cover image Red Knife: A Cork O'Connor Mystery

Red Knife: A Cork O'Connor Mystery

William Kent Krueger, . . Atria, $24 (310pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-5674-9

Racial tensions fuel Krueger's outstanding ninth Cork O'Connor mystery, which delivers everything its predecessors like Thunder Bay have promised—and more. Threats from all sides assail former sheriff and part-time PI Cork O'Connor, who's part Ojibwa, in his efforts to mediate the smoldering feud between Tamarack County's whites and the recently formed Red Boyz: threats from Buck Reinhardt, brutal father of a girl destroyed by drugs dealt by Lonnie Thunder; from the Red Boyz after the gang-style execution of their leader, Alex Kingbird, and his wife; from the Latin Lords, expanding their drug trade into northern Minnesota. Simply and elegantly told, this sad story of loyalty and honor, corruption and hatred, hauntingly carves utterly convincing characters, both red and white, into the consciousness. Krueger mourns the death of ideals and celebrates true old values. As Cork tells an Ojibwa friend, “Maybe you can't alter the human heart... but you can remove the weapons”—the first step, perhaps, in blazing a trail toward sanity and hope. (Sept.)