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Northwest Angle
Detective Cork O’Connor Series, No 11
William Kent Krueger

Atria Books / Simon & Schuster
2011 / ISBN 9781439153956
License Investigator / Cork O Connor / Minnesota / Contemporary

Reviewed by L J Roberts

First Sentence: He woke long before it was necessary, had wakened in this way for weeks, troubled and afraid.

Former cop and PI Cork O Connor and his family are vacationing on a houseboat in a remote part of Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. Cork and his daughter, Jenny, off in an outboard, run for shelter as a deadly storm rages through. Cork is knocked overboard but Jenny makes it to an island where she finds a cabin containing the tortured and murdered young woman and the baby she d desperately hidden. Now the murderer is after them, desperate to regain the child.

Krueger is an author who excels at captivating you with his opening paragraph and not letting you go. He violates the rule of not opening with the weather; making is powerfully effective. His descriptions first placate, then terrify the reader with a very good escalation of terror and the desperation one would feel from the uncertainty of the situation. He also knows how to create a sense of menace and convey raw emotion.

Krueger s character-creation is excellent. You want to be part of Cork's family, but although they are far from perfect, they are real. This book does play heavily on the themes of religion, spirituality and faith; Christianity versus Christianity distorted and Indian spiritualism, but looking at them in ways that are honest and true, allowing for doubt, and not being preachy.

The plot was well-developed with some very good twists; yet there were elements that were predictable. Although Northwest Angle was a better than a good read, it would be nice to see Krueger focus less on family in future books.

Reviewed 2011
© 2011