cover image Mercy Falls

Mercy Falls

William Kent Krueger. Atria Books, $24 (344pp) ISBN 978-0-7434-4588-7

In this solid, action-packed procedural, an assassin lies in wait for Tamarack County, Minn., sheriff Corcoran ""Cork"" O'Connor, and even darker threats loom for him and his family. Cork answers a routine domestic violence call on the Iron Lake Reservation. (""It didn't feel right. A man like Eli might get drunk and riled up enough to kill his wife, but he'd never shoot his dogs."") Rifle fire drops Cork's deputy, and as the manhunt escalates, Cork realizes he's been lured into a trap. Part Ojibwe by birth, he must canoe into lake-riddled northern Minnesota in search of a suspect named Stone. (""On the rez, some people call him majimanidoo. A bad spirit. A devil."") The mutilation killing of shady Chicago businessman Eddie Jacoby in the parking lot overlooking Mercy Falls may be connected, and Cork learns his wife once had an affair with Jacoby's brother. The appearance of Dina Willner, a sexy security specialist, further complicates the emotional landscape. Krueger (Blood Hollow, etc.) handles Cork's fifth adventure with complete competence, but this isn't merely police work with a touch of Tony Hillerman. In a powerful finale, he forces Cork, who has earned new enemies, to leave his badge behind, foreshadowing another dynamic entry in this popular series.