I confess, I love Krueger, as a writer, storyteller, plotter, master of setting and character. I bought his first Cork O’Connor novel, Iron Lake, while at Bouchercon in Milwaukee, just after he won the Barry Award for best first novel. I loved it, and have bought and read each new one as it’s been published. I’m an unabashed fanboy when it comes to Kent Krueger.
So it’s no surprise I pre-ordered this one and got it on publication day. I did wait until I finished the book I was reading before starting it, and once started stayed up late to keep reading and finished it in two days, which is fast for me.
This novel is a prequel to Iron Lake. Thus it may be listed as Cork O’Connor 0
Aurora is a small town nestled in the ancient forest alongside the shores of Minnesota’s Iron Lake. In the summer of 1963, it is the whole world to 12-year-old Cork O’Connor, its rhythms as familiar as his own heartbeat. But when Cork stumbles upon the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp, it is the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family, and himself.
That’s all I’ll say except that Cork’s father is the Sheriff of Aurora and that is a main plot point, as it’s Lliam who is as much the main character here as Cork.
This was one of those books I didn’t want to end.
Only read Iron Lake and a standalone by Krueger. Liked both but hbave never got around to reading anything else by him but he is on my radar.
Steve, he’s the only author whose books I buy in hardcover as soon as they are published. This prequel to the series is very good.
I am glad you liked this prequel. Sometimes prequels don’t work for me but going back to Cork’s childhood sounds like a good approach.
I have only read the first two books in the series but I have the third book on my shelf to read soon. I had hoped to find more at the book sale, but there were not any. Probably people bought them up early.
This prequel worked, perhaps because in it, Cork is a child and not just “a few years before”.
I’m glad you enjoyed this. I’ve tried some of Kent Krueger’s writing, and liked it very much, but I haven’t (yet) read this one. I like the way he evokes place and local culture.
Truly, Margot, those are strengths of his writing.
I loved the standalone ORDINARY GRACE (which, of course, won the Edgar as Best Novel) but haven’t read any of the series books. Can’t tell you why, but I will have to either start with this or IRON LAKE.
Either is a good starting place, Jeff. In this one, Cork is a child, so as I said to Tracy, it isn’t right before IRON LAKE.
What happened to the new Louise Penny mystery? I thought you wrote that both the Penny book and the Krueger book came out on the same day.
It did, George. Barbara read and really liked it, I’m nw a book behind on the series, so have to read the previous one before the new one. I’m falling behind on several series, while trying various things that I don’t even finish, like THE COLD COLD GROUND by Adrian McKinty, which I quit 20 pages in.
I loved Ordinary Grace and Iron Lake and will definitely read this. Stories about boyhood are my favorites. I don’t know why I didn’t type childhood there but honestly I like reading about boys more than girls. Something to talk to my therapist about, I guess.
I think you’ll like this one a lot, Patti. He’s such a good writer, and this story of a Sheriff and his eager, curious son is so well told.