Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Iron Lake: A Novel (Cork O'Connor) by…

Iron Lake: A Novel (Cork O'Connor) (edition 2009)

by William Kent Krueger

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7574712,258 (3.73)133
Title:Iron Lake: A Novel (Cork O'Connor)
Authors:William Kent Krueger
Info:Atria Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:nook ebook

Work details

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

  1. 00
    The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson (sjmccreary)
    sjmccreary: similar remote locations, small towns near Indian reservations, both are cold weather settings
  2. 00
    Ice Hunter: A Woods Cop Mystery by Joseph Heywood (ckNikka)
    ckNikka: Great "place based" stories

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 133 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I read this after Ordinary Grace which I think is a fantastic novel. This is not the same caliber (more of a thriller/mystery novel) but still very good. William Kent Krueger may become a favorite author of mine. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Minnesota author. Minnesota Book Award winner.

A pretty good mystery. I felt like it got a litle convaluted at the end, but I couldn't put it down.

I think I have already read another book in the series but I'm not sure which one. ( )
  nx74defiant | Feb 1, 2017 |
1999 Winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, this series introduces Corcoran (“Cork”) O’Conner, the part-Irish, part-Native American former sheriff of the small town of
Aurora, Minnesota, who can never seem to stay on the sidelines when crimes occur in his town.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Dec 30, 2016 |
This was #1 in series...really enjoyed it...like Cork and his family. ( )
  NHreader | Aug 29, 2016 |
I sought out this book because it is the beginning of a crime series I had not read authored by Krueger, whose writing I have come to appreciate.

This series features Corcoran (“Cork”) O’Conner, the part-Irish, part-Anishinaabe Indian ex-sheriff of the small town of Aurora, Minnesota. While no longer serving in law enforcement, Cork keeps getting involved in what goes wrong in Aurora; he served as sheriff for seven years, and it hard for him to sit out on the sidelines. The current sheriff, Wally Schanno, got elected after a recall vote that forced Cork from office. We don’t learn what precipitated the recall right away.

As the story begins, Cork, in his early forties, hears the Windigo call his name. As a child, Cork learned about the Native American figure of the Windigo from his beloved mentor, Sam Winter Moon. The “Windigo" is a giant ogre who, when he calls your name, is telling you your time has come to die. The only way you might change your fate is if you too become like the Windigo. But even then, the danger remains “of staying a Windigo forever. Of being the ogre you killed.”

The local Anishinaabe medicine man, Henry Meloux, advises Cork:

“The Windigo was a man once. His heart was not always ice. What makes a man’s heart turn to ice? I would think about that, and I would think about how to fight the Windigo.”

Cork’s wife had asked for a separation several months previously, and Cork is now seeing Molly Nurmi, a local waitress. But Cork misses his three kids, Jenny, Annie, Stevie, and doesn’t want to hurt them by getting a divorce. His wife Jo is adamant that their marriage is over, however, and when he finds out her reasons, he indeed feels as if his heart has turned to ice.

Meanwhile, the powerful local kingmaker, Judge Robert Parrant, is found dead, an apparent suicide. Paul LeBeau, who was delivering papers to the Judge the day he died, is missing. Paul’s mother Darla calls on Cork to help, but Cork keeps getting stonewalled. Almost everyone warns him to back off, without saying why. Needless to say, this only makes Cork more determined to find out what is going on.

Eventually, Cork uncovers a web of blackmail, embezzlement, intimidation, and murder. He gains the answers he was seeking, but in the process, loses something far more important.

Evaluation: Krueger is a good writer, and I really like the integration of Native American culture into his stories. I plan to continue on with the series.

Note: This book won a number of mystery awards, including the 1999 Barry Award for Best First Novel. ( )
  nbmars | Jul 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Cork O'Connor first heard the story of the Windigo in the fall of 1965 when he hunted the big bear with Sam Winter Moon.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota - population 3,752. Embittered by his "former" status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago's South Side, he's found that there's not much left in life that can shock him. But when the town's judge, Robert Parrant, is brutally murdered, and Eagle Scout Paul LeBeau is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption and scandal.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671016970, Mass Market Paperback)

Short story specialist William Kent Krueger brings a fresh take on some familiar elements and a strong sense of atmosphere to his first mystery. Chicago cop Cork O'Connor and his lawyer-wife Jo moved back to his northern Minnesota hometown of Aurora to improve their quality of life, but it hasn't worked. Cork became the local sheriff, but lost an election after a disagreement between local Indians and whites over fishing rights turned deadly. Then his marriage broke up, with Jo becoming a successful advocate for tribal rights and Cork reduced to running a scruffy restaurant and gift shop. As the book starts, Cork is feeling guilty about sleeping with a warm-hearted waitress and still hoping to get back with Jo and their three children. Drawn into the disappearance of an Indian newsboy, which coincides with the apparent suicide of a former judge, O'Connor clashes with a newly elected senator--the judge's son and Jo's lover--as well as with the town's new sheriff and some tribal leaders getting rich on gambling concessions. Krueger quickly makes Cork a real person beneath his genre garments, mostly by showing him trying to deal with the needs of his two very different teenage daughters. And the author's deft eye for the details of everyday life brings the town and its peculiar problems to vivid life. --Dick Adler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A hated judge is found dead in suspicious circumstances in a town in Minnesota with an Indian casino and a young Ojibwa Indian leaves home in a hurry. Former sheriff Cork O'Connor investigates if there is a connection.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
63 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.73)
0.5 1
1 3
2 8
2.5 2
3 45
3.5 46
4 112
4.5 11
5 25

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,166,564 books! | Top bar: Always visible