Some nights, Corcoran O’Connor dreams his father’s death.
William Kent Krueger’s gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift.
When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant.
Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims. Five appear to be nearly half a century old—connected to what the media once dubbed "The Vanishings," a series of unsolved disappearances in the summer of 1964, when Cork’s father was sheriff in Tamarack County. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. What’s worse, two of the bodies—including the most recent victim—were killed using Cork’s own gun, one handed down to him from his father.
As Cork searches for answers, he must dig into his own past and that of his father, a well-respected man who harbored a ghastly truth. Time is running out, however. New threats surface, and unless Cork can unravel the tangled thread of clues quickly, more death is sure to come.
Vermilion Drift is a powerful novel, filled with all the mystery and suspense for which Krueger has won so many awards. A poignant portrayal of the complexities of family life, it’s also a sobering reminder that even those closest to our hearts can house the darkest—and deadliest—of secrets.
At the start of Krueger's superlative 10th novel featuring Tamarack County, Minn., PI Cork O'Connor (after Heaven's Keep), mining heir Max Cavanagh hires Cork to trace his missing sister, Lauren, founder of an artists' retreat and to try to identify the sender of threatening letters to various people connected with Vermilion One, a Cavanaugh family mine, which the U.S. Department of Energy is considering for long-term nuclear waste storage. When Cork and a mine official descend into Vermilion One, they discover six bodies, five of them skeletal, which may be connected with a decades-old unsolved series of crimes known as "the Vanishings," which Cork's father looked into when he was sheriff. The sixth corpse, that of a well-dressed woman, appears to have been in the mine about a week. Rock-solid prose combines with effective characterizations and a logical if complex plot for a thrilling read. This book succeeds on every level and ought to attract the author a deservingly wide readership.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not his best work
I've had a wonderful time getting lost in all of this author's works. As in most novels, you have to let go of a bit of reality and not get too caught up in the plausibility of the story. However, this story is way too far fetched. I have often gotten tired of the character of Henry Meloux but this time I nearly put the book down for good. I found jumping from one vision to the next tiresome and some of the conclusions drawn to be way too much of a strtch for me. Is there only one .38 caliber weapon in all of northern Minnesota? It would seem so in this story.
The first swing and miss with this author in my opinion. Hopefully his next swing will connect!