Authors: William Kent Krueger
REVIEWERS LOVE WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER’S AWARD-WINNING CORK O’CONNOR THRILLERS
“The Cork O’Connor mysteries are known for their rich characterizations and their complex stories with deep moral and emotional cores. If you don’t know Cork O’Connor, get to know him now.”
“William Kent Krueger has one of the most fresh and authentic voices in crime fiction.”
—S. J. Rozan, Edgar Award̵winning author
“Superior series. Like sweet corn and the state fair, William Kent Krueger’s novels are an annual summer highlight.”
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR
Winner of the Minnesota Book Award
“The kind of work that is all too rare in the suspense genre, a book that combines a first-class plot with excellent writing.”
—The Denver Post
“Mr. Krueger shows sensitive insight into the conflicts between ancient culture and contemporary economic needs. He has developed a cast with deep feelings and intelligent responses to their surroundings and their fellow humans.”
—The Dallas Morning News
“Krueger’s page-turner … opens with a bang…. The plot comes full circle as credibly flawed central characters find resolution.”
“Krueger keeps us so involved… [that] we get surprised by the devil buried deep in the details. Krueger has come up with a good place, good people, and some decent plotting.
is a heck of a place to visit.”
“This is easily the author’s best and most accomplished work to date. I really don’t think William Kent Krueger would mind one bit if I call him ‘the Michael Connelly of the Midwest.’“
“A terrific read.… Krueger not only tells a cracking good suspense story, but he tells it with deep insight.”
—T. Jefferson Parker,
New York Times
“The suspense in this book is almost painful.… The final pages are the most satisfying I have read in years.… Krueger keeps getting better and better.”
—Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award–winning author
More praise for William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor novels
“One of those hometown heroes you rarely see… someone so decent and true, he might restore his town’s battered faith in the old values.”
The New York Times Book Review
“The atmosphere is as explosive as tinder.… A talented writer, Krueger tells his story from wide-ranging viewpoints.”
The Boston Globe
“Outstanding.… Simply and elegantly told, this sad story of loyalty and honor, corruption and hatred, hauntingly carves utterly convincing characters into the consciousness.”
“You can smell the north woods in every chapter.”
St. Paul Pioneer Press
“Krueger keeps readers guessing in this page-turner, and it’s a joy to read his easy prose.”
“The deftly plotted seventh Cork O’Connor novel represents a return to top form for Anthony-winner Krueger.… The action builds to a violent and satisfying denouement.”
“The cast of characters is vivid, the plotting is strong, and O’Connor’s retirement gets off to the kind of start that usually marks the launching of a career. It’s great fun.”
“[Krueger] has a knack for taking us into the woods and losing us in a good story.”
(Sioux Falls, SD)
“Exciting and gripping.… You will burn through this book, relishing the twists and turns.”
Also by William Kent Krueger
The Devil’s Bed
WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2001 by William Kent Krueger
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Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
who is the first blessing each morning
and the final beauty each night,
for June and Lloyd Peterson,
who welcomed me as a son
This book is fiction. At its heart, however, is a true story.
On November 29, 1966, while northbound on Lake Huron and making its final passage of the season, the ore freighter
Daniel J. Morrell
encountered a horrific gale. Battling winds of sixty-five miles per hour and seas with twenty-five-foot waves, the old carrier suddenly broke apart and sank. Of her crew of twenty-nine men, only three managed to make it aboard a small pontoon life raft. Within twelve hours, two of the men were dead, victims of injury and of exposure to both the frigid water of the great lake and air temperatures that hovered around freezing. One man endured. Dressed only in his peacoat and underwear, watchman Dennis Hale drifted for nearly thirty-six hours before he was spotted by a Coast Guard helicopter and airlifted to a nearby hospital.
In 1996, Hale published
, his account of the sinking, of his remarkable experiences adrift on that tiny raft in angry water, and of the effect the incident has had on his life since then. It is a book worth reading.
Of the myriad stories spawned by the infamous November storms that rail over the Great Lakes, the sinking of the
Daniel J. Morrell
is, in terms of loss of human life, the most tragic. In what it says about human courage and endurance, Dennis Hale’s story must surely be the most inspiring.
I discovered the heart of this book because of Catherine O’Geay. She shared with me the story of her father, Albert Whoeme, who was among the crew lost in the sinking of the
Daniel J. Morrell
. Kaye, I owe you much.
Several good men generously offered me their expertise and advice regarding issues of law enforcement. Thanks to Agent Raymond DiPrima of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; to Supervisory Special Agent Fred Tremper of the Minneapolis Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and to Ken Trunnell, who has many years of experience across many levels of law enforcement.
I am indebted to Dave Loomis, who described to me in such evocative detail his dives to the wrecks in Lake Superior that I was able to accompany him to the lake bottom several times without ever leaving my armchair.
My friends and colleagues of Crème de la Crime, who help me enormously in unraveling the mysteries of mystery writing, always deserve special mention. They are Julie Fasciana, Scott Haartman, Betty James, Michael Kac, Jean Miriam Paul, Susan Runholt, Anne B. Webb, and, especially, Carl Brookins, who is our heart and our fire.
I am blessed with an agent—Jane Jordan Browne—
wise in the ways of this complex business. And I am incredibly fortunate to have had in the past year the editorial guidance of Jane Cavolina and George Lucas. Not only are they savvy, but they are charming as well.
I would be remiss without thanking Megan “Doc” Gunnar for her support and encouragement over the course of many years.
To the Ojibwe Anishinaabe people, upon whose territory I timorously trespass: I thank you for your generosity of spirit; I envy your rich heritage and traditions; and I admire your perseverance in the face of so much ignorance and intolerance.
For their generous financial support as I developed as a writer, I would like to thank the McKnight Foundation, the Bush Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.