The sixth novel in William Kent Krueger's award-winning suspense series finds Cork O'Connor running for his life -- straight into a murderous conspiracy involving teenage runaways.
In well-crafted settings that are beautiful and unforgiving, with unforgettable characters and jaw-dropping surprises, William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor thrillers have drawn a flood of awards and praise. The latest in the series finds the sheriff running for his life from professional hit men who have already put a bullet through his leg. Desperate, he finds sanctuary outside a small town called Bodine on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in an old resort owned by his cousin, Jewell DuBois. Though Jewell, a bitter widow whose husband may have been killed by cops, keeps Cork at arm's length, her fourteen-year-old son, Ren, is looking for a friend. But being a father figure to Ren will prove more difficult than Cork could possibly imagine.
When the body of a young girl surfaces along the banks of the Copper River and another teenager vanishes, Cork must choose between helping to solve these deadly mysteries and thwarting the hit men who draw closer to him with every hour. Recklessly, he turns from his own worries and focuses on tracking the conspiracy of killers before Ren and his best friend, Charlie, fall victim. It's an error -- one a good man might make -- but as the contract killers who are hunting him close in, Cork realizes too late that it may be the last mistake he'll ever make.
The trail left by the dead girl eventually leads to a shelter for homeless youth and into the grim reality of children lost and abandoned, who become easy prey for the perverted appetites of human predators. All small towns have buried secrets but, as Cork soon learns, this one has more than its share.
On the run from anonymous contract killers, ex-sheriff Cork O'Connor goes to ground in a remote corner of Michigan's Upper Peninsula in Krueger's subdued sixth thriller. In the 10 days since the end of Mercy Falls (2005), Cork has picked up a gunshot wound to the leg. His widowed veterinarian cousin, Jewell DuBois, is able to install a Penrose drain, leaving Cork largely immobilized. Cork's friend, security specialist Dina Willner, appears to watch his back, yet most of the plot shifts away from potential shootouts with hit men to Jewell's 13-year-old son, Ren; Ren's tomboy pal, Charlie; and the corpse of a teenage girl found floating in the Copper River. As usual, Krueger conveys a solid sense of place, the woodlands near the shore of Lake Superior, northwest out of Marquette, "where scenes from Anatomy of a Murder had been filmed." But the segue to the familiar children-in-peril theme feels like a cop-out, especially since the previous, superior novel had primed readers for something more intense and harrowing.
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Another edge of the seat great read!