Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Windigo Island: A Novel (Cork O'Connor #14) by William Kent Krueger

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1359 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (Aug. 19 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

Cork O'Connor battles vicious villains, both mythical and modern, to rescue a young girl in the latest nail-biting mystery from New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger.

When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don't solve the mystery of how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, Cork O'Connor, former sheriff turned private investigator, is soon on the case.

But on the Bad Bluff reservation, nobody's talking. Still, Cork puts enough information together to find a possible trail. In Duluth, Minnesota, he learns from an Ojibwe social worker that both Duluth and the Twin Cities are among the most active areas in the US for sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom are young Native Americans. As the investigation deepens, so does the danger. Cork realizes he's not only up against those who control the lucrative sex enterprise, he must also battle government agencies more than willing to look the other way.

Yet Cork holds tight to his purpose, Mariah, an innocent fifteen-year-old girl at the heart of this grotesque web, who is still missing and whose family is desperate to get her back. With only the barest hope of saving her, Cork prepares to battle men whose evil rivals that of the bloodthirsty Windigo and who are as powerful, elusive, and vengeful as the dark spirit Michi Peshu.

Praise for Windigo Island:

“A punch-to-the-gut blend of detective story and investigative fiction.... Krueger has written a novel as blistering and crucial in its indictments of contemporary evil as The Jungle.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Krueger paints a vivid picture of the sordid cycle of poverty, abuse, alcoholism, and runaway (or throwaway) children on the reservation, and reminds us of the evil of men all too willing to exploit the innocent.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

About the Author

 Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is an attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.

"Ordinary Grace," his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. "Windigo Island," number fourteen in his Cork O’Connor series, was released in August 2014.

My Review

William Kent Krueger is a brilliant story-teller who brings the First Nations people of Minnesota to life in his Cork O'Conner mysteries.  I truly believe he is one of the finest and most captivating mystery authors writing today. His writing flows and pulls the reader in. Windigo Island, like the previous books in the series, is impossible to put down.

A deceased young native woman who has been missing for a year washes up on Windigo Island. What happened to the young lady who ran away the same time she did? Mariah Arceneaux is still missing and her family hires Cork to find her. The former sheriff is now a private investigator. The search for Mariah sends Cork into the world of sex trafficking of young native women. I live in a place where native women continued to disappear at an alarming rate yet no one seemed concerned. Until the horrible truth of the Picton farm came to light. I can easily relate to the tragedy of missing native women. Why are they considered so disposable....

I love to travel to new places when I'm reading. I want to see Duluth, Minnesota now as well as the chaos of Williston, North Dakota. Thanks for taking me there Mr. Krueger. Krueger has a deep understanding of wounded people, wounded souls and the healing process. The lives of the people Cork O'Connor comes in contact with including his family members are forever touched by the evils that O'Connor uncovers. His daughter Jenny figures prominently in this latest book as she searches for inspiration for her writing. Windigo Island is as much her story as Cork's.

Brilliant writing style. Great story. Thought provoking. Another winner for William Kent Krueger. Available August 19th.

1 comment:

  1. I love WKK. Can't wait to get my hands on this one.