More Praise and Press for Ordinary Grace. Beside him is the first Native American governor-elect, Jubal Little, who is slowly dying with an arrow through his heart. Although the men have been bow hunting, this is no accident. As he works to clear his name and track the real killer, he recalls his long, complex relationship with Jubal, the Native kid who aspired to be a populist politician and grew to become a cunning man capable of treachery and murder.
As Cork looks deeply into his own past, he comes face to face with the many motives, good and ill, that lead men and women into the difficult, sometimes deadly, political arena. With crisp writing filled with the twists and turns his fans have come to expect, Krueger delivers another knockout novel of suspense. During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Cork and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm. Whimpering sounds coming from outside the cabin lead them to a tangle of branches toppled by the vicious winds.
Underneath the debris, they find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrated, but still very much alive. Cork understands that to save his family he must solve the puzzle of this mysterious child whom death follows like a shadow.
Northwest Angle is one of his best. 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. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. Highly recommended. Krueger hits the sweet spot every time. His stories are works of art, literary wonders that beautifully capture a sense of place while they deliver a powerful emotional punch.
But drawn into committing the darkest of deeds himself, Cork is forced to confront an awful truth: Violence is a hunger in every human heart…. Happy and content in his hometown of Aurora, Minnesota, he has left his badge behind and is ready for a life of relative peace, setting up shop as a private investigator. With little to go on, Cork uses his investigative skills to locate Henry Wellington, a wealthy and reclusive industrialist living in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
But why would Wellington want his father dead? Steeped in place, sweetly melancholic in tone, it braids together multiple stories about love, loss and family. The result is a wholly satisfying novel that is over almost too soon.
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Anthony Award. 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. But being a father figure to Ren will prove more difficult than Cork could possibly imagine…. William Kent Krueger may just be the best pure suspense novelist working today. The beauty of the uninhabited woods and the lake—they are all part of the mysterious aura surrounding the novel. As in his previous novels, the author deftly presents the reader with wonderfully drawn, intensely believable characters. We care about them and about what happens to them… Krueger writes most extraordinary books.
Crime and complex family dynamics combine to create a novel that will keep the reader guessing through the final pages of the tale.
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Not just for fans of the series, the novel is a smart and satisfying mystery on its own. Krueger manages all this with aplomb, creating sympathetic characters, building the suspense and making it believable. Some he knows all too well—small-town bigotry and bureaucracy foremost among them. And when Solemn reappears, claiming to have seen a vision of Jesus Christ in Blood Hollow, the mystery becomes thornier than Cork could ever have anticipated.
Krueger has moved to the head of the crime fiction class with this one. An escaped mental patient targets the First Lady of the United States for assassination. The only thing that stands between the First Lady and certain death is the Secret Service agent who loves her….
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Impressive characterizations and a tricky plot with many twists and turns make this another winner… Highly recommended. An explosion at a lumber mill rips the heart right out of a beautiful summer morning and kills the traditional chief of the Iron Lake Ojibwe. Many in Tamarack County blame the Ojibwe who are trying to save a stand of sacred white pines from being logged. The Ojibwe blame the greed of Karl Lindstrom, the man who owns the mill. As tensions mount, and Cork desperately tears at layers of deceit, he begins to understand that the real prey may be the people loves most and that their greatest enemy is time.
Paul Pioneer Press. Somewhere in the heart of this unforgiving territory, a young woman named Shiloh, a country-western singer at the height of her career, has disappeared. Cork joins a search party that includes an ex-con, two FBI agents, and a ten-year-old boy. Like the brutal winds of a Minnesota blizzard, death—violent and sudden—stalks them.
He has characters with depth, a style that combines realism with resonance, a great eye for setting, and he can churn out a fine plot. Embittered over losing his job as a cop and over the marital meltdown that has separated him from his wife and children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. But when a powerful local politician is brutally murdered the same night a young Indian boy goes missing, Cork takes on a harrowing case of corruption, conspiracy, and scandal.
I almost cried with relief. I could hear her breathing on the other end. Why not? I simply assumed I would bundle up my New York wife with her New York interests, her New York pride, and remove her from her New York parents— leave the frantic, thrilling futureland of Manhattan behind— and transplant her to a little town on the river in Missouri, and all would be fine. I did not yet understand how foolish, how optimistic, how, yes, just like Nick I was for thinking this. The misery it would lead to.
Their few meetings had left them both baffled. My morning breath warmed the pillow, and I changed the subject in my mind. Today was not a day for second- guessing or regret, it was a day for doing. Downstairs, I could hear the return of a long- lost sound: Amy making breakfast. Banging wooden cupboards rump- thump! A culinary orchestra tuning up, clattering vigorously toward the finale, a cake pan drumrolling along the floor, hitting the wall with a cymballic crash.
Something impressive was being created, probably a crepe, because crepes are special, and today Amy would want to cook something special. It was our five- year anniversary. I walked barefoot to the edge of the steps and stood listening, working my toes into the plush wall- to- wall carpet Amy detested on principle, as I tried to decide whether I was ready to join my wife.
Amy was in the kitchen, oblivious to my hesitation. She was humming something melancholy and familiar. I strained to make it out— a folk song? Suicide is painless. I went downstairs. I hovered in the doorway, watching my wife. Her yellow- butter hair was pulled up, the hank of ponytail swinging cheerful as a jumprope, and she was sucking distractedly on a burnt fingertip, humming around it. She hummed to herself because she was an unrivaled botcher of lyrics. I knew I liked her then, really liked her, this girl with an explanation for everything.
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Amy peered at the crepe sizzling in the pan and licked something off her wrist. She looked triumphant, wifely. If I took her in my arms, she would smell like berries and powdered sugar. I thought to myself: Okay, go. I was very late getting to work. My sister and I had done a foolish thing when we both moved back home. We had done what we always talked about doing. We opened a bar. We borrowed money from Amy to do this, eighty thousand dollars, which was once nothing to Amy but by then was almost everything.
I swore I would pay her back, with interest. I would not be a man who borrowed from his wife— I could feel my dad twisting his lips at the very idea. Well, there are all kinds of men, his most damning phrase, the second half left unsaid, and you are the wrong kind. But truly, it was a practical decision, a smart business move. Amy and I both needed new careers; this would be mine. Like the McMansion I rented, the bar featured symbolically in my childhood memories— a place where only grown- ups go, and do whatever grown- ups do.
The world will always want a drink. Our bar is a corner bar with a haphazard, patchwork aesthetic. Its best feature is a massive Victorian back bar, dragon heads and angel faces emerging from the oak— an extravagant work of wood in these shitty plastic days. We named the bar The Bar. Yes, we thought we were being clever New Yorkers— that the name was a joke no one else would really get, not get like we did. Not meta - get.
I pulled into the parking lot. I waited until a strike erupted from the bowling alley— thank you, thank you, friends — then stepped out of the car. I admired the surroundings, still not bored with the broken- in view: the squatty blond- brick post office across the street now closed on Saturdays , the unassuming beige office building just down the way now closed, period. Still, it was where my mom grew up and where she raised me and Go, so it had some history.
Mine, at least. As I walked toward the bar across the concrete- and- weed parking lot, I looked straight down the road and saw the river. I could walk down the road and step right into the sucker, an easy three- foot drop, and be on my way to Tennessee.
And so on. Moving apace with the river was a long single- fi le line of men, eyes aimed at their feet, shoulders tense, walking steadfastly nowhere. As I watched them, one suddenly looked up at me, his face in shadow, an oval blackness.
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I turned away. I felt an immediate, intense need to get inside. The sun was still an angry eye in the sky. You have been seen. My gut twisted, and I moved quicker. I needed a drink. In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessary to reveal important aspects of the plot of this novel. If you have not finished reading Gone Girl, we respectfully suggest that you wait before reviewing this guide. Introduction Deceit, infidelity, suspicion. When Nick and Amy fall in love, they are the confident, handsome man and the beautiful, privileged young woman embracing in front of their Brooklyn Heights brownstone and sharing a laugh at the expense of less blissful couples.
As with many marriages, friction works its way into everyday exchanges, and the glow of the honeymoon fades. But with Amy and Nick, that fracture takes a much darker turn. Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. Do you like Nick or Amy? Did you find yourself picking a side? Do you think the author intends for us to like them?
Why or why not? Does the author intend for us to think of Nick or Amy as the stronger writer? Do you think Amy and Nick both believe in their marriage at the outset? Nick, ever conscious of the way he is being perceived, reflects on the images that people choose to portray in the world—constructed, sometimes plagiarized roles that we present as our personalities.
How does the author use it to best effect? How does Amy use it? How does this phenomenon influence the way we judge news stories? Does it have an impact on the criminal justice system? Is she a likable character? Do you agree? Why does she assume the role if she seems to despise it? What benefit do you think she derives from the act?
What do you think of Marybeth and Rand Elliott? Is the image they present sincere? What do you think they believe about Amy? How does the book deal with the divide between perception and reality, or between public image and private lives? Which characters are most skillful at navigating this divide, and how? How does the book capture the feel of the recession—the ending of jobs and contraction of whole industries; economic and geographical shifts; real estate losses and abandoned communities. Are there any parts of the story that feel unique to this time period?
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Do you think this is a true exploration of her feelings, or is she acting out yet another role? Do Nick and Amy have friends? What do you think friendship means to each of them? Do you think the reader is meant to imagine conversations between the two of them? Amy publicly denounces the local police and criticizes their investigation. Do you think they did a good job of investigating her disappearance? Do you believe Amy truly would have committed suicide?
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