Forgotten Book: Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

this is the 228th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

Iron Lake by William Kent Kruger, © 1998, Pocket books 1999 paperback, 1st Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor, mystery

iron lake 2I was at George Easter’s presentation of Barry Awards at the 1999 Milwaukee Bouchercon, at which this won best first novel. I bought the paperback and put it on the TBR pile, and I read it a few months later, when it worked it’s way to the top. What a pleasure.

Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Cork O’Conner was once Sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota but was recalled after a shooting in which circumstances were against him. He didn’t fight the recall because he didn’t have the heart to.

Now estranged from his wife and family, he lives in and runs a seasonal burger stand on the shore of Iron Lake. When the county judge is murdered, Cork is caught up in the investigation which eventually leads him to the murderer, and some bitter facts.

This is the beginning of the excellent series, and if you haven’t read this and the books that follow it you’ve missed a real treat.

The book got quite a bit of praise at the time, and deservedly so. I’m impressed by the skill with which Kruger paints the characters and landscape, as well as his storytelling. This is a good one, and the series gets even better as it progresses. Read these in order to follow the lives and changes the characters go through!

Very good, highly recommended. The latest Cork O’Conner novel, Manitou Canyon, will be out in September.


About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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16 Responses to Forgotten Book: Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I’ve enjoyed hearing Kent talk at conventions, but so far all I’ve read of his was the non-series book.

  2. William Kent Kruger books occupy one of my shelves. Maybe this summer I’ll read one or two. Nice review.

  3. I’ve not heard of this one. Looks good though.

  4. Yvette says:

    I’ve never read these, Richard, though I’ve heard of the main character and had heard good things about the series. But you know how it is, so many books, SO little time. But maybe if I begin at the beginning with IRON LAKE. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Richard – Thanks for the review. IRON LAKE is going on my stack of summer reading.

  6. tracybham says:

    I have had this book for three years and haven’t gotten to reading it yet. I will try to pull it out of its hiding place and push it closer to the top of the TBR pile.

  7. Kent Morgan says:

    I’m surprised that so many people who read a lot of mysteries haven’t read Krueger’s Cork O’Conner series. I have read every book since Iron Lake and think the series rates right up there with the best presently being published.

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