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Heaven's Keep (Cork O'Connor Series #9)

Heaven's Keep (Cork O'Connor Series #9)

4.2 59
by William Kent Krueger, Buck Schirner (Read by)

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Intrepid hero Cork O’Connor faces the most harrowing mission of his life when a charter plane carrying his wife, Jo, goes missing in a snowstorm over the Wyoming Rockies.

Months after the tragedy, two women show up on Cork’s doorstep with evidence that the pilot of Jo’s plane was not the man he claimed to be. It may not be definitive


Intrepid hero Cork O’Connor faces the most harrowing mission of his life when a charter plane carrying his wife, Jo, goes missing in a snowstorm over the Wyoming Rockies.

Months after the tragedy, two women show up on Cork’s doorstep with evidence that the pilot of Jo’s plane was not the man he claimed to be. It may not be definitive proof, but it’s a ray of light in the darkness. Agreeing to investigate, Cork travels to Wyoming, where he battles the interference of local law enforcement who may be on the take, the open hostility of the Northern Arapaho, who have much to lose if the truth is known, and the continuing attempts on his life by assassins who shadow his every move. At the center of all the danger and deception lies the possibility that Jo’s disappearance was not the end of her, that somewhere along the labyrinthine path of his search, maybe even in the broad shadow of Heaven’s Keep itself, Cork will find her alive and waiting for him.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of today's automatic buy-today-read-tonight series . . . thoughtful but suspenseful, fast but lasting, contemporary but strangely timeless. Krueger hits the sweet spot every time." —Lee Child

“A powerful crime writer at the top of his game.” —David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of The Shimmer

"There's a reason why William Kent Krueger is known as a writer's writer. His stories are works of art, literary wonders that beautifully capture a sense of place while they deliver a powerful emotional punch." — Tess Gerritsen

"Heaven's Keep has it all. A mystery that will have you stumped, a fascinating look at the traditions, folklore, and current-day politics of Native Americans, and a drama that will have you embracing your loved ones at the close of each and every chapter. It is a nail-biting suspense from a writer soon to be on the top of everyone's must-read list." — Vince Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Extreme Measures

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Cork O'Connor Series , #9
Edition description:
Unabridged, 8 CDs, 9 hours
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.37(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Heaven’s Keep

  • After Stevie took off for school that morning, Cork O’Connor left the house. He headed to the sheriff’s department on Oak Street, parked in the visitors’ area, and went inside. Jim Pendergast was on the contact desk, and he buzzed Cork through the security door.

    “Sheriff’s expecting you,” Pendergast said. “Good luck.”

    Cork crossed the common area and approached the office that not many years before had been his. The door was open. Sheriff Marsha Dross sat at her desk. The sky outside her windows was oddly blue for November, and sunlight poured through the panes with a cheery energy. He knocked on the doorframe. Dross looked up from the documents in front of her and smiled.

    “Morning, Cork. Come on in. Shut the door behind you.”

    “Mind if I hang it?” Cork asked, shedding his leather jacket.

    “No, go right ahead.”

    Dross had an antique coat tree beside the door, one of the many nice touches she’d brought to the place. A few plants, well tended. Photos on the walls, gorgeous North Country shots she’d taken herself and had framed. She’d had the office painted a soft desert tan, a color Cork would never have chosen, but it worked.

    “Sit down,” she said.

    He took the old maple armchair that Dross had picked up at an estate sale and refinished herself. “Thanks for seeing me so early.”

    “No problem. Jo get off okay?”

    “Yeah, yesterday. She and LeDuc flew out together. They stayed in Casper last night. Due in Seattle today.”

    “You and Stevie are bachelors for a few days, then?”

    “We’ll manage.”

    Dross folded her hands on her desk. “I don’t have an application from you yet, so I can’t really consider this a formal interview.”

    “You know those exploratory committees they form for presidential candidates? This is more like that.”

    Cork had hired her years ago when he was sheriff, and she’d become the first woman ever to wear the uniform of the Tamarack County Sheriff’s Department. She’d proven to be a good law officer, and when the opportunity had come her way, she’d put her hat in the ring, run for sheriff, and won easily. In Cork’s estimation, she’d filled that office well. She was in her late thirties, with red-brown hair, which she wore short, no makeup.

    “Okay,” she said. “So explore.”

    “Would you consider me seriously for the position?”

    “If you apply, you’ll be the most experienced applicant.”

    “And the oldest.”

    “We don’t discriminate on the basis of age.”

    “I’ll be fifty-one this year.”

    “And the man you’d replace is sixty-three. Cy Borkman’s been a fine deputy right up to the end. So I’m guessing you might have a few good years left in you, too.” She smiled, paused. “How would you feel taking orders from an officer you trained?”

    “I trained that officer pretty well. So no problem there. How would you feel giving orders to the guy who trained you?”

    “Let me worry about that one.” She lost her smile and leveled at him a straight look that lasted an uncomfortably long time. “You told me a year and a half ago, after the shootings at the high school, that you would never carry a firearm again.”

    “No. I told you I would never fire one at another human being.”

    “Does that mean you’d be willing to carry?”

    “If required.”

    “The job definitely requires it.”

    “In England the cops don’t carry.”

    “This isn’t England. And you carry with the understanding that someday you might have to use your firearm. That’s why all our deputies certify on the range once a year. Your rule, remember?”

    “How many times since you put on that badge have you cleared your holster and fired?”

    “Yesterday is no predictor of tomorrow. And, Cork, the officers you work with need to believe you’re willing to cover their backs, whatever it takes. Christ, you know that.” She sat back, looking frankly puzzled. “Why do you want this job? Is it the litigation?”

    “The lawsuit’s draining me,” he admitted.

    “You’ve built a good reputation here as a PI.”

    “Can’t spend a reputation. I need a job that brings in a regular income.”

    “What’ll you do about Sam’s Place?”

    “Unless I win the litigation, there won’t be a Sam’s Place. And unless I can pay for it, there won’t be a litigation.”

    “And if you win the lawsuit, are you out of here again? I’ve got to tell you, Cork, you’ve been in and out of uniform more times than a kid playing dress-up.”

    “I was never playing.”

    She looked away, out her window at the gorgeous November sky and the liquid sun that made everything drip yellow. “I’ve got a dozen qualified applicants wanting Cy’s job, young guys itching for experience. I hire one of them, he’ll be with me for years. I can start him out at a salary that’ll be healthy for my budget. I can assign him the worst shifts and he won’t complain.”

    “Did I ever complain?”

    “Let me finish. The feeling around here is that I ought to hire you. You’re clearly the popular choice. Hell, you brought most of our officers into the department yourself. These guys love you. But I have to look beyond the question of how well you’d fit in here. I have to think about the future of this force. And I also have to think about the welfare of the officer I hire.” She gave him another long, direct look. “What’s Jo think about this?”

    “That it’s not the best idea I’ve ever had.”

    “An understatement on her part, I’m sure.”

    “This is between you and me, Marsha.”

    “Until I run into Jo in the produce aisle at the IGA. I can’t imagine that would be pretty.”

    “You’re saying you wouldn’t be inclined to hire me?”

    “I’m saying we both probably have better options.”

    It was Cork’s turn to eye the promising blue sky. “I don’t know anything but law enforcement.”

    “I heard the new casino management firm might be looking for someone to head up security.”

    “All paperwork,” Cork said.

    “Sixty percent of what we do here is paperwork.”

    “I guess I have my answer.” Cork stood up. “Thanks for seeing me, Marsha.”

    They shook hands without another word. Cork headed out, passed the contact desk, where Pendergast gave him a thumbs-up.

  • 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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    Heaven's Keep 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
    charryrrt2 More than 1 year ago
    i read the first book on a whim during a summer vacation. I immediately went out and bought the rest. i am hooked! when i read the last installment in this oh so exciting series, i had been captivated for days reading all that william kent krueger had to offer. i can't wait for the next book. He holds your interest and keeps you on the edge of your seat. thanks! i look so forward to the next book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This series of eleven books is great. Can't put it down as always need to find out what is going to happen next with Cork and his family. One of the best mysteries I've read. Compare it with CJ Box, Joe Pickett series.
    pen21 More than 1 year ago
    Best book so far. Great plot, good suspense. Hard to put down. I think it would be helpful to know the characters, but would still be a good book. The book did have me wondering til the end what would happen. Krueger has a great series going.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have been checking my calendar for the release date of William Kent Krueger's next novel, Heaven's Keep. This latest book is also his best in my opinion. He has always had true to life characters that capture the heart, but this is a wonderful story with a believable plot and interesting twists. I had a hard time putting it down. I have read all of this series and truly love Cork O'Connor, despite all his flaws. It's probably what makes this series so good & the characters so believable. Krueger makes his characters very human and is very good at developing them. I would highly recommend this book, but it would mean a lot more if the others in the series are read first (although not a requirement for enjoyment). Now I can't wait for the next one!
    readermi13 More than 1 year ago
    this book made me very sad, but nonetheless I loved it!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I've read all the O'Connor books and this one left me wondering where he can go in the future. It's well written and the characters developed very well. Cork O'Connor is a complex person and a good part of his life as we know it has been intertwined with Jo, his wife. Thus when Jo goes missing on a private charter plane, we feel his loss and sense of urgency in looking for her. The setting in Wyoming is out of his comfort zone but he does a great job with drawing you into the majesty of the land. Very unexpected plot twists keep you interested and very surprised. I would recommend this to a new reader of Krueger!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was recommended by a friend. I had no idea what to expect but I was very impressed by this author, not having read anything of his before this. Being from Wyoming made the storyline even better. It keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Try it - you might like it. I absolutely love the cover on the book. Shows off the beauty of Wyoming.
    NancyT More than 1 year ago
    Not only is Heaven's Keep a thriller, it is also a slice of family life. Great characters, great storyline. Nice twists and turns. I have read several of Krueger's books and I think this is one of the best yet. This is one book you will enjoy again and again.
    Carl80 More than 1 year ago
    This is a dense, emotionally packed novel that fully illuminates the author's talent and command of his material. Krueger frequently remarks that he writes about family relationships and about Northern Minnesota. In Heaven's Keep readers get both in spades. But there's more. Here, Cork O'Conner is forced to go out of his comfort zone, the mythical Aurora, Minnesota and journey to Wyoming, to a forbidding and lonely part of the state at the edge of the Rocky Mountains during a stormy time of year. The catalyst is that Cork's wife Jo, an attorney, is flying by private charter to Seattle for a conference of Native American leaders. The plane disappears and the early part of the novel deals with the agony and frustration of not knowing the fate of the passengers. Krueger's intelligent and intriguing twist on the plot is that Cork and Jo parted on testy terms at the Aurora airport. They were arguing about O'Connor's future, and the future of Sam's Place, Cork's burger shack on the shores of Iron Lake. Thus, O'Connor's grief over Jo's loss is compounded and when, much later new and unsettling information about the pilot of the plane surfaces, the O'Connor family is thrown into new emotional turmoil. Throughout this book, Krueger's control of the plot, the character changes, and the family relationships, is sure handed and, for the most part will be satisfying to the reader. This is a novel that deserves a wide readership. It is one that is satisfying in all its elements, and will stay with readers well after the final page.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    "Heaven's Keep" is a page-a-minute, heart-rending thriller with characters who have grown with each book of the series. Being from a "flying family" I was particularly appreciative of Mr. Krueger's well-researched and authentic prose. Anyone who buys this book is in for more than a thrill. One word of warning: keep a handkerchief handy.
    edofarrell More than 1 year ago
    I am a fan of William Kent Krueger and have enjoyed his fiction, for the most part. So I was more than happy to see and purchase his latest work. What a disappoinment! The novel wobbles and veers about with little or no rational or structure. The events are barely believable and wholly unrealistic. If you're not a fan, avoid the book. If you are a fan, wait for it to come out in paperback, if you must buy it. Let's hope his next novel is better.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    jcorkran More than 1 year ago
    i have read some of the reviews with negative comments about Heaven's Keep, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have read the series in order (through this book) and will continue. I found this one completely engaging and did not see all the turns coming. Krueger did an excellent job of weaving the storylines together on this one -- better than in earlier books, I thought. In my opinion, the writing continues to improve as the series progresses.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    John_F48 More than 1 year ago
    The story begins with an airplane accident in Wyoming and its aftermath of intrigue. First you know that Jo O'Connor is in trouble and apparently has regrets over a pre-trip argument. You also have an argument over the fate of Sam's Place and the Iron Lake shoreline, which is an issue for many parts of the country. The story continues to add suspense with many characters helping the plot and finally betrayers and criminals being identified brought to justice in at times brutal-ways.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have enjoyed the boooks that I have read in this serious.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have just finished reading Heaven's Keep.   This is the first - and very likely - last book by this author that I will read for fear the rest of his books are as lacking in true mystery as I prefer.  There was far too much that seemed absurd in some ways - Parmer just didn't seem all that real to me - And the vision bit might be of interest to some, but it actually made the story, for me, seem just a bit too much overall.  Frankly, the ending was, IMO, just a bit overdone, but will not explain further because it would be a "spoiler" and some reader may be put off by knowing it. I will be more careful in the future about spending this much money on a writer I am not at all familiar with.   
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    topperfinn More than 1 year ago
    I love this book and all in the series. Being from Minnesota and in the northern area, I loved it, the story I could visualize the whole story.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love this series
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    One of the best books i have read in a long long time
    Sansabiel More than 1 year ago
    I love these characters and his local descriptions, all so authentic.