Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

It's cold outside.  The thin layer of snow in my yard has iced over and I can see little blades of frozen grass poking through.  I ran some errands this morning and in order to open my car door I had to knock icicles off of the door handle.  A mixture of ice and slush littered the parking lot of the library making it downright messy to return our books.  What does all of this have to do with my review?  Nothing, really.  Except that it reminded me of the cold and aggressive winter conditions in Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger. Perfect timing really, since I had a review due today.  Oh, and it also made me thankful that I don't live in Minnesota.

See? Doesn't it look cold?
 Mr. Krueger was featured as Barnes and Noble's spotlight author for October 2011.  After reading a short question and answer about him, I decided to give Iron Lake (a first in a series, of course) a try.  You can read that question and answer here.  I polished this book off on my nook in under a week and have already downloaded the next in the series.  Before I continue, you need some background.  Cork (short for Corcoran) O'Connor is the ex-sheriff of a small town in Minnesota.  He's rough, he's no nonsense and has little patience for wrong doing.  None of that matters though, when he finds himself deep in the apparent suicide of a local judge.  Cork must balance his tattered home life and old grudges harbored by local residents while trying to piece together what really happened.

At first, I had a hard time following all of the characters and what they meant to the story.  Mr. Krueger detailed some seemingly insignificant ones at first, only to have them reappear and become central to the unique identity of the town of Aurora.  For example, the first chapter is about Paul, the town newspaper boy.  We learn of his work ethic, his determination and his sense of duty which characterize the spirit of Aurora and it's Native American residents.  It is Paul who hears a gunshot on his last delivery of the day and ultimately finds the judge dead.  The details in the first chapter laid the foundation for the kinds of people we encounter in the rest of the story.  I think I may even go back and reread some of the first few chapters again.

The other big winner for me was Cork himself.  I loved the strong mix of sensitive father and hard-nosed ex-sheriff.  Yes, I have a thing for men in uniform (military ones, that is), but Cork is more than just that.  He cares for the people he used to protect and does so at his own risk.  He also still cares deeply for his soon-to-be ex-wife.  Even though they have both moved on to other relationships he values his relationship with her and treats her with the respect the mother of his children deserve.  I also thought the cast of supporting characters was just as strong and exactly what was needed to compliment someone like Cork.  

I'm excited that this series continues.   Northwest Angle, the 11th book in the series was released last year.   That means there are ten more Cork O'Connor books for me to read.  And that makes ten more opportunities for me to root for the good guy in uniform.  I do so love the good guys in uniform. Pin It


  1. This sounds like a series I might enjoy. I will put it on my e-wish list. Thanks for a great review. And I already knew Minnesota wasn't the place for me even before our last ice system. Bring on the sunny beaches of Florida.

  2. I really enjoy these books..... have read almost all of the series. Now, I'll look for #11. :)