Ojibwa friend Vinnie LeBlanc works as a hunting guide, serving the rich clients from downstate. It seems that Vinnie’s brother and his most recent group of hunters have vanished in northern Ontario, and Vinnie is scared enough to ask Alex to help him find them.

Their arrival sets in motion a heart-pounding string of events that leaves Alex and his friend miles from civilization, stranded in the heart of the Canadian wilderness with no food, no weapons---and no way out. And there’s someone out there who definitely does not want them to make it back alive.

At once elegant and enormously suspenseful, Steve Hamilton’s Blood Is the Sky heralds his arrival as one of the premier crime writers working today.

I saw a lot of fires when I was a cop in Detroit. I was supposed to help secure the scene and then get the hell out of the way, but sometimes I'd stick around and watch the firefighters doing their work. I saw some real battles, but when they were done, the building would always still be standing. That was the thing that got to me. The windows would be blown out, and maybe there'd be a big hole in the roof, but the building would still be there.

Years later, I watched a Lake Superior storm taking down a boathouse. When the storm let up, there was nothing left but a concrete slab, covered with sand. It wasn't surprising. Anyone who lives up here knows that water is stronger than fire. Water wins that one going away. But at least water cleans up after itself. It does the job all the way. When water destroys, it makes everything look new. It can even be beautiful.

Fire doesn't do that. When a fire is done, what's left is only half destroyed. It is charred and ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

[This] engrossing novel of revenge...alternates between well-paced action fraught with danger and Alex's slow, meticulous inquiries.

Booklist - Connie Fletcher

Hamilton moves from detective story to survival thriller as Alex and Vinnie make their way through the Canadian wilderness. Strained characterization but terrific suspense.

Library Journal - Jo Ann Vicarel

The pace is relentless and the action violent and disturbing. Hamilton, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 2000 for A Cold Day in Paradise, never fails to deliver a superb mystery and a cliffhanger of a thriller. This is for all mystery collections but not for all readers because of the graphic death scenes.

Kirkus Reviews

Hamilton won an Edgar and an Anthony in 1998 for A Cold Day in Paradise. This smart, brisk, twisty tale is even better.

Reader Reviews

Andrew Poole

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...   Read More

Thela Ostling

Since I am 75 years old and have been an avid reader of crime, mystery, and detective stories since age 7, I have literally read ALL the great wirters. This extremely gifted writer captures the entire mood and geography of Michigan's UP, Canadian ...   Read More

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