Cork O’Connor battles vicious villains, both mythical and modern, to rescue a young girl in the latest nail-biting mystery from New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger.
When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a deadly mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don’t explain how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, Cork O’Connor, former sheriff turned private investigator, takes on the case.
But on the Bad Bluff reservation, nobody’s talking. Still, Cork puts enough information together to find a possible trail. He learns that the old port city of Duluth is a modern-day center for sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom are young Native Americans. As the investigation deepens, so does the danger.
Yet Cork holds tight to his higher purpose—his vow to find Mariah, an innocent fifteen-year-old girl whose family is desperate to get her back. With only the barest hope of saving her from men whose darkness rivals that of the legendary Windigo, Cork prepares for an epic battle that will determine whether it will be fear, or love, that truly conquers all.
Edgar-winner Krueger highlights the vulnerability of Native American youth in his excellent 14th Cork O'Connor novel (after 2013's Tamarack County). PI Cork, a former Minnesota sheriff, reluctantly investigates the disappearance of 14-year-old Mariah Arceneaux, who left her home near Bad Bluff, Wis., a year earlier. The battered body of the friend who accompanied her, Carrie Verga, recently washed ashore on Windigo Island in Lake Superior. A plea for help from Mariah's diabetic mother, Louise, to the sage Henry Meloux ends with Cork's older daughter, Jenny, rashly vowing to help save Mariah. This move forces Cork's hand, putting him on the trail of a ruthless man called Windigo. Jenny, Louise, and centenarian Henry play key roles as the mission tests both spiritual and physical powers. Krueger paints a vivid picture of the sordid cycle of poverty, abuse, alcoholism, and runaway (or throwaway) children on the reservation, and reminds us of the evil of men all too willing to exploit the innocent.
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WKK's books always bring me peace. Edge of seat reading that leaves me satisfied. Too bad Corcoran cant find that same peace 😌
first 3/4 too preachy, last 1/4 good
Krueger spent far too much time on the problem of prostitution and young American Indian girls. We get that it is a very real and serious problem, but do we really need to read it over and over and over again in this book. It got so that I dreaded reading another chapter about it. That said, it is always nice to have a story involving Cork and his family and friends. For me, this was the poorest of the Cork O’Connor books but I still look forward to the next one.