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Showing 1-10 of 159 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 239 reviews
on March 1, 2015
I'm a Cork O'Connor fan, and have kept up with him throughout his series, but I was rather disappointed in this one. Cork has traditionally operated more or less by himself, but in this outing he is accompanied by his now-grown family plus several others as they all vacation on the Lake of the Woods in northern Minnesota. Though the writer wrangles them well, the effect is that of an unwieldy mob. The story thus unfolds in many directions. There is an abandoned infant to whom one of his daughters immediately bonds, a near-psychotic young Indian in a cigarette boat, a batch of hostile survivalist "Christians" who occupy a remote island, and a helpful, if not quite straightforward, resort owner who provides water transport. One sometimes wishes for a clipboard. There is a fair amount of bloodshed before everything resolves, but we finally return safely to Square One. It is clear, however, that Cork will soon be completely on his own. How Mr. Kruger will manage this remains to be seen.
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on April 21, 2017
I've been reading William Kent Krueger's whole Cork O'Connor series & have loved every one of the books. Each is engaging & intriguing. Not sure what I'll do when I read #16 (I'm on 14), except wait impatiently for the next to be published!
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on September 10, 2016
William Kent Krueger writes novels that I would describe as action/ mystery/ drama combos. This Cork O'Connor novel had a bit of a different twist from his usual plots, which I enjoyed. A little more philosophy, too. As always, Krueger's descriptions of the different locales are so beautifully written that it is easy to picture the action as if I were watching a movie. This just finished the eleventh of the fourteen in this entertaining series for me. I will miss them when I finiish. I am glad that I started with Iron Lake, the first one.
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on December 30, 2013
History is replete with examples of good athletes who ate themselves out of a job. This novel seems to parallel that.

The plot and twists are well crafted. Cork takes his family on a lake vacation and stumbles into a deadly conflict between locals. That works except it’s larded with long and ponderous passages of the inner thoughts of the characters agonizing about their pasts. The author seems to adhere to the practice of never using one word when a hundred will do. You find yourself treading water, waiting for the action to resume. Also, every family encounters tragedies and bumps in the road. But, the litany of kidnapping and killing in this family is a bit much.

There are some details that are a bit nettlesome. A boat speeds by in the dark and it’s observed that the unique sound of a cigarette boat is unmistakable. In this case, it’s an outboard and an outboard motor sounds like an outboard, regardless of what type of craft it’s hanging on. The storm wipes out the forested islands and Cork uses one of the downed trees as a swim float to navigate between islands. Hundreds of pounds of timber and resistance from all the branches doesn’t facilitate speed and distance by a long shot and he’d probably still be out there swimming to this day. There are enough more examples to be an irritant.

The bottom line is that the basic story is a decent one. But, it often gets bogged down along the way.
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on May 3, 2017
Perfect. I enjoy all the Cork O'Conner series. Sorry I can't review Trickster's point #12 because I just got it and I'm just started reading it. Books after #12 I haven't read yet.
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on November 17, 2014
He's back...if you follow the series, the last book was just so-so. This was terrific. All the elements you come to know and love about his books, more, too. Family drama, Native culture and great suspense. Don't want to say more, just read it! I am going to really be sorry when I have caught up on them all but cannot stop reading them so fast.
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on March 18, 2016
Okay, I don't recommend reading this book. Or should I say I don't recommend starting this book until you have nothing better to do for six plus hours than to read this book because once you start it you will not be able to put it down. The start is a bit slow, a houseboat on a really, really big lake. What could go wrong? Oh, wait! This is Cork O'Connor we're talking about. Of course a lot goes wrong and because it is now Cork's family who if you've been reading the series you care about what happens...
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on October 22, 2011
This is a most enjoyable book. Cork O'Connor wants to get his family away from it all and have them bond more closely. However, the natural disaster called a 'derecho' seems to destroy this plan for family bonding. Further complications come from the drug-based activities of the Church of the Seven Trumpets, who engage in covert work on their privately owned island, Stump Island, and are led by the Hornett Family. In the midst of this vortex of plot action Jenny O'Connor rescues the nine-week old baby boy of Lily Smalldog. The baby has a cleft lip. His mother had been horribly tortured and murdered by members of the Church as they pursued the whereabouts of their drugs. Members of the Church pursue the Cork Family, esp. Jenny and the baby, as well as Noah Smalldog, the middleman of their drug business, and Lily's half-brother. In the end the Hornett Family is defeated, and Jenny is able to adopt the baby who has been given the name Waaboozoons ('little rabbit') by Stephen O'Connor.

Indeed, Jenny O'Connor is the heroine of this fast-paced thriller. But to achieve his teary ending Krueger has to engage in some hackneyed plot elements. Noah Smalldog is killed as he protects the O'Connor family in their retreat from members of the Church. Thus he won't have any claim on 'little rabbit.' Aaron, Jenny's lover, who doesn't like children, is killed as he tries to protect Jenny and 'her' baby. So this child-shy lover turned hero won't stand in the way of Jenny's adoption of the baby. The baby's father, Joshua Hornett, who is awaiting sentencing and a long time in prison, gives up all his parental rights. Those who have read Krueger's other works are acquainted with the plot element of a privately owned island where covert activities occur.

In the end Cork O'Connor has gotten his family together, on a deeper level, and has seen it increase by one, namely, Aaron Smalldog O'Connor aka Waaboozoons aka 'little rabbit.' Unselfish love for life has conquered evil.
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on December 16, 2011
Have loved this series for a long time. Krueger brings the O'Connor family to life in his novels. Since the death of Jo - wife of Cork O'Connor he seems to have lost the family thread that ties his books together.

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.
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on December 29, 2013
I have read all the Cork O'Connor series up to this point and have enjoyed them. I also enjoyed this one, but I've noticed in some of his later works, the author seems to be using a standard format and I can pretty well determine some of the plot twists are coming just from the dialogue and character development of new characters that are introduced in the series. I'm just saying I can see it coming based on the new characters actions and words based on how other characters in previous books were. I don't want to go any further so as not to spoil anything. I still recommend this book. Its an enjoyable, easy read that doesn't take a huge investment from the reader. I would recommend you read this series from the start though (Iron Lake). But then, you may notice some of the things I've mentioned above.
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