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Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger

Purgatory Ridge (2002)

by William Kent Krueger

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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 |
The third in his Cork O’Connor series, Purgatory Ridge by William Kent Krueger continues the excellence of this series. His setting of Northern Minnesota is a major draw to this well written series. The author obviously has a familiarity and a love for this area and he is able to draw the reader in as he paints the scene.

In Purgatory Ridge, Cork and his lawyer wife, Jo are still slowly working their way back to each other. Both are involved in a logging dispute and it soon becomes clear that Cork longs to be sheriff once again. The opportunity to run for that office soon presents itself, and Cork is pondering his future. Meanwhile there is a plot developing that will involve Cork’s family when a kidnapping plan goes awry. Resentments, revenge, and obsession are bubbling away as Cork battles to save his family.

Purgatory Ridge is a well written suspenseful mystery. The author, a former logger himself, describes the conflicts between the logging company, the local economy, the environmentalists and the native culture intelligently. This mystery with it’s high suspense and twisted plot made for a terrific read. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Mar 10, 2015 |
Another good book in an excellent series. ( )
  jamespurcell | Aug 17, 2014 |
One of the ladies in my little mystery group mentioned that she'd like to read this author. This is my first (but by no means the last) experience with William Kent Krueger and DAMN. He writes one hell of a good mystery. The plot is like Mohammed Ali at the top of his boxing career. It ducks, it weaves, it entertains and then it packs a wallop that knocks you off your feet and leaves you seeing stars and gasping for breath. The twists and turns in this story were masterful. The characters are realistic and very well written.

I am so heading to the store to pick up the first in the series. I definitely want more. ( )
  enemyanniemae | Mar 23, 2013 |
Another entertaining thriller in the Cork O'Connor series. I like the rural Minnesota setting and the Native American themes in this series. This book's central issues are the eco-terrorism bombing of a local lumbermill, and a man's obsession with a Lake Superior shipwreck that he barely survived a decade ago. It turns into a fast-paced kidnap/murder story by the end. ( )
  SugarCreekRanch | Oct 21, 2012 |
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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)

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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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