Former sheriff Cork O'Connor his hired to look for Lauren Cavanaugh by her brother, Max. Max is the owner of the Great North Mining Company and Vermilion One is one of the deepest mines. It is being considered as a site for nuclear waste. This is causing heated protests among the locals.
After meeting with other mining officials, Max shows Cork a spot in Vermilion One where someone has spray-painted "We die, You Die." Since no one saw the person who did the spray painting, Cork thinks there must be another entrance to the mine.
When he's deep in the mine, he finds a hidden room and inside the room there are six bodies. Five of the bodies have been there for many years but one has only recently been placed there. This reminds Cork of The Vanishings.
In 1964, two Native American women vanished and then a young white woman, Monique Cavanaugh, Laurnen's mother.
In a story deep with Indian folk lore, Cork speaks to his friend Henry Meloux. Despite Henry's advanced age, he can see things. He tells Cork who to speak to to identify the other bodies and he tells Cork that things are stirred up at the reservation.
Cork is now investigating what happened to Lauren and what happened in 1964. It is interesting that his father was the sheriff at that time and it creates a moral dilemma for Cork to consider if his father could be involved.
As always with William Kent Krueger, there are details about the Ojibwe Indian culture and beliefs. Cork is a well described character and the story is told as if the pieces were put together like parts of a menu that is eventually laid out for the reader to learn and be entertained by its realistic detail.
Kent Krueger's newest book in the Cork O'Connor series---Vermilion Drift---is one of those novels that bring out not just the love of a good mystery, but a searching for self message that all of us can relate to. We see Cork in his element wanting to solve a mystery about some puzzling deaths, but it ends up bringing him full circle with his own demons that he has been grappling with. Answers in life are not always easy to find or accept, but in order … more