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Iron Lake [Mass Market Paperback]

William Kent Krueger
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 1999 Cork O'Connor Mysteries
William Kent Krueger joined the ranks of today's best suspense novelists with this thrilling, universally acclaimed debut. Conjuring "a sense of place he's plainly honed firsthand in below-zero prairie" (Kirkus Reviews), Krueger brilliantly evokes northern Minnesota's lake country -- and reveals the dark side of its snow-covered landscape.
Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. Embittered by his "former" status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago's South Side, there's not much that can shock him. But when the town's judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption, and scandal.
As a lakeside blizzard buries Aurora, Cork must dig out the truth among town officials who seem dead-set on stopping his investigation in its tracks. But even Cork freezes up when faced with the harshest enemy of all: a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Short story specialist William Kent Krueger brings a fresh take on some familiar elements and a strong sense of atmosphere to his first mystery. Chicago cop Cork O'Connor and his lawyer-wife Jo moved back to his northern Minnesota hometown of Aurora to improve their quality of life, but it hasn't worked. Cork became the local sheriff, but lost an election after a disagreement between local Indians and whites over fishing rights turned deadly. Then his marriage broke up, with Jo becoming a successful advocate for tribal rights and Cork reduced to running a scruffy restaurant and gift shop. As the book starts, Cork is feeling guilty about sleeping with a warm-hearted waitress and still hoping to get back with Jo and their three children. Drawn into the disappearance of an Indian newsboy, which coincides with the apparent suicide of a former judge, O'Connor clashes with a newly elected senator--the judge's son and Jo's lover--as well as with the town's new sheriff and some tribal leaders getting rich on gambling concessions. Krueger quickly makes Cork a real person beneath his genre garments, mostly by showing him trying to deal with the needs of his two very different teenage daughters. And the author's deft eye for the details of everyday life brings the town and its peculiar problems to vivid life. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Short-story specialist Krueger brings a fresh take on some familiar elements and a strong sense of atmosphere to his first mystery. Chicago cop Cork O'Connor and his wife, Jo, a lawyer, moved back to his northern Minnesota hometown of Aurora to improve their quality of life, but it didn't work. Cork became the sheriff but lost an election after a disagreement between local Indians and whites over fishing rights turned deadly. Then his marriage broke up, with Jo becoming a successful advocate for tribal rights and Cork reduced to running a scruffy restaurant and gift shop. As the book starts, Cork, feeling guilty about sleeping with a warmhearted waitress, is still hoping to get back with Jo and their three children. Drawn into the disappearance of an Indian newsboy, which coincides with the apparent suicide of a former judge, Cork quickly clashes with some well-connected foes: a newly elected senator (who also happens to be the judge's son and Jo's lover); the town's new sheriff; and some tribal leaders getting rich on gambling concessions. When an old Indian tells Cork that a Windigo (a malign spirit) is fueling events, it becomes an occasion for Krueger to draw some nifty connections between the monsters of the heart and the monsters of myth. Krueger makes Cork a real person beneath his genre garments, mostly by showing him dealing with the needs of his two very different teenage daughters. And the author's deft eye for the details of everyday life brings the town and its peculiar problems to vivid life.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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FOR A WEEK THE FEELING had been with him, and all week long young Paul LeBeau had been afraid. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read March 17 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting story and characters, very well written. I liked it and will definitely be back for more from Mr. Krueger.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Inevitable spooky stuff Sept. 28 2011
By CGP TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book. It has a good plot, better than average character development, and the story moves along. On the strength of this first novel I've ordered Kent Kreuger's next three. I would have preferred Kindle editions but found the higher-than-hardbound prices outrageous, so I went for paperbacks. My one reservation is the small helping of spooky stuff in the story, mainly about an oddly behaving tea-kettle and a voice in the wind. No explanation is provided. I sincerely hope this stuff doesn't increase in the next three.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Iron Lake Jan. 3 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first "Cork O'Connor" book and found the characters believable. An excellent read and hard to put down once you start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book Dec 30 2002
By "mp406"
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Growing up in rural Minnesota may have given me insights into this book that I would have not otherwise had but nonetheless I am recommending this book to everyone. The characters are excellent - the setting incredible. I loved this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut Jan. 29 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The murder?/suicide? of a corrupt judge in far northern Aurora Minnesota sets the momentum of this well written first novel. The mysteries pile up, a whiteout type blizzard sets in, the Windigo is afoot, and a crackerjack story ensues. The central character, Cork O'Conner is a straightforward man beset by complexities. He was fired from his post as sheriff and, wonder of wonders, deserved it. The usual mystery ploy is the hero was wrongfully used and was in fact a total hero, if only he had been understood. Cork is invested with real human frailties. His marriage is spiraling toward a divorce, and he can't get a handle on what to do about it. The sheriff who took his place, far from being an illiterate, crooked nincompoop, is actually a competent, honest man-much to Cork's discomfort.
The story is well paced with excellent plotting and characterization. The interplay between the characters, both verbally and emotionally, is exceptionally strong. There is a whiff of the supernatural (see Windigo above) that the author lightly touches upon and leaves to the reader whether to accept or not. What is extremely encouraging that as strong a book as "Iron Lake" is, I feel his latest, "Boundary Waters" is even better. Mr. Krueger is an evolving author in the best sense.
This highly enjoyable book is highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters & Setting Jan. 20 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Montgomery magically interweaves Chippawa traditions into the Boundary Waters setting. Great style - easy to read, good characters that become your aquantances & good plot. Mongomerery's love for the Northwoods & admiration of the Chippawa is evident. I actually enjoyed a 7 hour delay at the airport because of this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Combines a great plot with great characters Aug. 15 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the few mysteries that I have ever read which really drew me in emotionally. The plot is realistic and satifyingly complex, but the real strength of this book is its characters. Cork O'Connor is a likeable, but definitely flawed hero. Jo, his estranged wife, is also a fully developed character, although I think she comes across as a little less likeable than the author probably intended. Cork's girlfriend Molly is also a great character and probably the most likeable person in the book. The only character that is very one-dimensional is the primary bad guy, who is just a little over-the-top evil. There is a good bit of action, and the ending is so suspenseful that you won't put the book down for anything short of your house catching on fire. I'm looking forward to the next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kudoes for Krueger May 7 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We need to welcome a new mystery writer to our midst. Krueger has it all: great characters, good plots, informative background settings and realistic human relationships. So glad I picked up Purgatory Ridge - then read Iron Lake and Boundary Waters. Hope Kruger keeps his heroes Cork O'Connor, his wife Jo, and the Windigo busily entertaining us for years to come.
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