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 story of another series regular, bar owner Jackie Connery. Yet McKnight shines here, too, his self-effacing humour 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, Amazon.com
Hamilton's McKnight mysteries are always worthy of a read as he has, over the course of several previous award-winning novels, created an impressive central character in McKnight, a character with real flaws who doesn't want to be dragged into trouble but keeps finding it knocking on his door. These are real boys'-own adventures, but also Hamilton has something truly worthwhile to say about the nature of both friends and family, and his sense of the cold, desolate wilderness, where nothing but your wits will save you, is chilling and evocative. --Jon Snow