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Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger

Purgatory Ridge (2002)

by William Kent Krueger

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Several stories are interwoven in this Cork O'Connor mystery. A battle is on between the timber industry and the local tribes and environmentalists over the last stand of old growth trees in the area. The mill owner Karl and his wife Grace are struggling in their marriage as are Cork and his wife Jo. And a local man whose parents and brother all died in the the lake holds Grace's family responsible for his brother's death. The characters are well developed and the story rushes onward. A good read. ( )
  gbelik | Oct 14, 2016 |
From Amazon:
Not far from Aurora, Minnesota (population 3,752), lies an ancient expanse of great white pines, sacred to the Anishinaabe tribe. When an explosion kills the night watchman at wealthy industrialist Karl Lindstrom's nearby lumber mill, it's obvious where suspicion will fall. Former sheriff Cork O'Connor agrees to help investigate, but he has mixed feelings about the case. For one thing, he is part Anishinaabe. For another, his wife, a lawyer, represents the tribe. Meanwhile, near Lindstrom's lakeside home, a reclusive shipwreck survivor and his sidekick are harboring their own resentment of the industrialist. And it soon becomes clear to Cork that harmony, both at home and in Aurora, will be on the back burner for some time....

My Thoughts:
I felt this book was not quite as exciting or planned out as some of his others but still a very good read. I liked the strength brought out in the women and children of Purgatory Ridge. I also liked some of the twists in the book that I really didn't see coming. Looking forward to the rest of this series. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
I continue to love the Cork O'Connor mystery series. When a murder occurs at a lumber mill, environmental activists seem a likely suspects, but as more crimes occurs, Cork is personally impacted and rushes against time to find the culprits. ( )
  porch_reader | Apr 23, 2016 |
Although a former sheriff, Cork can't keep away when there's an explosion at the local lumber mill and a man dies. His Indian ancestry complicates his alliances, as does the wife's role as attorney for the local tribe. Another plot, told in alternating chapters, revolves around the revenge sought by John LePere for the death of his brother years ago during a shipwreck on Lake Superior. The two stories collide and weave together by the end, which is a satisfying resolution. ( )
  sleahey | Jan 18, 2016 |
In this third book in the Cork O'Connor series, the former sheriff finds himself in the midst of town politics when someone bombs the lumber mill. The owner, Karl Lindstrom, had been in conflict with the Ojibwe over a stand of trees known as Our Grandfathers, so suspicion immediately is on the Iron Lake tribe. Meanwhile, Cork and his wife Jo are slowly feeling their way back into marriage and trying to make it work after their infidelities. What starts out as a seemingly straightforward case of environmentalists versus the logging company soon becomes complicated - and personal - as Cork's family is drawn in to the melee.

The first half of the book read as a police procedural, despite the fact that Cork is no longer in law enforcement (though there's some hint that he may be in the future); the second half reads as a twisty thriller whose ending left me reading late at night to find out what would happen. The relationships between the characters are my favorite parts, seeing how Cork and Jo are working out, their interactions with their kids, Jo's sister Rose, and secondary characters like the actual sheriff, Wally Schanno, and the Ojibwe healer, Henry Meloux. When the plot took center stage for the second half of the book, I was reading fast but I wasn't quite as invested in the story. There were several threads to the story, too, which made it a little confusing. When describing politics and groups in a small town, Krueger does a nice job of presenting various sides and conflicts. These stories have a great sense of place in northern Minnesota. I enjoy getting to know the characters and seeing them develop, and I look forward to seeing where they are headed next. ( )
  bell7 | Nov 18, 2015 |
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For Diane, who is the first blessing each morning and the final beauty each night,
and for June and Lloyd Peterson, who welcomed me as a son.
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Above all things in heaven or on earth, John LePere loved his brother.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067104754X, Mass Market Paperback)

Penzler Pick, March 2001: William Kent Krueger writes the kind of novels mystery lovers love to read: well-written, both character- and plot-driven, with tense scenes and surprise endings. Purgatory Ridge is the third in his series starring Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor, half white, half Ojibwe, who is the sometime sheriff of Aurora, a small town in the North Woods of Minnesota. What is particularly refreshing about Cork O'Connor is that, unlike the portrayal of many private investigators and cops in literature, he is a troubled man with a troubled marriage. He and his wife, Jo, have been through hard times, and although there is plenty of love between them, those hard times often surface and impact investigations and decisions they make regarding their careers. As the story begins, Cork is no longer sheriff, but just has to help investigate when a bomb explodes at the lumber mill run by wealthy industrialist Karl Lindstrom. The bomb kills an Ojibwe Indian who, like many of that nation, objects to the tearing down of the trees in that area, especially those considered sacred by the Ojibwe.

In a parallel story, John LePere, half Indian, half white, festers. As the only survivor aboard the Alfred M. Teasdale when she went down in Lake Superior, he thinks about the death of his shipmates, especially his brother. When it is suggested to him that the sinking of the Teasdale may not have been an accident, LePere is pulled into a plot to avenge the deaths. Grace Fitzgerald, heir to the line that owned the Teasdale, happens to be married to Karl Lindstrom. Add the eco-warriors who have come in from other parts of the country to stop the logging, and you have a potent mix of high adventure and skullduggery. Purgatory Ridge is a fine introduction to Krueger and doesn't require that you first read the earlier two books. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Wealthy industrialist Karl Lindstrom has a bad environmental reputation. Members of the local Ojibwe Anishinaabe tribe are concerned about the proximity of an ancient two hundred acre expanse of great white pines to his lumber mill. The trees are sacred to the tribe. So when an explosion at the mill is claimed by the "Eco-Warrior", suspicion falls on the tribe, and the disagreement escalates. When the authorities uncover the charred body of a respected member of the tribe, the situation erupts hurling the town to the brink of war. Former sheriff Cork O'Connor is asked by his successor to help with the investigation. Cork has distinctly mixed feelings about the case since he is part Anishinaabe and his lawyer wife represents the tribe. So Cork is more than concerned about what he might find. But Lindstrom is not without enemies, and a reclusive shipwreck survivor and his sidekick harbor some age old resentment of their own against Lindstrom.… (more)

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