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Blood Is The Sky
Steve Hamilton
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Blood Is The Sky (Alex McKnight #5)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  2,382 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Winning the Edgar Award for "A Cold Day in Paradise," Steve Hamilton introduced one of the most compelling characters in modern fiction: Alex McKnight, a gritty ex-Detroit cop who can't say no to a friend in need-no matter the cost. Now McKnight finds himself in the forests of northern Ontario, a land of savage beauty and sudden danger, where some secrets just won't stay b ...more
Published June 1st 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Mike Debaptiste
This is another Alex McKnight mystery and I think it's the best one of them all. The brother of Alex's Ojibwa Indian friend Vinnie goes missing after guiding some hunters across the border in Ontario. Alex and Vinnie go in search of him and get into an incredible adventure in the north country that was intensely thrilling. If you've ever spent time in the Canadian bush, you gotta read this one. The books in this series never fail to chill and thrill!
Apr 04, 2009 Anita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
I picked up this paperback and was pleasantly surprised. "An Alex McKnight novel" Vinnie is searching for a brother who went to Canada as a guide for 'businessmen from Detroit'. I loved the combination of hard-core city cop and reservation culture. Good stuff.
Dec 07, 2013 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tops, 2003-reads
RATING: 4.75

At various times in their relationship, Alex McKnight and his best friend, Vinnie Red Sky LeBlanc, an Ojibwa Indian who lives in a nearby cabin rather than on the reservation, find themselves at odds with one another. They always manage to set aside their differences, even though there are sometimes some major issues between them. The relationship between Alex and Vinnie is beautifully drawn. They are definitely brothers in spirit, if not in blood, and come through for each other tim
Aug 22, 2011 Lindig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Interesting insight into northern Indian culture and the nature of brotherhood. I got a little tired of the driving back and forth from Paradise to the lodge in Canada. And I'm not so sure I like McKnight -- he seems so burned out there's nothing left, not ethics, not humor, only his connection to Vinnie. I'm pretty sure I read another of these books a few years ago but didn't remember anything of it. This book is very much like that -- unmemorable but perhaps a good read while traveling.
Aug 28, 2011 Jerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third novel by Steve Hamilton, and the second in the Alex McKnight series. Steve Hamilton is a great writer, I really enjoy his style. This one is set deep in the Canadian wilderness, with a focus on the relationship between Alex and his good friend and neighbor Vinnie. They take a break from rebuilding Alex's cabin to go find out what has happened to Vinnie's brother, who has gone missing up in the Canadian wilderness. A convicted felon on parole, Vinnie's brother Tom has assumed Vi ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Stefani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 24, 2011 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Alex McKnight which is really a tangled mystery. I never had a clue until the end as to the cause of all this killing and the cause. Poor Alex and his Indian friend Vinnie have a tough row in this story - and lots of road time. It's worth the read. Unfortunately I did not get to read this series in order, as it would be better that way. But one can survive skipping around obviously.
Jan 10, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved it! S Hamilton is getting better with each book. I am not big on coincidences but I can live with the one in this book, wish Hamilton made it a set up instead of a coincidence (without giving anything away, I will leave it vague.) And quite honestly, Hamilton makes the reader think that you can't go into a bar in the Upper Peninsula without running into jackasses and getting beat up, but I know better. Even with these 2 annoying things, I love his books. I read this in one night because I ...more
Lynette Barfield
Oct 04, 2012 Lynette Barfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Light entertaining action. Not as good as some of his others but still Very readable. Good friends, good food and a certain amount of humor as well as interesting locations help to keep up the suspense and action. I like his writing style a lot.
Jan 27, 2012 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are several reasons why I like Steve Hamilton's books: 1) Set in the UP in places that I have visited. 2) Simple dialogue and needs a break from James Lee Burke occasionally! 3) Interesting plots and lots of action 4) I just like the way Alex McKnight thinks and talks. Quick, easy, satisfying read. And contrary to what others may say, the books don't have to be read in order. There is enough background to explain who the recurring characters are.
Johnnie Gee
Alex McKnight becomes involved with helping Vinnie an Ojibwa Indian, to find his brother who disappeared while being a guide for a group of men from Detroit.

Not sure I even like Vinnie who is very strange but as I said in another review there is only one fo Alex's friends that I like and who adds to the stories.

The store itself is interesting while not being the of the better books in the series.

Rogue Reader
Jul 22, 2012 Rogue Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love every single one of Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight mysteries set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In this 2003 work, Alex begins to rebuilt his father's cabin, and Vinnie LeBlanc joins in to help with the heavy lifting. More from Vinnie's reservation, about his Ojibwa family and heritage, great background with healing sweats.

Time and distance are collapsed, as Alex thinks nothing of driving 4-10 hours at a stretch, no matter the weather.

Blood is the Sky reaches so far out in the remote C
Donald Baker
Sep 01, 2012 Donald Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This offering in the series is the best as far as I am concerned. Even better than the first one.

Complicated plot. Alex unravels it with a lot of difficulty. One thing I like about the main character is that he is not one of these all knowing and all seeing detectives. He has a lot of flaws. And he is quite a bit of a jerk.
Brian Clapper
Jun 07, 2013 Brian Clapper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I put this series in the category of "television substitutes," and the books are all thoroughly enjoyable examples of that category. The main character, Alex McKnight; is a former minor league baseball player, a former Detroit cop (who took three bullets during the shooting that killed his partner); and an uninterested, but licensed, private investigator. He considers himself a failure at all three. He lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where he ends up sticking his nose into problems that, in ...more
Jul 17, 2013 Dee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Another story about the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. Steve Hamilton, though currently from New York, is a Michigan product. This story is the best Alex McKnight I've read. The mystery travels from the U.P. to Canada searching for the missing hunters from Detroit and Vinnie LeBlanc's brother. It gives you a feel for the isolation for much of the North American continent. Hamilton's knowledge and resources for American Indian lore is also revealed in his stories, especially this one. Similar to Wi ...more
Randy Daugherty
Aug 04, 2013 Randy Daugherty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blood is the Sky by Steve Hamilton- Tom Leblanc a young man out on parole trying to get his life back in order.Life and money is hard to come by on the Rez unless you work the casinos but Tom cannot obtain work there as he is a felon.Vinnie Leblanc, Tom's brother who himself has tried to get his life in order. Vinnie deals blackjack at the local casino but is the blacksheep of the family. Vinnie lives off the Rez though at times you would never know it.Vinnie has an offer to guide a hunting part ...more
Cindy Fisher
Aug 18, 2013 Cindy Fisher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the most recent Alex McKnight book by Steve Hamilton, I started at the beginning of the series to work through it in order. Blood is the Sky is number 5 in the series and, in my humble opinion, is just as great as the original, A Cold Day in Paradise. If you love flawed ex-cops with morals and integrity, the upper peninsula of Michigan, Native American myths, stories, beliefs, etc., this series is a wonderful series.
Feb 13, 2014 Lani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read and finished a book a day from this series for the past week, and this is his best work yet. Not only is it a crime thriller, it's also a story about friendship, family, and the past. It tells the story in a way that makes everyone so real that it's hard to put the book down. Highly recommended. In fact, if you haven't read any other Steve Hamilton books, you can start with this one. Each book is stand-alone and can be read out of order if really necessary.
Matt Allen
Feb 17, 2014 Matt Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Steve Hamilton writes clean, full-blooded stories. It's impressive how he packs so much of an experience into relatively few words.

I admit it had been a bit since I'd read the last Alex McKnight and I'd forgotten how much I like Hamilton's style. Light prose that packs a great punch. Blood is the Sky is more of the same. I mean this is only a good way--I don't know if I've read a book of this length (barely over three hundred pages for the mass market paperback) that left me feeling as if I'd b
Jun 13, 2014 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the few mysteries set in the upper peninsula of Michigan, where I grew up. I didn't realize that when I bought it.

Alex McKnight is prevailed upon to find a friend's missing brother, who had taken a group of Detroit businessmen on a hunting trip in the wilds of Canada. The more Alex and his friend, Vinnie LeBlanc, look into this the stranger and more dangerous it appears. Alex and Vinnie find themselves far from any help and sitting ducks as targets.

Complicated, absorbing. And with the bi
Gloria Feit
Jul 11, 2014 Gloria Feit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What are friends for? Well, Alex McKnight demonstrates just that in this novel which takes him and his erstwhile friend, Vinnie Le Blanc, on a stormy adventure way up in the wilds of northern Canada. It starts when Vinnie, with whom Alex has been at odds since an event in the previous novel in the series, asks Alex to help him find his brother, who is days overdue returning home after accompanying a hunting party as their scout at a Canadian lodge.

To complicate matters, Vinnie’s brother Tom is o
Harry Roger Williams III
Another gripping adventure. Another chance for series hero Alex McKnight to test the limits of human recuperation and recovery.
This is a hero who suffers without the assurance of survival. He tells you how badly he is hurt, but never says "It's not supposed to be this way."
Bill Belichick says "It is what it is." Alex McKnight says "Pain is not as important as justice." Justice for him is not revenge but rather setting things right when possible, especially when it comes to his friends.
We should
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
This is the 5th book in the Alex McKnight series by Steve Hamilton and if you are new to the series, consider yourself lucky (but start at the beginning, with A Cold Day In Paradise). This one picks up shortly after North of Nowher as Alex is rebuilding his cabin. His friend Vinnie asks Alex to travel to Canada with him to help find his brother, who has not returned from a hunting expedition.

It's a thrilling read, one of those books that keeps your up late, turning the pages. The first two third
Jun 28, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steve Hamilton is one of the best writers I have come across in a while.This book kept me up way past dawn to finish. It is that good. Alex McKnight,an ex-Detroit cop,can't say no to a friend in need.That is how he ends up taking a trip deep into Canada to locate a missing hunting party.The forests of northern Ontario are not for the meek. They hold deadly secrets and Alex and his Ojibwa Indian friend Vinnie are about to find out the shocking secrets.
Aug 30, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#5 in the Alex McKnight series. "Finalist 2004 Shamus Award for Best Novel; Finalist 2004 Anthony Award for Best Mystery"

Alex McKnight series - 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 lo
Michael T Bradley
Oct 31, 2015 Michael T Bradley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamilton is finally back in form here after a couple of wincingly convoluted storylines in the previous two books. This time out, yes, it's a bit of a stretch, the whole situation, but it doesn't feel TOO unbelievable, and it's involving his sometimes-friend Vinnie again, which was a nice touch. I also really liked the fact that Alex essentially doesn't know what's going on until AFTER the climax of the book. Fun to see him having to trust & jump blindly into situations, rather than forcing ...more
William Stinson
Nov 18, 2015 William Stinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The twists and turns of author Hamiltons style kept me immersed in the story. Set in northern Ontario; places I have visited, was pictured in my memory as I read the mystery. Alex and Vinnie find themselves caught in the middle of a provincial police investigation, finding themselves retuning to the scene each time they are to return home. As the characters develop it is hard to put the book down in order to find what happened to Vinnie's brother Tom as they search for him after disappearing in ...more
Another Alex McKnight story that delivers the goods. I've now gotten my son and best friend reading this series. Alex's friend and neighbor, Vinnie LeBlanc asks for his help in taking a trip deep into Canada's north wilderness in search of his missing brother. The brother had taken a job as hunting guide (the LeBlancs are Ojibwa Indians) for a rough crew of Detroit men and was due back days ago. This turns out to be one dangerous trip.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
It's been too long since I've read a Steve Hamilton book. Alex McKnight is an appealing character, and the plot in this mystery is intriguing. I've read the first in this series and at least one other. I'll have to determine which, and then find some more to tackle.
Aug 04, 2016 Doug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alex McKnight is asked by his friend, Vinnie LeBlanc, to help him find his brother who was supposed to be leading a hunting party in Canada. They track them to a hunting lodge deep into the northern Canadian woods and then lose track of them They also encounter another group of men, brothers of one of the hunting party also seeking the whereabouts of the hunting party.

The answers to the mystery are simple, but Alex uses his past experience and instinct to figure out the mystery.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Blood is the Sky 1 2 Jan 30, 2012 03:08AM  
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  • Thunder Bay (Cork O'Connor, #7)
  • The Hanging Tree
  • Out Of Range (Joe Pickett, #5)
  • The Poacher's Son (Mike Bowditch, #1)
  • Tonight I Said Goodbye (Lincoln Perry, #1)
  • The James Deans (Moe Prager, #3)
THE SECOND LIFE OF NICK MASON, the start of a new series, will be out in May, 2016.

(Working on the next Alex McKnight book right now!)
More about Steve Hamilton...

Other Books in the Series

Alex McKnight (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • A Cold Day in Paradise (Alex McKnight, #1)
  • Winter of the Wolf Moon (Alex McKnight, #2)
  • The Hunting Wind (Alex McKnight, #3)
  • North of Nowhere (Alex McKnight, #4)
  • Ice Run (Alex McKnight, #6)
  • A Stolen Season (Alex McKnight, #7)
  • Misery Bay (Alex McKnight, #8)
  • Die a Stranger (Alex McKnight, #9)
  • Let it Burn (Alex McKnight, #10)
  • Untitled (Alex McKnight, #11)

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