Monday, February 18, 2013

Old series on the shelf, new series for Tutu's list

Title: Iron Lake
Author: William Kent Krueger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Atria Books (1999)
Genre: Police procedural mystery
Subject: merder/corruption
Setting: Iron Lake, Minnesota
Series: Cork O'Connor #1
Source: My own Nook
Why did I read this book now? It's been sitting on my Nook since Oct/2011, and my sister recommended it.

Barnes & Noble knows what it's doing when it offers the first book in a series for a free download to Nook owners.  I snagged this one back in October 2011, and it's been sitting there since then.  My sister just finished her copy and said she thought I'd enjoy it.  Besides, she and I have been challenging each other to clean out and read some of the books we already own instead of buying/borrowing new ones.

Well........yes, I can cross an old one off my list, but now I'm off to locate the next eleven in the series!  I'm not going to feel guilty about getting these.  I know Mr. Tutu is going to love these too.  They are also available in audio, and I downloaded this one to listen to in the pool, and at the dentist office while I was getting my teeth cleaned, but then I shifted back to the Nook to finish it since I can read it about twice as fast as the narrator does.

Cork O'Connor is my kind of detective/police person.  In this introduction to his character, we see a disgraced de-frocked sheriff, whose marriage is on the rocks, who adores his children, and who suspects that an apparent suicide of a local magistrate is really a murder.  He has no jurisdictional authority to investigate but pushes ahead anyway.  So far that sounds like a straight forward police story.

What sets the book apart is the setting, and the people.  O'Connor is half Irish (white) and half Anishinaabe Indian, who is married to a white attorney. He owns some land on the reservation in up-state Minnesota, and is trusted by the tribal council whose members are wary of talking to the local (white) sheriff about the whereabouts of a missing Indian boy.  Cork sets out to find the missing teen, and tries at the same time to revive his all but over marriage by disentangling himself from his affair with a local diner waitress. 

Krueger uses Anishinaabe folklore, outstanding plotting, and a spectacular setting to weave his story.  I read this during one of the coldest weeks of the year here in Maine.  It was easy for me to visualize the frozen lake, the treks through the drifts, the ice buried vehicles because they were right out my window.  But it was just as easy for me to close my eyes and visualize those elements I didn't have - the black bears, the blizzards, and the tribe's traditional buildings and transportation.

I'm totally hooked and will be reading at least 2 or 3 more of these throughout the year.  I can't wait to see how Cork's character progresses, whether he can repair his marriage, and rebuild his life.  I really enjoy discovering hidden treasure like this "oldie but goodie."


  1. Ashamed to say I haven't started this series either, and I try so hard to support home state authors! Glad to know it's good, will definitely have to give it a try!

    1. I actually started the 2nd one last night in audio. My eyes were just too tired to try reading. It sounds just as good as #1, so I'm afraid I'm definitely going to get hooked on this series.

  2. oh, this is right up my alley...but do I need another series?
    of course I do! lol

  3. TBG and I read Iron Lake and got hooked too. We only need to read about 3 more and we'll be caught up. You've got a lot of enjoyment ahead of you.

    1. Kaye....I almost didn't want to look to see how many there were, but then I realized that when I enjoy a series, I don't want it to end. So I'm glad this one has been added to the sure bet list.

  4. I have had this one on my own shelf for far too long. Thanks for the reminder to read it. I'm quite sure I will like the book.


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