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Boundary Waters (Cork O'Connor Series #2)

Boundary Waters (Cork O'Connor Series #2)

4.2 116
by William Kent Krueger

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The Quetico-Superior Wilderness: more than two million acres of forest, white-water rapids, and uncharted islands on the Canadian/American border. Somewhere in the heart of this unforgiving territory, a young woman named Shiloh -- a country-western singer at the height of her fame -- has disappeared.

Her father arrives in Aurora, Minnesota, to hire Cork


The Quetico-Superior Wilderness: more than two million acres of forest, white-water rapids, and uncharted islands on the Canadian/American border. Somewhere in the heart of this unforgiving territory, a young woman named Shiloh -- a country-western singer at the height of her fame -- has disappeared.

Her father arrives in Aurora, Minnesota, to hire Cork O'Connor to find his daughter, and Cork joins a search party that includes an ex-con, two FBI agents, and a ten-year-old boy. Others are on her trail as well -- men hired not just to find her, but to kill her.

As the expedition ventures deeper into the wilderness, strangers descend on Aurora, threatening to spill blood on the town's snowy streets. Meanwhile, out on the Boundary Waters, winter falls hard. Cork's team of searchers loses contact with civilization, and like the brutal winds of a Minnesota blizzard, death -- violent and sudden -- stalks them.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Krueger's second novel (Iron Lake, 1998) again features ex-sheriff Cork O'Connor of hardscrabble Aurora, Minnesota, and plenty of harsh weather. Here, a top-of-the-charts but depressed, ex-druggy country-western girl singer, Shiloh, disappears into the two-million acres of the Quetico-Superior Wilderness on the Canadian border. Cork, an old buddy of Shiloh's mother, whose murder remains unsolved, heads a search party that includes include two FBI agents, an ex-con, a ten-year old kid, and Shiloh's father. Permeating the tale is the spirit of the Anishinaabe Indians, while the heavy pelts on the muskrats point to a huge, bitter winter ahead. Meantime, some bad guys have tortured to death Wendell Two Knives, the Anishinaabe guide, trying to get him to tell where Shiloh has gone, since they want her just as badly as Cork's search party. Shiloh witnessed her mother's murder, then had amnesia, and through regression therapy seems to have brought up the killer. Was he her mother's lover, a Vegas casino owner named Benedetti, who now wants Shiloh dead? Does all this have to do with the Ojibwa's cash-rich Grand Casino on Iron Lake? Why was Shiloh's therapist murdered as well? Will Shiloh survive to rebuild Ozark Records into an outlet for indigenous music? Cork remains a spritely, intriguing hero in a world of wolves, portages, heavy weather, and worrisome humans, with a third entry on its way.

From the Publisher
"The bitter cold can be felt emanating from the pages." — Midwest Book Review

"Krueger's writing, strong and bold yet with the mature mark of restraint, pulls this exciting search-and-rescue mission through with a hard yank." — Publishers Weekly

Product Details

Atria Books
Publication date:
Cork O'Connor Series , #2
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4 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

He was a tough old bird, the redskin. Milwaukee allowed himself the dangerous luxury of admiring the old man fully. He was smart, too. But way too trusting. And that, Milwaukee knew, was his undoing.

Milwaukee turned away from the Indian and addressed the two men sitting by the campfire. "I can go on, but the Indian's not going to talk. I can almost guarantee it."

"I thought you guaranteed results," the nervous one said.

"I'll get what you want, only it won't be coming from him."

"Go on," the nervous man said. He squeezed his hands together and jerked his head toward the Indian. "Do it."

"Your ball game." Milwaukee stepped to the campfire and pulled a long beechwood stick from the coals. The end of the stick glowed red, and two licks of flame leaped out on either side like the horns of a devil held in Milwaukee's hand.

The old Indian hung spread-eagled between two small birch trees, secured to the slender trunks by nylon cords bound about his wrists and ankles. He was naked, although the night was cool and damp enough to make his blood steam as it flowed down his skin over the washboard of his ribs. Behind him, darkness closed like a black curtain over the rest of the deep woods. The campfire lit the old man as if he were a single actor in a command performance.

Or, Milwaukee thought as he approached with the burning stick, a puppet who'd broken his strings.

Milwaukee grasped the long gray hair and lifted the old man's head. The eyes flickered open. Dark almond eyes. Resigned but not broken.

"See." Milwaukee brought the angry glow inches from his face. "Your eyes will bubble. Just like stew. First one, then the other."

The almond eyes looked steadily at Milwaukee, as if there were not at all a flame between them.

"Just tell us how to get to the woman and I won't hurt you anymore," Milwaukee offered. Although he meant it, he'd have been disappointed in the Indian if he broke; for he felt a rare companionship with the old man that had nothing to do with the business between them but was something in their spirits, something indomitable, something the nervous man by the fire would never understand. Milwaukee knew about the old man, knew how he was strong deep down, knew the information they were after would never come from him. In the end, the living would still be ignorant and the important answers, as always, would reside with the dead.

The second man at the campfire spoke. "Gone soft?" He was a huge man with a shaved head. He lit a fat Cuban cigar with a stick much like Milwaukee held, and he smiled. He smiled because next to himself, Milwaukee was the hardest man he knew. And like Milwaukee, he tolerated the nervous man only because of the money.

"Go on," the nervous man commanded. "Do it, for Christ's sake. I've got to know where she is."

Milwaukee looked deeply into the eyes of the old man, into his soul, and wordlessly, he spoke. Then he tipped the stick. The reflection of the fire filled the old man's right eye.

The old man did not blink.

Copyright © 1999 by William Kent Krueger

Meet the Author

William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of fourteen previous Cork O'Connor novels, including Tamarack County and Windigo Island, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace, winner of the 2014 Edgar Award for best novel. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family. Visit his website at WilliamKentKrueger.com.

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Boundary Waters (Cork O'Connor Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 116 reviews.
nancylee bouscher More than 1 year ago
Liked the first in the series, but the cost of this one seems over the top....
JCollins More than 1 year ago
I really liked #1, but not paying $12 for an ebook. Will skip it and move on to #3.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first met Cork Oconnor in Iron Lake and I enjoyed to book but when I got to Boundary Waters, I was hooked. William Kent Krueger writes one of the most gripping tales I have ever read. Usually, I can figure out 'who done it' part way through the book. Just when I though I had it figured out, Kent would throw in another twist. I would recommend starting with Iron Lake to meet Cork then on to Boundary Water but hang onto your seat- you won't see the killer coming.
cherilc More than 1 year ago
I just finished the first book in this series and really did enjoy it. I came on to download the next in the series but then saw the price. I guess I'll find a different book to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Refreshing change from all the vampires and werewolves!
SlapShot62 More than 1 year ago
Wow!  So glad I've started reading the Cork O'Connor series....2nd in the series is even better than the first.   Kreuger really places the reader in the setting where this tale unfolds.  The plot is tight and holds the reader's interest throughout.  Just two books in and we see O'Connor is an "every man" - human, flawed, tough, devoted, and "that guy" who will do his best to protect and do what's right.   Supplementing him is an assorted mixture of returning characters, including his kids, wife (or ex-wife), her sister, local law enforcement and the Native Americans who populate the area.    Plenty of twists and turns here, doesn't suspend belief (well, not too far anyway!) and is exactly what so many fans of the Thriller genre enjoy.   Can't wait to keep reading this series and this writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cork O'Connor is a common man thrust into uncommon situations. These stories will especially appeal to anyone who has spent time in the "North Woods". As a part-blood "shinob", Cork lives in the world of not fully "white man" or fully Anishinaabe and needs to view the world from both points of view. The story takes many twists and will hold you interest completely. After reading the first story in the series, "Iron Lake", I am hooked and working my way through the entire series. These will be read again and again.
yenta41 More than 1 year ago
I'm new to Mr Krueger's writing and now an avid fan. Being familiar with No MN, his portryal of the area definitely makes you feel your are really there. Enjoyed that our "hero" is not perfect either. Looking forward to next Cork O'Connor episode.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Cork O'Connor series that I have read, and I'll probably read others. I love the suspense and mystery Krueger presents in his novels. This book kept me wondering who the good guys and who the bad guys were throughout the book. Thoroughly enjoyed the book!
ZSwamp More than 1 year ago
Although I knew that Cork was going to make it through (more books in the serier)you never knew what was going to happen next. I also like the Indian culture.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started with #1 in series, Iron Lake, and am now on book #4. Will continue to read the rest of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this one down either. I knew there were a lot of lakes in Minnesota, but this was a good tour of the Boundry Water area. After the first two books, I had to just keep reading right in to the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read #1 and could not wait to start #2 and I was not disapointed. I could hardly put it down at night(I'm a bed time reader), so my sleep time was limited. I loved the suspence and surprises were awsome. Cannot wait to stsrt #3, and to see what Cork has in store for the readers.
Dracora More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of the Cork O'Connor books so far and I have up to #7. like any mystery-cop book you get the story of the crime,but what I like is all the local flavor too.you get a lot of history reading this series.did I like it--- you bet
sbJerseygirl More than 1 year ago
Got into the Cork O'Connor series with #1 and just had to go for the second. Excellent writing, great book. I just purchased #4, 5, and 6, so that should say something! He really does bring the characters out and you end up sympathizing, getting mad, and definitely reading after you should be going to bed to find out what happens. WK puts just enough twist to keep you guessing. In this one, keeps you guessing what happens to young singer Shiloh as Cork and others all try to get to her first. The good guys, or is that the bad guys... get it, read it, and find out...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the whole series from book #1 to book #11 which I just finished. These books havve action, nature, and intrigue. They took me away. Fabulous descriptive quality. You are there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really like this author and character------------puts me in mind of C J Box and his Joe Picket series which I love. Will be reading more of these!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did'nt expect such a great story. Especially liked Loius & his wonderful story telling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KGpets More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in the way the author resolved the final crisis of the book. It's a totally unbelievable and contrived turn of events. Even so, I'm giving the book three stars because I enjoyed the romp through the wilderness and the Native American folklore tales.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am really enjoying Kreuger's style and the family he has created. I like the Native American focus and the fact that everyine is so real. Cork is a good man and Kreuger writes good suspense
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HaveFaith More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy the Cork O'Conner Series, so far. Was hooked after Iron Lake and Boundary Waters did not disappoint. Will be purchasing the 3rd book in series real soon.
gtoherder More than 1 year ago
If you like mystery in an outdoors venue, with a storytelling angle this series by Krueger is for you. I love the way the Native American culture of the upper Midwest was added in to make for an excellent line, that continues from book to book. Must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago