Northwest Angle: A Novel Hardcover – Aug 30 2011
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“William Kent Krueger can’t write a bad book. Northwest Angle is one of his best. A complex crime novel that contains meditations on the difficulties of loving and the paths we take to reach God, this Cork O’Connor novel has everything you want in a great read: depth, action, and credibility.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dead Reckoning
“Part adventure, part mystery, and all knockout thriller. . . Catch-your breath suspense throughout.” —Booklist
“Solid storytelling and intriguing characterizations combine for a sobering look at the power of family and faith and Native American culture. Krueger never writes the same book twice as each installment finds him delving deeper into Cork's psyche.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“William Kent Krueger never writes the same book twice, and this one is no exception. He combines elements of mystery and thriller to make a book that is non-stop entertainment. But Krueger never forgets the human aspect, which is always the driving force of his carefully crafted novels.... This outstanding book, the eleventh in the O’Connor series, should not be missed.” —Deadly Pleasures
"Well-written and suspenseful, this book contains characters worthy of our emotional involvement. Krueger, as always, spins a good yarn, somewhat in the style of Dick Francis in his heyday, where both ingenuity and endurance are necessary to sustain the hero." —Cleveland Plain Dealer
About the Author
William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of fourteen previous Cork O'Connor novels, including Tamarack County and Windigo Island, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace, winner of the 2014 Edgar Award for best novel. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. Visit his website at WilliamKentKrueger.com.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
He also is one of the few non-Aboriginal writers that can create an Aboriginal sense of place as well, social, spiritual as well as physical. He does this with a narrative that makes you stay up way too late as you try to second guess what is going to happen next.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I did truly appreciate Kreuger's respect and exploration of honest, sincere Christians. It was refreshing to read devout characters in a mainstream mystery, and, though their foes were the other side of their Christian coin, still, hat's off and a thank you to Kreuger for his portrayal of Chrstians as something other than cartoon characters. It was, for me, the best part of the novel.
The ending was rushed, I felt, as Krueger spent good amounts of time (certainly not wasted) exploring the good in his protagonists and bringing them to life in ways that brought me in, only to then suddenly spin the wheel and send them all flying in a hurry to their projected place in the ending.
I also found the cheap shot taken at our soldiers serving in Afghanistan surprising and disappointing. It was an unnecessary cheap shot line from a character you are being brought to respect, and seemed thrown in to make some sort of statement. It was out of place, and speaking personally, it was offensive.
For these reasons, while I respect Kreuger for the effort made, I can't recommend the book as much more than "one to read because there isn't anything else handy". Read it to enjoy the many moral discoveries of the "good guys" and their resulting strength of conviction, but you'll have to forgive the hasty end, and missed chances for a richer, deeper mystery.
Cork O'Connor, a former county sheriff, takes his family on a vacation. When a destructive storm develops, Cork and his older daughter, Jenny, are separated from the others. Cork and Jenny end up on one of the many islands on the Lake of the Woods in Minnesota, on the U.S. Canadian border.
Jenny hears the faint whimper of a baby and discovers the body of a young woman who had been murdered. The woman showed signs of torture and Jenny assumes that he woman was the child's mother.
The story provides a good dicotomy between good and evil. Cork's sister-in-law is on the houseboat. She and her husband both have a strong faith. When a number of bad things happen to good people, these characters wonder how God would allow this to happen. Eventually there is an answer to their question.
The story is rich in American Indian history. Cork is part Ojibwe and relates to other American Indians. Cork's teenage son, Stephen, truly demonstrates his spirituality and communication ability with other American Indian characters, particularly the wise elders. Stephen had spent time with the ancient Henry Meloux, a healer, someone who understands the harmony of life and how to restore nature to restore that harmony if it is lost.
I read the story compulsively and enjoyed the characters, while wondering how they would escape from their situation. Cork's character is particularly well developed in that at the start of the story we see him as a father wanting more time with his family before they get too old and have other interests, then we see him as a person proud of his Indian heritage, finally, as a former lawman we see Cork's desire to bring criminals to justice.
The twist that the author provided toward the end, added to the intelligence of the story and the satisfaction with the conclusion.
Things start to go awry when Cork and Jenny go in a small boat to pick up Jenny's boy friend and are overtaken by a derecho, a cluster of thunderstorms combining into a huge storm with fierce straight-line winds that knock down trees and leave devastation in their wake. When they are separated, Jenny discovers a young Indian woman who has been killed and a baby who has been hidden. This is the basis for the story and eventually involves the whole family. Cork's grandmother was an Obijwe Indian, and he has strong ties to the Indian community which is a part of the story as it is in each of his books.
The many facets of the book add to its flavor, and in the end the story reaches a very satisfying conclusion. I heartily recommend this book and its predecessors.
This installment has the family vacationing in the "Angle" - the northern most reaches of the US. A freak storm blows up and the family is separated. Cork's daughter Jenny finds a baby ... a dead body .... and the attentions of a hunter ....
The book plays out as they all try to find out why this baby attracts evil. Unfortunately Krueger has employed the "over zealous Christians and the evil island sanctuary" plot. It is obvious and trite.
I would have given the book one star but the tired plot ends better than the story deserves.
Hopefully the series finds it way back to what made it so enjoyable.
With the death of Cork's wife, Jo, in Heaven's Keep, Cork has moved on with his life but with a sense of profound loneliness at his core. In Northwest Angle he attempts to heal himself and his family by hosting a vacation on the vast Lake of the Woods, on the Canadian border. While the family may undergo a certain kind of healing in the course of the novel, this will most definitely not be a vacation.
First, the entire region is nearly destroyed by a unique storm system, called a derecho. (One actually struck the area in 1999.) Seeking shelter and protection after being cut off from the rest of their party, Cork and his daughter Jenny find a cabin on a remote island. The roof has been crushed by a fallen tree. Inside they find the nude body of a young woman who has been tortured and murdered. Outside they find a baby hidden in a basket. Hungry and frightened it has been crying itself to sleep.
Jenny takes care of the baby and begins to bond with it as all hell breaks loose. She and her father find themselves being hunted by a possible smuggler, operating with a cigarette boat that no one can outrun. Later, Cork, his son and a local police official find an island inhabited by a religious cult, whose members are armed with assault weapons and up to no perceivable good.
The narrative then concerns two stories--the mystery/thriller in which Cork attempts to determine who's good, who's bad and how the efforts of the bad are related and the more mainstream novel story of Jenny and a baby boy who both attracts evil but brings out the good in flawed characters and may help to heal her family's collective wounds. And yes, Henry Meloux, his dog Walleye and his niece Rainy play a pivotal role in the plot and in the novel's haunting but action-laden conclusion.
This is prime Krueger, though each of his novels is excellent. Like Burke, his writing is characterized by exceptional `quality control'. The reading copy that I was given includes a blurb from Vince Flynn, describing Krueger as "a writer soon to be on the top of everyone's must-read list." He's been there on my list for years. If you haven't yet discovered him, prepare for a rare treat.