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Trickster's Point (Cork O'Connor Series #12)

Trickster's Point (Cork O'Connor Series #12)

4.4 100
by William Kent Krueger

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The latest in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series—the action never stops when the private detective ends up in the crosshairs of a political assassin.

The dying don’t easily become the dead.

The next novel in William Kent Krueger’s New York Times bestselling series


The latest in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series—the action never stops when the private detective ends up in the crosshairs of a political assassin.

The dying don’t easily become the dead.

The next novel in William Kent Krueger’s New York Times bestselling series finds Cork O’Connor sitting in the shadow of a towering monolith known as Trickster’s Point, deep in the Minnesota wilderness. With him is Jubal Little, who is favored to become the first Native American elected governor of Minnesota, and who is slowly dying with an arrow through his heart. Although the men have been bowhunting, a long-standing tradition among these two friends, this is no hunting accident. The arrow turns out to be one of Cork’s, and he becomes the primary suspect in the murder. He understands full well that he’s been set up. As he works to clear his name and track the real killer, he remembers his long, complex relationship with the tough kid who would grow up to become a professional football player, a populist politician, and the lover of the first woman to whom Cork ever gave his heart. Jubal was known by many for his passion, his loyalty, and his ambition. Only Cork knows that he was capable of murder.

Full of nail-biting suspense, plus a fascinating look into Cork’s teenage years in Aurora, a town blessed with natural beauty yet plagued by small-town feuds and heated racial tension, Trickster’s Point is a thrilling exploration of the motives, both good and ill, that lead men and women into the difficult, sometimes deadly, political arena.

Editorial Reviews

St. Paul Pioneer Press
“Although there's plenty of excitement in this plot, Krueger is moving deeper into psychological territory with each book is this series.”
Midwest Book Review
“While the murder mystery is an essential element of the novel, more important is the look at the relationships of the various characters, to each other and to the locale.”
Book Reporter
“Krueger has crafted a strong and memorable series that never fails to surpass itself with each installment. Trickster's Point continues that tradition, containing some of Krueger’s best prose to date in what is perhaps his strongest, most intriguing novel yet.”
Crimespree Magazine
“Unlike many series, Cork and company age and evolve with each book. Time does not stand still and we share in the triumphs and tragedies of Cork. We watch his children grow up and, in some cases, move away. That constant change makes these novels all the more compelling.”
Denver Post
“Mystery fans can count on William Kent Krueger for an absorbing book with lots of twists and turns. He's an author who isn't afraid to take chances with his characters.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“An absorbing plot and a rewarding read.”
Sullivan County Democrat (New York)
“You might place Cork O’Connor, of this very accomplished series, halfway between Jesse Stone (not that warm) and Jack Reacher (not that hard)—and even add a dash of Douglas Corleone’s wise-guy Corvelli.”
Publishers Weekly
In the prologue of Anthony Award–winner Krueger’s fine 12th Cork O’Connor novel (after 2011’s Northwest Angle), politician Jubal Little, who most likely would’ve won election as Minnesota’s first Native American governor in a few days, takes three hours to die with an arrow in his chest—an arrow that belongs to his old friend, Cork, with whom he’d been bow hunting. As Cork seeks answers to such questions as who wanted to kill Jubal and who wanted to frame him for the murder, the narrative charts Jubal’s rise from high school athlete to NFL star, from U.S. representative to leading candidate for governor of Minnesota. Cork finds many suspects among the enemies Jubal made over the years, in particular those who disagreed with Jubal’s politics. A second puzzling killing muddies the water more. Krueger’s intimate knowledge of Minnesota’s northern reaches and respect for Native American life, ancient and modern, provide an intricate setting for this gem of a mystery. Agent: Danielle Egan-Miller, Browne & Miller Literary Associates. (Aug.)
“William Kent Krueger can tell a story with the best of them. And he just keeps getting better.”
“In addition to having a plot as cunningly treacherous as Trickster’s Point itself, Krueger’s latest mystery has that elegiac tone that’s perfectly suited to O’Connor’s character and to the harsh landscape where he lives and works.”
From the Publisher
"Krueger’s intimate knowledge of Minnesota’s northern reaches and respect for Native American life, ancient and modern, provide an intricate setting for this gem of a mystery." —Publisher's Weekly
Library Journal
A hunting trip goes horribly wrong when Minnesota's governor-elect is murdered with Cork O'Connor's arrow. The detective becomes the number-one suspect in his 12th outing (after Northwest Angle). [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/12.]
Kirkus Reviews
The murder of a rising political star who just happens to be one of his oldest friends lands Minnesota private eye Corcoran O'Connor in the hot seat. Even though he wanted to go for help, Cork agreed to sit with Jubal Little for three hours after their backwoods deer hunt was cut short when his old schoolmate was shot by an arrow that closely resembled the arrows Cork made for himself. He listened to Jubal ramble about his romance with their mutual friend Winona Crane, his foreshortened run for the Senate and the mysterious Rhiannon, whose fate was "the worst sin of all." Now all of Cork's friends and former colleagues in the Tamarack County sheriff's office suspect Cork of shooting Jubal. Even Jubal assumed that Cork had fired the fatal arrow. Determined to clear himself, Cork makes the rounds of alternative suspects--Jubal's politically connected widow, Camilla, and her family, Ojibwe activist Isaiah Broom, logger Buzz Bigby, whose bullying son, Donner, met a bad end after one last run-in with Jubal many years ago--with all the finesse of a bull in a china shop, though he can't catch eternal wild-child Winona, who's taken a powder once again. More revealingly, Krueger interleaves the present-day story with a series of flashbacks that trace the winding steps in Cork's relationship with his old friend, whose charm, warmth, wide range of skills and iron ambition made him easy to like but hard to love. The climactic revelations, if they aren't exactly surprising, are as logical as they are poignant. Krueger's 12th (Northwest Angle, 2011, etc.) is alternately muscular and tender, and maybe a tad synthetic--middling for this fine series.

Product Details

Atria Books
Publication date:
Cork O'Connor Series , #12
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.08(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Trickster’s Point

  • The dying don’t easily become the dead.

    Even with an arrow in his heart, Jubal Little took three hours to die. Politician that he was, most of that time he couldn’t stop talking. At first, he talked about the arrow. Not how it got there—he believed he knew the answer to that—but arguing with Cork over whether to try to pull it out or push it through. Corcoran O’Connor did neither. Then he talked about the past, a long and convoluted rambling punctuated by moments of astonishing self-awareness. He admitted he’d made mistakes. He told Cork things he swore he’d never told anyone else, told them in a way that made Cork feel uncomfortably like Jubal’s confessor. Finally he talked about what lay ahead. He wasn’t afraid to die, he said. And he said that he understood the situation, understood why Cork had put that arrow in his heart.

    He died sitting up, his back against hard rock, his big body gray in the long shadow cast by the imposing monolith known as Trickster’s Point. If the political polls were correct, in just a few days Jubal Little would have won a landslide victory as the new governor of Minnesota. Cork had known Jubal Little all his life and, for some of those years, had thought of him as a best friend. Even so, he’d planned to mark his ballot for another man on election day. Partly it was because Jubal wanted different things for Minnesota and the North Country and the Ojibwe than Cork wanted. But mostly it was because Jubal Little was absolutely capable of murder, and Cork O’Connor was the only one who knew it.

  • Meet the Author

    William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of ten Cork O’Connor novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Vermilion Drift and Northwest Angle. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit WilliamKentKrueger.com.

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    Trickster's Point: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I am new to the world of Cork O'Connor. In fact, let me be truthful...I'm a bookseller who rides the bus, and had finished off my latest book during lunch. On my way out the door, I picked up an advance readers copy, not really expecting much. Was so swiftly engrossed in this novel...the characters, the premise, and within 24 hours of starting it, the resolution. Now the good thing about finding an author who is well into a series is that you have his previous novels to fulfill your fix. And, this I did. In fact, sideboarded my carefully laid out reading list in order to read the eleven preceeding this. May I say the first three have kept me intrigued. You go into a mindset here, where characters take precedence over a plot. Plot, well crafted, brings you back to the characters. If this is your introduction to Cork O'Connor, relish it-as well as knowing you can find previous episodes....k
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another great book, have read all in the series and not disappointed by any of them. All great reads.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This has been the best of the series so far. Sad ending though.
    burnsmiranda More than 1 year ago
    This was a great read, as are all of William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor books. Again, we are reminded just how human Cork is in that his past is such an integral part of why he stayed and let his old childhood chum bleed out rather than drive out for help. Revisiting his past and how he got to where he finds himself in this book, squarely under suspicion for murder, is a riveting read. I got my first book in this series as part of the Nook Free Friday selection. I am so glad they offered it since it introduced me to this series. I feel like I have also gotten a culture lesson about the native Americans living in Minnesota and how they have joined white mans society but retained so much of their culture.
    potownreader More than 1 year ago
    I purchased this as a pre-order and waited for it to be available. Boy, I was not disappointed. It is in my opinion, the best book in the series Mr. Krueger has written. Good plotting, great characters and even better dialogue. A real five star winner.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I love his booksd and they always keep you coming back for more. Great book.
    bemb More than 1 year ago
    I'm so glad I discovered this author. (I do believe it was from a free Friday book offer, his first book. It worked because I then subsequently ordered the rest of the series.) Cork is one of my favorite characters. Its an excellent mystery and the pieces of the puzzle all fall into place by the end of the book. I will preorder his next book again like I did this book.
    ihuntduck More than 1 year ago
    I always look forward to the next installment in this series. Within a few pages I feel like I am greeting an old friend. You haven't seen them in a while, but it's like you've always been with them. I think it is a combination of Mr. Krueger's excellent job of developing and maintaining his character's identity and his ability to tell a good story in an interesting way. I hope this series continues.
    pen21 More than 1 year ago
    Excellent book! The book starts with a hunting trip and Cork becoming the main suspect in the hunting accident death of his friend. Cork doesn't believe it wasn't an accident. We watch Cork progress between dealing with his emotions and his past growing up. Excellent thriller and mystery. This series is a joy to read and just keeps getting better.
    tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
    Cork O’Connor has faced many perplexing situations in this long-running series set in Upper Minnesota. None, however, is as stunning as takes place in this latest chapter, perhaps because it begins at Trickster’s Point, where, according to Native American legend nothing is what it seems as the spirits play games. At the foot of the monolith sit Cork and Jubal Little, the presumptive future Governor of Minnesota. An arrow protrudes from Jubal’s chest, right through his heart. He asks Cork to remain with him rather than go get help, and it takes three hours for him to die, during which he rambles on, sort of confessing many past transgressions, but really leaving more questions than answers. The arrow is an exact replica of those Cork makes for himself, leading to the suspicion that Cork may have killed his boyhood best friend. And Cork has to solve this mystery to exonerate himself. Another body is found nearby, that of a white man with a rifle. Who is he, and why is he there? Was he to have been backup in case the killer missed his target? While the murder mystery is an essential element of the novel, more important is the look at the relationships of the various characters, to each other and to the locale. The author’s appreciation of Native American culture and the environment in which the story takes place is, as usual, sensitive and insightful. Jubal is an enigmatic character, almost too large to be believed. Cork, however, continues to grow with each new entry in the series. Highly recommended.
    EdShannon More than 1 year ago
    I got an ARC and this is really good. See below... Trickster’s Point by William Kent Krueger Atria Books, 2012 Review by Ed Shannon Perhaps joy and hope are strange words to describe a murder mystery; but with a writer of William Kent Krueger’s skill, suspense and mystery rise above normal descriptors. The newest novel in Krueger’s Cork O’Connor series, Trickster’s Point, is not only tightly crafted and plotted but also a joy to read. Set in the beauty of Northern Minnesota, the novel begins with O’Connor being interrogated about the death of Jubal Little, the odds on favorite to win Minnesota’s election for Governor. The initial evidence points to Cork and drives him to clear himself and search for the murderer of his childhood friend. Filled with credible suspects and motives, the novel follows Cork as the past and present flow together in a mystery that continually surprises and examines the nature of love and friendship, of the complexities of human nature. An integral part of the joy in this novel, as well as the entire series, is the manner in which Krueger combines a taut mystery and Native American culture with the humanity of his main character, Cork O’Connor. Cork is flawed but also much more. He is named Ogichidaa, one who stands between--between his people and evil. Cork rises above tragedy and danger in a search for truth; but truth is not always justice, justice not always truth. He must strive to balance his Shinnob heritage and his law enforcement background as he faces the darkness of human nature while protecting his people, friends, and family. This conflict as well as the central murder mystery make Cork O’Connor one of the most intriguing protagonists in the entire suspense genre. In fact, he is so well crafted that Krueger’s novels rise above the label of genre to those books that force us to face our own humanity, our own flaws. Joy and hope. Yes, the writing is a joy with its well-plotted mystery and flowing description of Minnesota’s natural beauty. Yes, there is joy in Cork’s acceptance of the existence of tragedy and evil but also in an unending belief in hope. Hope that light overcomes darkness, that balance can be achieved. This hope is inherent in the Shinnob culture, in Cork’s Irish Catholic heritage and is skillfully achieved in William Kent Krueger’s novels.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I thoroughly enjoy Kruegers characters, especially Cork O'Connor. He writes about the boundary water area up North and the Indian culture. I've read every book he has written and wait for the next.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Couldn't put it down, great characters and descriptive writing. I have to find more of this author!
    Bevs-Reviews More than 1 year ago
    After so many books in a series some authors begin to get predictable with the story lines. Not so with William Kent Krueger! He still keeps me caught up in each and every story and still surprises me in the end with a twist here and a turn there. I love the growth of the characters in each book and this one did not disappoint with Cork starting to move on with a new love interest and I love that his son is growing in a spiritual way.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Big fan of Wm Kent Krueger--got me hooked with "Iron Lake". Have recommended his series to lots of people. Trickster's Point is a great continuation of the Cork O'Connor saga. Great opening up to the interrogation that sets the theme. However, I'm not sure how Cork's 'thesis statement' to the investigator was really true. But I'll leave that to other literary critics who like to parse the plots more precisely than I do.
    pengesser More than 1 year ago
    I have enjoyed each of the books in this series and this one was no disappointment. I like the little twists the author presents and you usually don't see the ending coming. I highly recommend to anyone that likes a good mystery.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have loved all of this series
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another winner from Krueger. I have enjoyed all of his Cork O'Conner series. The hardest part is waiting for the next book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Being from minnesota it has been fun reading this series. I enjoyed everyone.
    lib1956 More than 1 year ago
    I love this series.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    another excellent book in an excellent series
    PTN More than 1 year ago
    Amazing. Krueger's prose really does transport you to Northeastern MN. Very satisfying read.
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