This is my second Cork O'Connor mystery by William Kent Krueger. The first was Heaven's Keep, which was okay, but this book is much better at starting the action right from the get-go and keeping it going. As with Heaven's Keep, which involved Cork's wife, Jo, being in danger, this one primarily involves his daughter, Jenny, though multiple members of Cork's family are in the periphery. Also like the other book, Native Americans play a major role (Cork is part Ojibwe).
Cork takes his family on vacation up to the Northwest Angle, a beautiful and wild area that borders Canada. In a huge lake there exist lots of little islands, some of which are uninhabited, or at least have no full-time inhabitants. While the O'Connors are there, an incredible storm (called a "derecho" in the book) tears through the lake and results in devastating damage. Family members are separated in the storm, and the story follows their attempts to find one another. In particular, it centers on what Jenny finds on the island where she washes up after the storm and how what she finds endangers both her life and that of her family. Cork is never more determined than when his loved ones are in danger, so this story sends him into overdrive first finding them and then protecting them from said danger.
As with many mysteries, this story involves some eye-rolling from time to time when believability is strained, but it is not SO obvious as to ruin enjoyment of the book--at least it wasn't for me, and I'm one that is bothered by too much need for a suspension of disbelief. I LOVED the way he kept the action going and how there wasn't just one story or one danger involved. Yes, the cast of characters gets rather large at times, but most are unique enough that I didn't have much trouble keeping them straight.
The violence/bloodshed isn't any worse than your average mystery, but there are some issues that COULD be potentially offensive or disturbing to some (there is an extreme religious sect involved).
William Kent Krueger has delivered a find novel in "Northwest Angle.' This is a story with picturesque settings, a suspenseful plot that is unpredictable, and a strong message about life. Cork O'Connor takes his family on a vacation on a houseboat. When a destructive storm develops suddenly, Cork and his daughter, Jenny, are separated from the others and land on one of the many isolated islands on the Lake of the Woods in Minnesota on … more
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“William Kent Krueger can’t write a bad book.Northwest Angleis one of his best. A complex crime novel that contains meditations on the difficulties of loving and the paths we take to reach God, this Cork O’Connor novel has everything you want in a great read: depth, action, and credibility.” —Charlaine Harris, #1New York Timesbestselling author ofDead Reckoning
“Part adventure, part mystery, and all knockout thriller. . . Catch-your breath suspense throughout.” —Booklist
“Solid storytelling and intriguing characterizations combine for a sobering look at the power of family and faith and Native American culture. Krueger never writes the same book twice as each installment finds him delving deeper into Cork's psyche.” —Publishers Weekly(starred)