From the Publisher
"As always, Krueger’s writing couples the best of literary and commercial fiction, with intelligent, well-defined characters populating the story. Although the book contains violence, the author never makes it extraneous or graphic. He is one of those rare writers who manage to keep the suspense alive until the final page. Krueger fans will find a feast in between these covers, and for those who have yet to sample his fine and evocative writing, the book offers a complex yet completely believable plot, all tied up in words sharpened by one of the modern masters of the craft." Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Rock-solid prose combines with effective characterizations and a logical if complex plot for a thrilling read. This book succeeds on every level and ought to attract the author a deservingly wide readership.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“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
“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
“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
"The surprise ending makes this novel a worthwhile find." People (3 stars)
"Beautifully written and deeply moving." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Can a writer keep getting better and better? Minnesotan William Kent Krueger surely can, as shown by Vermilion Drift, 10th in his award-winning series featuring former Sheriff Cork O'Connor." St. Paul Pioneer Press
For someone who writes such muscular prose, Krueger has a light touch that humanizes his characters.
The New York Times
At the start of Krueger's superlative 10th novel featuring Tamarack County, Minn., PI Cork O'Connor (after Heaven's Keep), mining heir Max Cavanagh hires Cork to trace his missing sister, Lauren, founder of an artists' retreat--and to try to identify the sender of threatening letters to various people connected with Vermilion One, a Cavanaugh family mine, which the U.S. Department of Energy is considering for long-term nuclear waste storage. When Cork and a mine official descend into Vermilion One, they discover six bodies, five of them skeletal, which may be connected with a decades-old unsolved series of crimes known as "the Vanishings," which Cork's father looked into when he was sheriff. The sixth corpse, that of a well-dressed woman, appears to have been in the mine about a week. Rock-solid prose combines with effective characterizations and a logical if complex plot for a thrilling read. This book succeeds on every level and ought to attract the author a deservingly wide readership. (Sept.)
Conflicted protagonist Cork O'Connor works a case that has disturbing connections to his own family, as well as his past, in Krueger's latest (Heaven's Keep, 2009, etc.).
Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor, former sheriff of fictional Tamarack County, Minn., works as a private investigator. His wife, Jo, has died, and his two grown daughters are making their lives elsewhere. His young teenage son is away for the long, hot summer, and Cork has been asked to find mine owner and millionaire Max Cavanaugh's missing sister, Lauren. Lauren is beautiful and blond and has been known to flit from place to place, but she finally ended up in Cork's neck of the woods, where she opened a center for the arts. Now Max says she's vanished and he thinks her disappearance is somehow different this time. Max's unease is bolstered by the animosity generated by a government team surveying one of the mines as a possible repository for nuclear waste. As protesters picket the mine, many involved in the survey are targeted with ominous warning notes printed in a bloody-looking font; in the meantime, Cork suffers from recurring nightmares in which he tries to save his now-dead father, but instead ends up pushing dad to his death. As Cork seeks help deciphering his dream with a longtime family friend, he makes a terrible and unanticipated discovery in a drift, or vertical passage, in the Vermilion One Mine. The discovery opens the door to a new investigation and stirs up powerful demons from Cork's past, including memories he would much rather forget. As always, Krueger's writing couples the best of literary and commercial fiction, with intelligent, well-defined characters populating the story. Although the book contains violence, the author never makes it extraneous or graphic. He is one of those rare writers who manage to keep the suspense alive until the final page.
Krueger fans will find a feast in between these covers, and for those who have yet to sample his fine and evocative writing, the book offers a complex yet completely believable plot, all tied up in words sharpened by one of the modern masters of the craft.
Read an Excerpt
Some nights, Corcoran O’Connor dreams his father’s death.
Although the dream differs in the details, it always follows the same general pattern: His father falls from a great height. Sometimes he stumbles backward over a precipice, his face an explosion of surprise. Or he’s climbing a high, flat face of rock and, just as he reaches for the top, loses his grip and, in falling, appears both perplexed and angry. Or he steps into an empty elevator shaft, expecting a floor that is not there, and looks skyward with astonishment as the darkness swallows him.
In the dream Cork is always a boy. He’s always very near and reaches out to save his father, but his arm is too short, his hand too small. Always, his father is lost to him, and Cork stands alone and heartbroken.
If that was all of it, if that was the end of the nightmare, it probably wouldn’t haunt him in quite the way that it does. But the true end is a horrific vision that jars Cork awake every time. In the dream, he relives the dream, and in that dream revisited something changes. Not only is he near his father as the end occurs but he also stands outside the dream watching it unfold, a distanced witness to himself and to all that unfolds. And what he sees from that uninvolved perspective delivers a horrible shock. For his hand, in reaching out, not only fails to save his father. It is his small hand, in fact, that shoves him to his death.
© 2010 William Kent Krueger