5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut
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...
Published on Jan. 29 2002 by sweetmolly
3.0 out of 5 stars Good start in an obviously projected series.
Good characters, especially the hero Cork O'Connor. Plot moves along quickly with a few surprises, though pretty much a predictable solution. A great change of pace to have a setting for a crime novel in an area other than NYC or LA.
Published on Dec 3 1999 by John S.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding mystery rooted in two cultures,
Strong writing, a good story, and well-drawn characters in an unusual setting, distinguish this first novel by a writer who obviously knows his material.
The central character is Corcoran O'Connor, an ex-Chicago cop who returns to his home, the small northern Minnesota community of Aurora with his family to establish a new life as the sheriff of the mostly rural area.
But below the surface, as is true of many small communities, are conflicting values, white versus Indian, political ambition, and greed. O'Connor, in a failed attempt to deflect rising animosities between two long-established cultures over fishing rights, loses his job as sheriff, sees his marriage deteriorate, and finds himself adrift, philosophically torn between Indian and Caucasian. Then, as winter lays its heavy hand upon the town, an Ojibwa boy disappears and a prominent judge is found dead.
With considerable care and art, author Krueger weaves a strong plot that carries the reader along and enthralls us with interesting characters caught up, each in their own context, with the opposing forces that beset the town. Sometimes moody but always suspenseful, the lyrical writing will help carry the reader through the rare rough spots. Cork O'Connor is an appealing character on which to build what is likely to be a long-running and very successful series.
5.0 out of 5 stars I wrote this about the hardcover and it still holds true.,
When a prominent and infamous man-about-town is found dead and a local Native American boy turns up missing, suspects, alibis, and racial tensions pile up as high as snow banks. Cork probably shouldn't get involved. The last time he stepped in the middle, people got hurt. Himself included. And now he's lost his badge and his wife and maybe his way. But whether he likes it or not, he's caught again, like his blood, like his past, half in the white man's world, half on the reservation. Now a man is dead and a boy is missing and it's snowing really hard outside. And Cork's sense of duty and justice didn't disappear with his badge.
Krueger's ability to marry true edge-of-your-seat mystery and suspense with a lyrical and literary style and sensibility is unmatched. Iron Lake succeeds famously both as a tale of murder and mystery and as a rich and vivid portrait of an unusual town and it's divided citizens.
Read this book. It's fantastic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Combines a great plot with great characters,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read for a hot summer day,
By A Customer
Ex-sheriff Cork and his perfectly wonderful illicit love, Molly, have an affair following Cork's separation from his lawyer-wife. Cork's half-Irish, half-Anishinaabe Indian, which makes his election to local office hard to believe. But even after he is voted out in a nasty recall election, he can't stop sleuthing. A series of unlikely deaths, some steamy saunas, and I was hooked. I sort of knew who the bad guy was, but I kept reading anyway. Its been 24 hours and I'm still cold. Like Nevada Barr's A Superior Death, this novel makes you wonder about those long winters on that deep lake. People get into all sorts of trouble up there. Brrrr!!!! I'm looking forward to Cork's next adventure.
4.0 out of 5 stars Inevitable spooky stuff,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Start of a great new series!,
You gotta love Cork O'Connor. He has lost his job, separated from his wife and now lives in the back of his little business. But he chooses good women, loves his kids and has a good heart. Now he will put everything on the line to deal with murder and an old Indian legend. I love series characters - it's fun to follow their progression from one book to another and this promises to be a top notch series. If you like Harry Bosch, Tres Navarre, or Kevin Kearney you will enjoy Cork O'Connor.
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudoes for Krueger,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Characters & Setting,
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!
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling thriller set in the iron range of Minnesota.,
By A Customer
If you like James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman, you will find "Iron Lake" to your liking. Deeply intricate plot, good local color, plot twists and good characterization. Add Cork O'Connor to your list of favorite characters along side of Dave Robichaux, Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn.
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Iron Lake: A Novel by William Kent Krueger (Paperback - June 9 2009)
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