Captivating, often cinematic ... The most powerful aspect of In the Blood is its deeply empathetic sketches of the key figures, typically men who grew up with limited resources, who endured hard times, and who somehow forged a life for themselves and persisted in the face of adversity.
Treats a consequential topic, and contains moments of real insight, drama and humor. Trouble is, Barber opens with several omissions and slights that left me on edge for the balance of the book ... Yet I wanted to trust this book, because it tells an important story in vivid, engrossing terms ... Barber is at his best when he describes the sinister hive-mind of the Pentagon ... His devotion to his characters is obvious throughout. He cares deeply about these people, and soon we do, too. Yet his portraits often seem constrained within narrow, shopworn categories ... Barber seems so fond of certain figures that, at the close of his tale, he stops being critical of them.