The 20th anniversary edition of the first novel in William Kent Krueger’s beloved and bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series—includes an exclusive bonus short story!
“A brilliant achievement, and one every crime reader and writer needs to celebrate.” —Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Glass Houses
“A master craftsman [and] a series of books written with a grace and precision so stunning that you’d swear the stories were your own.” —Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire series
“Among thoughtful readers, William Kent Krueger holds a very special place in the pantheon.” —C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Disappeared
In eighteen novels over twenty years, William Kent Krueger has enthralled readers with the adventures of P.I. Cork O’Connor, former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota—selling more than 1.5 million copies of his books and winning the Edgar Award, Minnesota Book Award, Northeastern Minnesota Book Award, Dilys Award, Lovey Award, and Anthony Award along the way. Now, in this special anniversary edition, longtime fans and new readers alike can read the novel that first introduced Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor to the world.
Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Cork is having difficulty dealing with the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, getting by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, there’s not much that can shock him. But when the town’s judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on this complicated and perplexing case of conspiracy, corruption, and a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.
Short-story specialist Krueger brings a fresh take on some familiar elements and a strong sense of atmosphere to his first mystery. Chicago cop Cork O'Connor and his wife, Jo, a lawyer, moved back to his northern Minnesota hometown of Aurora to improve their quality of life, but it didn't work. Cork became the sheriff but lost an election after a disagreement between local Indians and whites over fishing rights turned deadly. Then his marriage broke up, with Jo becoming a successful advocate for tribal rights and Cork reduced to running a scruffy restaurant and gift shop. As the book starts, Cork, feeling guilty about sleeping with a warmhearted waitress, is still hoping to get back with Jo and their three children. Drawn into the disappearance of an Indian newsboy, which coincides with the apparent suicide of a former judge, Cork quickly clashes with some well-connected foes: a newly elected senator (who also happens to be the judge's son and Jo's lover); the town's new sheriff; and some tribal leaders getting rich on gambling concessions. When an old Indian tells Cork that a Windigo (a malign spirit) is fueling events, it becomes an occasion for Krueger to draw some nifty connections between the monsters of the heart and the monsters of myth. Krueger makes Cork a real person beneath his genre garments, mostly by showing him dealing with the needs of his two very different teenage daughters. And the author's deft eye for the details of everyday life brings the town and its peculiar problems to vivid life.
Customer ReviewsSee All
William Kent Keueger does for the Minnesata North Woods what James Lee Burke does for the Louisiana Bayou Country. Except Krueger does it better. (Maybe I'm biased because I'm from Minnesota.). Krueger's main character, Corcoran (Cork) O'Conner, like Burke's Dave Robicheaux is an on again off again sheriff who is relentless in getting the facts whether he is wearing the star or not. The supporting cast in Krueger's books are well developed and consistent from book to book. So far I have only read four of the Cork O'Conner books but I plan to read them all. They're great!
Good pace, interesting, nice action. Pretty much what I want from a book. First read from this author, it won't be my last.