Customer Reviews: Mercy Falls: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series)
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on June 25, 2007
I happen to pick up one of Mr. Krueger's books because it seemed like something that I would like to read.
Since then, I have read every book written by William Kent Krueger.

As every one of his books, "Mercy Falls" will captive you and you will not be able to put it down.
His writing makes you feel as if you're living within the story.

Believe me...when you're done, you'll be hunting for more William Kent Krueger's books!!!

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VINE VOICEon October 28, 2005
I love Kreuger's writing. He creates characters about whom you care, a plot that carries you without fault from beginning to end, a sense of place you can see and dialogue you can hear. He even get away with an ending that, from a lesser author, would be a wallbanger for me, but I know I'll read Krueger's next book anyway, so I forgive him but it did cause me to drop from an Excellent to a Very Good rating. If you've not read Krueger, do, but I would start at the beginning.
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on April 7, 2014
MERCY FALLS by William Kent Krueger
MERCY FALLS is the 5th in the Cork O’Connor series of mystery/thrillers written by William Kent Krueger. The author’s descriptions of the North Woods area of Minnesota are excellent and add greatly to the story giving it a sense of place usually lacking in this genre. Krueger is also careful to detail his characters as real, living, breathing persons instead of the stereotypes and stock characters so often found in mysteries. The tempo and pacing of the novel give the reader (and the characters) a chance to breathe after thrilling and terrorizing scenes. I liked the way reservation life was detailed – accurate but not condescending or demeaning. In short, Krueger is an excellent writer with an engaging and compelling story.
So, why am I only giving this book 3 stars. Because of the loose ends! One of the main “mysteries” isn’t solved! Is this the first of a series inside a series? Does the next book (Copper River) answer the questions that are left dangling? Are we never to know the answers? I am bummed! If there had been a “read the next book” epilogue I would be happier. Instead I feel FORCED to buy and read the next book hoping to find answers that may or may not be there.
3 of 5 stars
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on September 19, 2011
I love Krueger and his Cork O'Connor series. Now Cork is finally the Sheriff again in Aurora, MN. All of the books in the series have lead you to this point, and all the books have been grounded in the area and the interaction between the town and the Ojibwe Indians. While the story here is interesting it doesn't read like the rest of the series - and the ending is a gimmick. I wouldn't miss this series but this isn't Krueger's best work - an obvious lead in to the next book. Prior to this the books haven't needed a hook to get me to read the next one - I hope this doesn't become his pattern.
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on March 18, 2006
I have enjoyed previous books by this author but this one was a great disappointment.

The story was somewhat slow moving but held my interest and continued to be gripping. I was all set to enjoy the end of a 4 star read. The roll towards the end was exciting.

And then....

The ending was such a rip off. A blatant effort to segue into his next book.

Talk about feeling manipulated!!

Well, I'll pass on that seguel.
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on June 10, 2012
Just when you think you have it all figured out, wham! the hero is in ultimate danger, fighting for his life and the story ends. Just like the season finales of TV series that leave you anxious for September, I immediately got on Amazon and downloaded "Copper River" to my Kindle. There is no way I could wait for the book to arrive in the mail, I had to know how this would resolve. ASAP. The good thing is that I am reading the series from the beginning and I am able to go on to the next book without waiting for the author to write it.
Once again, William Kent Krueger has written a great mystery in the Cork O'Connor series. This one is much more complicated, more characters, more possibilities of "whodunit?" I would give the novel 5 stars except that the storyline gets blurry and I got lost in all the dynamics of the timeline. Dina is interesting and from the reviews of "Copper River" I believe she will be a major part of this story. The Jacoby family is mean and corrupt, Stone is evil personified and exactly what motivates Dina, is it only money? or does she have an agenda as well?
As with the Alex McKnight series by Steve Hamilton, I suggest you read the books in order. Not only to see the characters develop but also to watch the writing skills of WKK improve with each book.
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on March 10, 2015
The entire 14 book Cork O'Conner series is a great read. Do yourself a favor and start with Iron Lake. Start with the first one so you can grow with the characters over the years. This one is brutally suspenseful and the final shakeout is not sorted out until the book that follows. But read them in order, and you will be well occupied for quite a while. I would give this 5 stars, but the book left a lot unsaid until the following book, and it left me frustrated at 3 AM. I could not rest until I started Copper River, the next book. My mistake was starting with the 14th one which was a gift. Now I have so see how some of the references in the 14th one play out in the previous volumes. I am on the 7th one and have no intention of stopping. Great reads!!
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on January 23, 2016
Overall, this is a very good book, as good if not better than the first 4 in the Cork O'Connor series. You have the same great characters - Cork, his family, his contacts, his fellow lawmen, his friends, and you see those characters develop more in this story. I liked that there were some nasty villains, plenty of suspense, and several plot twists and turns. Just when you think you have the story figured out, something happens that takes it in a different direction.

It looks like the author uses a few "new" literary devices - maybe state-of-the-art when this book was written in 2005. First is starting the book with the last chapter (kind of like the "Two days Previous...." start to a modern action/drama TV show). I'm not a big fan of that approach, but it does set you up for some of the plot twists later on and contributes to a level of suspense and tension throughout the book. The second literary approach is to use this book as a send-up to the next book (Copper River). Which is one of the reasons I was thinking of dropping a star: the story is left unresolved; the biggest, nastiest, slimiest, and creepiest of the villains are still at large and reeking havoc on our hero and his people. Hopefully all will be resolved in Book 6, Copper River.

Which leaves me to my one beef: why $13.99 for an e-book version (same on Kindle or Nook, by the way) that is basically first of two? Why $13.99 for a 10-year old (almost 11-year old) book? New releases from authors like Baldacci, Grisham, and Rollins are in the same price range. Simon & Schuster seem to be doing some serious profiteering on a book medium that has no paper, no warehousing and distribution, no middlemen - and that can't even be shared like a tree-book. I've been reading e-books since the Peanut Reader (now Nook, after several iterations) came out for the early Palm Pilots (pre-smart phone era). This publisher price-gouging is very disconcerting.

One small solution: buy the three-book sets. Prices per book will be less than $10. If you haven't read the first in the Cork O'Connor series, buy the first three-book set. I plan on buying the third three-book set, after Copper River. Despite the high prices, William Kent Krueger as an author is just that good, and one of my favorites.
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on April 21, 2014
That's essentially how this Cork O'Conner ends. Mr. Krueger is trying something new here (I haven't peeked ahead - yet) as he is in the plot itself. Instead of a conventional "Cork", with a crime, a lot of North Woods color, and a satisfying resolution, we've got murder mixed up with a drama of human hearts. Specifically, Jo, Cork's wife, meets up with the victim's brother, an old law-school flame, and begins, much against her better judgment, to waver. I'm not sure this mixes well with the standard flannel shirt - pickup truck ambiance of the other O'Conner books, especially since the patriarch of the victim's family is rich and mean and is therefore considered omnipotent. That's a common crime-story cop-out, and I don't like it. I want my villains to be fallible, like the rest of us. Anyhow, (spoiler!) the brother perishes too, the old man turn his wrath on Cork, and lo! here's the back cover. If you like danglers, fine, but this is not my cup of tea.
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on May 28, 2014
I am reading this series in order. I enjoy the relationships between the characters and the glimpse into a world very foreign from one raised in New York.
This particular story was satisfying. All the elements of a good mystery and the addition of Native American traditions and lifestyle. I found a few inconsistencies with the what police would be able to prove versus what was was omitted here. I especially enjoyed the choices of lifestyles. Although not all wealth is gained and kept by controlling all that is around you, by choosing power over relationships, the life choices of the wealthy contrasted greatly with those of lesser means.
Cork has to work on two seemingly separate crimes that put himself and family in grave danger. Dealing with a powerful and controlling family proves to be especially difficult. It also becomes especially deadly.
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