Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vermilion Drift, by William Kent Krueger ($15)(c2010)

In ten books, William Kent Krueger has taken Cork O'Connor from his early days as a sheriff in fictional Tamarack County, Minnesota, to what he is now, a private investigator and a man who has seen his share of tragedies. The award-winning Iron Lake, the first in the series, was published in 1998, and last year's Vermilion Drift was the 10th. Cork has aged, his children have grown older, he has dealt with the blows and joys dealt him throughout the years.

In Vermilion Drift, the Department of Energy is reviewing whether an abandoned iron mine would be a good place to bury nuclear waste. As a result, several threats have been received by the parties involved. The Ojibwe/Anishinaabe people especially are concerned about the impact on reservation land. Cork has been hired to find out who has been sending threatening notes.

Then the sister of the mine owner disappears, and Cork is also hired to find her. Unknown to Cork, his cases are about to become very personal. Is Henry, Cork's Anishinaabe mentor, trying to help or hinder Cork's investigation?

There is a strong poetic style to Krueger's writing and a spiritual element to Cork that make Krueger's books different from a lot of other police officer/private eye series. Cork is center stage in the books, even while he is trying to solve someone else's problems.

Krueger constantly challenges himself to come up with stories that show Cork's personal growth and highlights the place of the Anishinaabe in a white-dominated society. He is always worth reading.

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