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Mercy Falls (Cork O'Connor Series #5)

Mercy Falls (Cork O'Connor Series #5)

4.4 64
by William Kent Krueger

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A stunning new suspense novel in William Kent Krueger's prize-winning Corcoran O'Connor series finds the charismatic detective steeped in his most dangerous case to date.
Back on the beat as sheriff of Tamarack County, Cork O'Connor has already seen his beautiful Northwoods jurisdiction through an eventful summer. Now, as the chill of autumn sweeps through


A stunning new suspense novel in William Kent Krueger's prize-winning Corcoran O'Connor series finds the charismatic detective steeped in his most dangerous case to date.
Back on the beat as sheriff of Tamarack County, Cork O'Connor has already seen his beautiful Northwoods jurisdiction through an eventful summer. Now, as the chill of autumn sweeps through the countryside, he's about to face a season of murder, adultery, and deceit that will take him from seedy backwoods bars and humble reservation shanties to the highest and most corrupt echelons of Chicago society.
Lured to the nearby Ojibwe reservation on what appears to be a routine domestic disturbance call, Cork finds himself the target of a sniper's deadly fire. He has little time to worry about his own precarious situation, however. Soon after the shooting, he's called to investigate a mutilated body found perched above the raging waters of Mercy Falls. The victim is Eddie Jacoby, a Chicago businessman involved in negotiating an unpopular contract between his management firm and the local Indian casino.
Now Cork must deal with a high-profile murder contaminated with the blood of the rich and powerful. Sparks fly when the wealthy Jacoby family insists on hiring a beautiful private investigator named Dina Willner to consult on the case. But once Cork discovers an old and passionate tie between one of the Jacoby sons and his own wife, Jo, he begins to suspect that the events in Aurora have a darker, more personal motive than he could ever have imagined.
With his life at stake and the safety of his family in question, Cork must squelch the growing suspicion that another man desperately wants his wife, and at the same time resist the passion heating up between himself and Dina.
Murder, greed, sex, and jealousy all play a part in the maze of danger and intrigue Cork is caught in. But somewhere, hidden beneath the turbulent depths of Mercy Falls, lie the answers, and Cork is determined to find them.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In Aurora, Minn., Cork O'Connor is the local sheriff, and he is so not being supported. At first, the deal seems nothing more than a ho-hum domestic dispute-Lucy and Eli Tibodeau at it again. But since the call came in from the Iron Lake Reservation, Cork, part Ojibwe himself, decides to ride along with his deputy because things do go better Ojibwe to Ojibwe. Not this time, though. Bullets fly, Deputy Marsha Dross goes down, critically wounded, Cork escaping narrowly-an ambush, the 911 call an obvious fake, the Tibodeaus miles from home at the time. Investigation soon persuades the cops that, in the dark, the tall, broad-shouldered Marsha was mistaken for Cork, and now the question becomes: Who could possibly hate so valiant and virtuous a sheriff enough to resort to murder? Before Cork can come to grips with that, however, there's a second bloody incident. Loathsome Eddie Jacoby is found dead, and suddenly, it's a whole new ballgame. Arrogant, vulgar, a womanizer and a bully, Eddie was nevertheless the favorite son of his rich and powerful dad. From Chicago, the Jacobys descend en masse, bringing with them as a sort of hired gun ex-FBI hotshot Dina Winter. Grief-stricken but enraged, Lou Jacoby wants his son's killer nailed, and he doesn't trust any "hayseed with a badge" to get the job done, which is why Dina's on hand. But why, exactly, is Ben Jacoby, Eddie's not very adoring half brother, on hand? Cork doesn't like the way Ben keeps eyeing Jo, Cork's wife. Discovering that Ben and Jo knew each other-and knew each other well-when both were in law school, he likes it even less. And that's just for starters. It's not plotting that keeps Krueger (Blood Hollow, 2004, etc.) a rank below thebest suspensers, it's the relentless probity of his Dudley Do-Right hero.
From the Publisher
"Cork O'Connor...is 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

Product Details

Atria Books
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Cork O'Connor Series , #5
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3 MB

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How It Ends

She woke naked on the bed, in a room she didn't recognize, her mind as clear of memory as the sky outside her window was of clouds. A huge pillow that smelled faintly of lavender cradled her head. She was too warm and drew back the covers so that she lay exposed on the white sheet like a delicacy on a china plate.

She tried to sit up, far too quickly, and the room spun. A minute later, she tried again, this time rising gradually until she could see the whole of the great bedroom. The bed itself was a four-poster with a canopy. The armoire a few feet distant was the color of maple syrup and carved with ornate scrolling. On the walls, in elegant, gilt-edged frames, hung oil paintings of Mediterranean scenes, mostly with boats and angry, blue-black seas. The magnificent red of the Persian rug matched the thick drapes drawn back to let in the morning light. None of this was familiar to her. But there was one detail that struck a welcome chord: an explosion of daisies in a yellow vase on the vanity. Daisies, she remembered, had always been her favorite flowers.

A clean, white terry cloth robe had been neatly laid out at the foot of the bed, but she ignored it. She walked to the daisies and touched one of the blossoms. Something about the fragility of the petals touched her in return and made her sad in a way that felt like grieving.

For whom? she wondered, trying to nudge aside the veil that, at the moment, hung between her perception and all her understanding. Then a thought occurred to her. The birds. Maybe that was it. She was grieving for all the dead birds.

Her eyes lifted to the vanity mirror. In the reflection there, she saw the bruises on her body. One on her left breast above her nipple, another on the inside of her right thigh, oval-shaped, both of them, looking very much like the blue ghosts of tooth marks.

As she reached down and gingerly touched the tender skin, she heard firecrackers go off outside her window, two of them. Only two? she thought. What kind of celebration was that?

She put on the robe, went to the door, and opened it. Stepping out, she found herself in a long hallway with closed doors on either side, her only companions several tall standing plants that were spaced between the rooms like mute guardians. At each end of the hall, leaded windows with beveled glass let in enough daylight to give the emptiness a sense of benign well-being that she somehow knew was false. She crept down the hallway, listening for the slightest sound, feeling the deep nap of the carpet crush under the soles of her bare feet. At last she reached a staircase that wound to the lower level. She followed the lazy spiral unsteadily, her hand holding to the railing for balance, leaving moist fingerprints on the polished wood that vanished a moment after her passing.

She stood at the bottom of the stairway, uncertain which way to turn. To her right, a large room with a baby grand piano at its center, a brick fireplace, a sofa and loveseat of chocolate brown leather. To her left, a dining room with a huge crystal chandelier and a table large enough for a banquet. Sunlight from a long window cleaved the table, and in the bright gleam sat another vase full of daisies. Drawn by the smell of freshly brewed coffee, she moved through the dining room to the opened door of the kitchen beyond.

A carafe of orange juice sat on the counter near the sink, and next to it a glass, poured and waiting. The smell of the coffee came from a French-press coffeemaker that sat on a large butcher-block island. An empty cup and saucer had been placed on the block, as if she were expected. A book lay there, too, opened to a page that began, I couldn't sleep all night; a fog-horn was groaning incessantly in the Sound, and I tossed half-sick between grotesque reality and savage, frightening dreams.

The sliding glass door that overlooked the veranda was drawn back, letting in the morning air, and she walked across the cool black and white kitchen tiles to the doorway. From there, she could see the back of the estate with its pool set into the lawn like a piece of cut turquoise. Beyond was the blue-gray sweep of a great body of water that collided at the horizon with a cornflower sky. Beside the pool stood a man in a yellow windbreaker with the hood pulled up. Although she couldn't see his face, there was something familiar in his stance. She stepped outside, not bothering to slide the door closed behind her.

It was a chilly morning. The cold marble of the veranda made her feet ache, but she paid no attention, because something else had caught her eye. A crimson billow staining the blue water. She descended the steps and followed a limestone walk to the apron of the pool.

The body lay on the bottom, except for the arms, which floated free, lifted slightly as if in supplication. The swimming trunks were white, the skin tanned. She couldn't see the wounds, only the blood that leaked from somewhere underneath, gradually tinting the turquoise water a deep rose.

The standing man turned his head slowly, as if it were difficult, painful even, for him to look away from death. The sun was at his back, his face shadowed, a gun in his hand.

She recognized him, and the thought of what he'd just done pulled her heart out of her chest.

"Oh, Cork, no," she whispered.

When he heard his name, his hard, dark eyes grew soft. Corcoran O'Connor stared at his wife, at her clean robe, her bare feet, her hair still mussed from a night she barely remembered.

"Jo," he said, "I came to bring you home."

Copyright © 2005 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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Mercy Falls (Cork O'Connor Series #5) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
LovesReading2 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read from this author and I was not disappointed. Very authentic. Kind of reminds me of the "Longmire" TV series, if you've ever watched that. I want to go back now and start with the first book. Recommend.
trilliant More than 1 year ago
William Kent Krueger is one writer that makes you feel like you are right there with Sheriff Cork O'Connor working on the cases. He draws you in with such realistic descriptions, you can almost smell the pine needles and feel the mist on your face as you are walking in the boundary waters. I can't wait to read the next book in this series. You cannot go wrong when you pick up one of Mr. Krueger's books. They are the best!
WampusCat More than 1 year ago
I'm a total sucker for this genre and this series is no different. I think the characters are well developed and with each new book they age and change appropriately. There are no supermen here just people trying to do their job. Of course the setting is great. Northern Minnesota is beautiful. Start with the first book in the series and read your way through the latest, you won't regret the trip.
dugman50 More than 1 year ago
As with all of the Cork O'Connor series books, this one kept me glued to it. Couldn't put it down. You think you have it solved in your mind, then Krueger turns it in another direction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HaveFaith More than 1 year ago
What can I say, I so enjoy the Cork O'Connor series. I was a bit upset with the ending of this book, so I read a few different books till I purchased and read Copper River loved it so much I read it in 1 1/2 days. William Kent Krueger has become one of my favorite authors. Buy and read Mercy Falls then immediately buy and read Copper River.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this author!! I am in process of reading all his novels. I have added him to my favorites: John Sandford, Robert Crais, Michael Connelly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engaging mystery with the enjoyable small town charm.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TK42 More than 1 year ago
I was quite happy with the book until the ending. It didn't have one. I knew this was part of a series, but I did not realize this book would just leave you hanging until you buy the next book. If I had known this was a two or three part serial I would not have purchased it.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Cork O'Conner has returned as the sheriff of Tamarack County, Minn, but someone has taken a pot shot at him, apparently wanting him dead.  Meanwhile, someone has also killed the representative of a group trying to set up a working arrangement with the Ojibwa Indians, but the killing suggests something more sexually motivated.  The murdered man also turned out to be the brother of Cork's wife old college lover, Ben Jacoby.  Jacoby's father is filthy rich, and wants revenge for the deaths of his only two children.  In comes the beautiful ex FBI agent, Dina Willner, hired by Jacoby to find and eliminate whoever took out his boys. As always, Kruger builds up suspense and tension within his stories.  Relations between the whites and Indians is always an issue, and Cork and his wife have difficult times meshing Cork's job with a safe family life.  The addition of an old boyfriend really complicated this story, because this rich ex-lover may have his own ideas about getting back his old college flame.  But somehow as things progress, extra elements just don't add up, and Cork may have more than he can deal with this time. This story ends with a definite cliff hanger--almost too much for me with this 5th installment of the Cork O'Conner mysteries. The answers are left to be dealt with in the next book, COPPER RIVER.  Thus, 4 instead of 5 stars for this book.  Then again, maybe this should be a 6 star read, since I find I MUST read his next book immediately!!
ViolaDB More than 1 year ago
Krueger never fails to keep the reader in suspense in his Cork O'Connor Series. Mercy Falls keeps you guessing about the killer(s), and as usual has a twist at the end! I would recommend this book and any in the series to those who especially enjoy a good mystery.
brushmanDF More than 1 year ago
Cork O'Connor is an all-American hero. This book just nails that impression. If you like a good story and one that will not let you put the book down - this is the one for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Fitzlegs More than 1 year ago
Krueger's main character, Cork O'Connor is once again the sheriff of the little town of Aurora Minnesota. The people of Aurora are down to earth folks, many of them in the lumber or mining business. Aurora borders a large Indian reservation. Most of Cork's days are filled with domestic arguments, drunken brawls and underage drinkers. A call to a regular domestic disturbance leads Cork and his deputies into a deadly trap, with Cork as the target. As the story unfolds Cork uncovers a bigger evil threatening his town, his wife and his own moral stamina. This is a tightly written book with a dark undertone that leaves Cork and his family into a bitter sweet family crisis. Krueger's endings are never anticipated, but they are always satisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ARbookie More than 1 year ago
This book was not up to the standards of Mr. Krueger's other mysteries. In my way of thinking the ending was totally unsatisfactory and the last sentence might well have been "to be contnued." I don't mind a surprise ending but do not like to be left hanging.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago