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William Kent Krueger

Author of Ordinary Grace

41+ Works 17,147 Members 951 Reviews 29 Favorited

About the Author

William Kent Krueger grew up in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. A former logger, construction worker, freelance journalist, & researcher in childhood development, he is the author of two other acclaimed Cork O'Connor novels, "Iron Lake" & "Boundary Waters". (Publisher Provided) William Kent show more Krueger was born in Torrington, Wyoming on November 16, 1950. He attended Stanford University for one year before losing his academic scholarship for participation in a takeover of the president's office in protest of what he saw as the University's complicity in weapons production during the Vietnam War. He wrote short stories and sketches for many years. His first novel, Iron Lake, won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best First Novel, the Minnesota Book Award, and the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award. He writes the Cork O'Connor series. In 2005 and 2006, he won back-to-back Anthony Awards for best novel. Ordinary Grace won the Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2014. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
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Works by William Kent Krueger

Ordinary Grace (2013) 2,809 copies, 198 reviews
This Tender Land (2019) 2,138 copies, 130 reviews
Iron Lake (1998) 1,590 copies, 93 reviews
Boundary Waters (1999) 911 copies, 59 reviews
Purgatory Ridge (2002) 737 copies, 32 reviews
The River We Remember (2023) 686 copies, 29 reviews
Blood Hollow (2004) 686 copies, 26 reviews
Thunder Bay (2007) 671 copies, 36 reviews
Copper River (2006) 611 copies, 29 reviews
Mercy Falls (2006) 581 copies, 30 reviews
Red Knife (2008) 563 copies, 24 reviews
Heaven's Keep (2009) 520 copies, 23 reviews
Vermilion Drift (2010) 509 copies, 24 reviews
Lightning Strike (2021) 493 copies, 21 reviews
Northwest Angle (2011) 463 copies, 31 reviews

Associated Works

Elevator Pitch (2019) 496 copies, 33 reviews
Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side (2010) — Contributor — 329 copies, 11 reviews
Games Creatures Play (2014) — Contributor — 207 copies, 9 reviews
Echoes of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon (2016) — Contributor — 130 copies, 10 reviews
Death Do Us Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder (2006) — Contributor — 127 copies, 2 reviews
Twin Cities Noir (2006) — Contributor — 86 copies, 3 reviews
USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series (2013) — Contributor — 86 copies, 10 reviews
The Best American Mystery Stories 2017 (2017) — Contributor — 59 copies, 2 reviews
Odd Partners: An Anthology (2019) — Contributor — 57 copies, 3 reviews
Deadly Anniversaries (2020) — Contributor — 57 copies, 6 reviews
Reader's Digest Select Editions 2000 v01 #247 (2000) — Contributor — 43 copies
RDSELP v110 A Walk to Remember | Boundary Waters (1999) — Author — 20 copies
Reader's Digest Select Editions 2007 v06 #294 (2007) — Contributor — 17 copies
Nice Girl Does Noir, Volume 1 (2010) — Foreword; Foreword — 17 copies, 1 review
The Atria International Book of Mysteries (2012) — Contributor — 15 copies, 1 review
Reader's Digest Select Editions 2018 v05 #359 (2018) — Author — 3 copies
Reader's Digest Select Editions 2019 v04 #366 (2019) — Author — 3 copies


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Common Knowledge



Christian based police thriller. Well narrated and interestingly written. Keeps readers guessing— the whole reason for a mystery.
C.L.Barnett | 25 other reviews | Jun 24, 2024 |
My thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for an ARC of this novel.

This is the twentieth in Krueger’s Corcoran (Cork) O’Connor mystery series. I have not read all the earlier ones, but enough to feel a certain fondness for the now-retired former Chicago cop and former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. Or sort of retired—he still maintains a private investigating business, run out of Doug’s Shack, the fast food hut he inherited and keeps open to provide employment for local Indigenous youth. He also spends the better part of his time as an unofficial but appreciated assistant to the Tribal Police Force and its many and varied related bodies, all of which play a part in the manhunt, or manhunts, at the centre of this episode.

For those new to the series, which involves his community and his sprawling extended family, Cork is part Irish American, part Annishinaabe (Ojibwa), his first wife Jo passed on many years prior, his second wife, Rainy, is a nurse and community activist. He has three adult children, Jenny, Stephen and Annie. Jenny is married to Daniel Young, also Ojibwa and formerly a resource commissioner, seconded to work for the local security force in charge of missing persons. Their son, called Waaboo (Little Rabbit), was adopted after being found ´under a rock.’ Also reprising their roles from previous novels are tribal healer and sage Henry Meloux and his enigmatic, and seemingly untouchable, protector, known only as Prophet.

Krueger’s stories are characteristically an interweaving of police procedural and domestic drama, and this one ups the ante by introducing a number of family-based subplots. One concerns his son Stephen’s forthcoming marriage to lawyer and activist Belle. Daughter Annie has returned after a long stay in Guatemala, with her lover, a Mayan nurse named Maria, and a much more troubling secret. Grandson Waaboo reveals a new and, to his parents, often frightening ability to see visions and communicate with the dead, like the elder, Henry. There is an often dangerous fight going on between activists from across the country and the powerful oil companies and their massively disruptive pipeline project at Spirit Crossing. Add to this the violent, predatory, misogynistic
nature of the heavy-drinking pipeline workers, and the disappearance of young Indigenous women that has plagued the U.S. and Canada for years. And, add again, the bureaucratic nightmare of federal, state, municipal and tribal jurisdictions for social welfare, public health, and law enforcement.

In the midst of all this is Waaboo’s sense, while blueberry picking with his grandfather and father in a secluded patch, that someone is buried there, and that this person is sad; soon he hears another voice, in the proximity of the first. Because the teenaged daughter of an oil tycoon has gone missing, the FBI take over. The fact that several Native girls are also missing does not interest them, and that is how, directed by the little boy, himself gently ‘taught’ by Henry, the case is left to Cork and the Tribal Police to solve.

It is at times quite a challenge to keep the agents, the agencies, the family members, the community members, the different tribes, the missing girls, and the crooks, entirely straight. To his credit, by painting this larger picture, Krueger gives us a glimpse into the very real racist oppression that has traumatized Indigenous communities for generations, and continues to do so. The key mystery, and the smaller ones, are compelling to read about. His sensitive attention to Ojibwe culture and rituals is interesting and informative. I think the Annie subplot could easily have been cut; Maria seems blissfully one-dimensional, and the story doesn’t relate to the disappearances or the pipeline battle. Nonetheless, if a bit rambling, this volume of the series is definitely worth reading, with or without previous exposure.
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CynCom | Jun 20, 2024 |
Before they discovered the body, Jorge had been singing. It was late July, hot and humid. In the North Country of Minnesota, everything under the blaze of the sun sheltered. They were hiking an abandoned logging road through the Superior National Forest, though most folks called it the Boundary Waters. This was one of the ten milers required for the hiking merit badge, their destination a place known as Lightning Strike.
taurus27 | 20 other reviews | Jun 20, 2024 |
Wasn’t my favorite book but it was still a good story. A little like huckleberry Finn
BethQuerrey | 129 other reviews | Jun 14, 2024 |



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