Category Archives: Krueger, William Kent

Cork O’Connor Mysteries by William Kent Krueger

Mercy FallsMercy Falls
by William Kent Krueger
Rating: ★★★½
Series: Cork O'Connor #5
Publication Date: August 16, 2005
Genre: mystery, suspense, thriller
Pages: 464
ReRead?: Yes

In this follow-up to Blood Hollow, Tamarack County Sheriff Corcoran O'Connor investigates the high-profile murder of a powerful Chicago businessman. When he's then targeted by a sniper, O'Connor must move through a maze of murder, adultery, and deceit.

Copper RiverCopper River
by William Kent Krueger
Rating: ★★★★
Series: Cork O'Connor #6
Publication Date: August 22, 2006
Genre: crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Pages: 387
ReRead?: Yes

Two-time Anthony Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has "moved to the head of the crime fiction class" ("Chicago Sun-Times") with his gripping series featuring Sheriff Cork O'Connor. In "Copper River," Cork is running for his life -- and straight into a murderous conspiracy involving teenage runaways. Desperately avoiding the clutches of professional hit men who have already put a bullet in his leg, Cork finds sanctuary outside the small Michigan town of Bodine. But while he's hiding out in an old resort owned by his cousin Jewell DuBois, a bitter widow with a fourteen-year-old son named Ren, the body of a young girl surfaces along the banks of the Copper River -- and then another teenager vanishes. Instead of thwarting his assassins, Cork focuses on tracking a ring of killers who prey on innocent children -- before anyone else falls victim. But as his deadly followers close in, Cork realizes he's made an error any good man might make -- and it may be his last.

I haven’t been in an official reading slump, but I’m going through one of those periods with my reading where propulsive crime fiction is the only thing that is holding my interest. I’ve read several easy mysteries in the last couple of weeks.

I finished both of these installments in the Cork O’Connor series in the last few weeks. I decided to do a reread of the early books before moving on to the later books because I can’t remember where I left off the last time I was reading the series. I enjoyed both of these, and the second one a bit more than the first. These two books are basically the beginning and end of a single story, so it’s best to be prepared with Copper River when starting Mercy Falls.

I have continued to dislike Jo, Cork’s wife, and the events surrounding her didn’t make me like her more, although I felt compassion for her given her experience. A new character, Dina Willner, was introduced, and she turned out to be a better person than I expected her to be. I don’t remember if she comes back in any of the later books, but I hope she does.

This series feels very similar to the Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box. Cork is a similar cowboy type character, with an inviolable, but sometimes inconvenient, ethical code. I love the setting here as much as I love the Wyoming setting in the Pickett books – the north woods of Minnesota are well-rendered and beautiful.

The seventh book in the series, Thunder Bay, has a holds in both of my library systems, so I haven’t been able to access it yet. The eighth book, Red Knife, was available in print, so I checked it out. I’m thinking about just moving forward and looping back to book 7 when it arrives.