Wednesday, August 28, 2013

TAMARACK COUNTY: Minnesota Mystery from William Kent Krueger

One of his grown children finds the Ojibwe spiritual path most important; another is committed to becoming a nun. Or is she? Investigator Cork O'Connor walks the uncomfortable parental line of accepting and letting go, trusting his kids, but it's not easy.

And it's even harder when, in TAMARACK COUNTY, the attacks of a serial murderer keep coming close to his family. In the northern Minnesota community where Cork is now officially not a cop, but still tied in with them, everyone has connections. The first presumed killing is of a judge's wife -- at least, she's been missing too long in this severe winter region to be alive. The second, a dramatic horror, strikes a friend's beloved dog. Cork's son Stephen may even need to seek a vision, to grasp the evil erupting in the close network of friends. Stephen's girlfriend and her mother are among those targeted, and Cork's getting drawn into all of it.

This taut and polished traditional investigative mystery keeps the pace intense, the emotions trembling, and there are fierce questions of love and loyalty throughout. Could love itself be what's compelling the killer? Snowmobile chases, Search and Rescue teams, and threats abound. Stephen's wise Ojibwe mentor, Henry Meloux, comes home to help -- because it's clear there's a majimanidoo, an evil spirit, involved. And Cork is tracking two possible connections to earlier crimes, as well.

Twelve earlier Cork O'Connor mysteries have created loyal fans of this series, but William Kent Krueger makes it easy to step directly into this one -- no previous reading needed. Cork's search for why this person, and why now, extends to his family and his own heart. The book is a darned good read, a deeply satisfying chase to stop a criminal while honoring the ties that matter most.

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