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Copper River: A Cork O'Connor Mystery (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series Book 6) Kindle Edition

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Length: 324 pages
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On the run from anonymous contract killers, ex-sheriff Cork O'Connor goes to ground in a remote corner of Michigan's Upper Peninsula in Krueger's subdued sixth thriller. In the 10 days since the end of Mercy Falls (2005), Cork has picked up a gunshot wound to the leg. His widowed veterinarian cousin, Jewell DuBois, is able to install a Penrose drain, leaving Cork largely immobilized. Cork's friend, security specialist Dina Willner, appears to watch his back, yet most of the plot shifts away from potential shootouts with hit men to Jewell's 13-year-old son, Ren; Ren's tomboy pal, Charlie; and the corpse of a teenage girl found floating in the Copper River. As usual, Krueger conveys a solid sense of place, the woodlands near the shore of Lake Superior, northwest out of Marquette, "where scenes from Anatomy of a Murder had been filmed." But the segue to the familiar children-in-peril theme feels like a cop-out, especially since the previous, superior novel had primed readers for something more intense and harrowing. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The sixth Cork O'Connor mystery finds the Minnesota sheriff on the run from hired killers. With a bullet wound in his leg, he makes it to the small town of Bodine, where he hides out with his cousin. But Cork's convalescence is cut short by a murderous child-runaway conspiracy, not to mention his cousin's teenage son, who's so desperate for a father figure that he thinks Cork would be a likely candidate. This series gets darker and more elegantly written with every book. Minnesota has a become a hotbed of hard-boiled crime fiction, and the Cork O'Connor novels are among the best. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 1260 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (August 22, 2006)
  • Publication Date: August 22, 2006
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,604 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University--before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He's been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is an attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O'Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage--part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.

"Ordinary Grace," his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. "Windigo Island," number fourteen in his Cork O'Connor series, will be released in August 2014. Visit his website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By carl brookins VINE VOICE on August 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the spirit of full disclosure, I report that Kent is a fellow member of the Minnesota Crime Wave, as well as the critique group I belong to, and we are friends. Having said that, let me assure you that this is a dynamite book. Another in the fine Cork O'Connor series. Those who have read Mercy Falls will naturally want this book since it completes the arc that begins with the previous book. Nevertheless, Copper River is complete within its own covers.

But there is considerably more here than resolution to the turmoil conjured up in Mercy Falls. O'Connor, wounded by a professional killer, goes to ground in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with distant relatives in an uncomfortable situation. Family relationships are always an important part of Krueger's novels. This book also explores some horrific circumstances that effectively demonstrate that our often common view of bucolic small-town life is sometimes at serious odds with reality.

O'Connor, fearing for his family, has taken refuge with the widow of a man he once arrested. While he heals he is drawn inexorably into the life of his nephew and the boy's interesting teen aged companions. That life finally leads to the uncovering of crimes first revealed in one of the most moving open scenes I have ever read in a novel in this or any genre.

Krueger is a fine writer and he knows how to build suspense while telling a good story. But his real strength is in the characters he develops and their interactions. But don't just take the word of this reviewer. Pick up a copy and read the first page. Just the first page. Not the cover copy, or that on the flaps. Just page one. Then decide.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John E. Mack on August 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is Krueger's best written "Cork" Corcoran mystery. His plot has fewer distractions than his previous efforts and the writing is quite taut. I am not sure it is his best book because the sheer vigor of his good first novel is hard to top, even if it tended to ramble a bit. But there is no wasted writing at all in the current novel, and if there are no "red herrings," neither are there any irrelevant side trips.

The pot finds Corcoran on the run from an aging paterfamilias who has put a price on his head for (as he erroneously believes) killing his son. Corcoran winds up hiding at the Upper Michigan home of a relative who has a young son who comes to idolize him. Some murders occur and the child and his semi-girl friend become targets. Depite his serious injury, Corcoran, with the help of his Wonder-woman ex-FBI agent friend, protect the kids and solve the mystery in a satisfactory way.

The weakest part of the book involves the resolution of the "hit" on Corcoran, particularly the confrontation between him and the Godfather-like senior. Obviously, Krueger wants to get Corcoran back to Minnesota in the worst way, and is willing to use some pretty thin plotting to do it. But overall, it is a fine addition to the Corcoran corpus. It will be good to get him back to his home turf.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on October 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Sheriff Cork O'Conner is wounded and hiding out with his cousin, Jewell, after an attempt on his life by a professional hit man. Jewell's fourteen year-old son, Ren, has a best friend, Charlie a tomboy whose father is an alcoholic causing her to occasionally stay at a runaway shelter when her father is at his worst. Ren, Charlie and another friend think they see a body in the river one day. After the body turns up and is identified as another girl from the shelter, Ren and Charlie's friend is struck by a car, Charlie's father is murdered and Charlie is hiding out for her life. In spite of Cork's own dangers, he, with the help of Dina, a friend and former FBI agent, are determined to protect Charlie and find out what is going on.

Although this was less a story of Cork and more focused on Ren and Charlie, all the strengths of Krueger's writing were in evidence. The evocative sense of place, strong characters and dialogue, elements of native America mythology and excellent suspense are hallmarks of Krueger. But after the build up of "Mercy Falls" I felt a bit let down by the lack focus on Cork, interaction with his family, and the somewhat anticlimactic ending of that particular story line. Still, this was a very good book and I am already anxious for the next.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Bowes on October 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A continuation of the last book, that for a while felt like the second of three, until a less than satisfactory conclusion ended that notion. Good page turning action, but less well thought out than usual. Is the author getting tired of Cork?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James H. Moran on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If it weren't for the swear words and some gore, I'd think this book was written for teenagers. This is one of those thrillers where hardened cops let kids and housewives join in the manhunt for dangerous killers. Ridiculous. And a lot of the dialog is teen talk. And a lot of things just happen coincidentally -- you know, everything's so well-planned that the author can just wrap the book up in a nice little -- albeit unbelieveable -- package. On the other hand, it was fast and light reading, although the ending is simply ridiculous. I think the book deserves only two stars but I'll give it three because I've liked Krueger's other books and it did keep me amused for the time I read it. But it could have been better.
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