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Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor Series #10) [NOOK Book]

Overview


Some nights, Corcoran O’Connor dreams his father’s death.

William Kent Krueger’s gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift.

When the Department of Energy puts an...
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Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor Series #10)

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Overview


Some nights, Corcoran O’Connor dreams his father’s death.

William Kent Krueger’s gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift.

When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant.

Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims. Five appear to be nearly half a century old—connected to what the media once dubbed "The Vanishings," a series of unsolved disappearances in the summer of 1964, when Cork’s father was sheriff in Tamarack County. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. What’s worse, two of the bodies—including the most recent victim—were killed using Cork’s own gun, one handed down to him from his father.

As Cork searches for answers, he must dig into his own past and that of his father, a well-respected man who harbored a ghastly truth. Time is running out, however. New threats surface, and unless Cork can unravel the tangled thread of clues quickly, more death is sure to come.

Vermilion Drift
is a powerful novel, filled with all the mystery and suspense for which Krueger has won so many awards. A poignant portrayal of the complexities of family life, it’s also a sobering reminder that even those closest to our hearts can house the darkest—and deadliest—of secrets.
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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
For someone who writes such muscular prose, Krueger has a light touch that humanizes his characters.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
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.)
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

Kirkus Reviews

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439172155
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Series: Cork O'Connor Series , #10
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 13,834
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

William Kent Krueger
William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen mysteries in the Cork O’Connor series, including Trickster’s Point and Tamarack County, as well as the novel Ordinary Grace, which won 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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Read an Excerpt


PROLOGUE

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

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 15, 2010

    Evil stalks Tamarack County

    Authors of crime fiction, like authors working in any other genre, often use their talents to work through personal issues, sometimes intensely private issues. Although it is not entirely clear, the writer may be working through some family issues with this novel. Does that matter? Perhaps. That depends on the result. In this case, the author, possessed of well-honed, significant writing talent, has produced a novel of finely wrought proportions, multi-layered with considerable depth. By that I mean that the characters demonstrate multiple levels of engagement, and the story itself works on more than one level. Almost every character who appears in the book is involved in the story in more than one way. Some of their levels are casual or socially related, such as what may be routinely expected of law officers in Tamarack County, the Northern Minnesota location of this novel. Other characters, Henry Meloux, for example and other Native Americans; Sam Wintermoon, appears, and of course, Cork's mother and his father, Liam, all have, at different times, visceral involvement in the story. The problem, if there is one, is that this story is much more a novel of family and community relationships than it is a novel of suspense, or crime, horrific and awful though the crimes were. Death is always the ultimate judge, from whom there is no appeal. So, in my view, the problem is one of balance, or perhaps of categorization. The involvement of Cork O'Connor, now a private investigator, alone in Aurora, is mostly one of self-examination. The novel is one of Cork's journey of discovery. What was the meaning of his occasional nightmares? What were the issues that consumed and separated the O'Connor family in those last fateful months of Liam O'Connor's life? The novel begins with Cork once again at odds with his Ojibwe heritage. His mother, remember, was a member of the tribe. He's hired by the owners of the Vermilion One and Ladyslipper mines to deal with threats against the mine. But then he's also tasked to try to locate a missing woman, sister of the mine owner. Lauren Cavanaugh has gone missing. Finding the missing woman opens a window on old unsolved crimes from a previous generation, from a time when Cork's father was the sheriff of Tamarack County. Sorting through old albums, records and memories, fresh and repressed, takes up the body of the novel As with all of this author's previous novels, the explanation is logical, satisfying and meaningful. Krueger, as always, is skillful in evoking the landscape, not just its physical self, but its atmosphere, its mystical presence and its influences on the people who reside there. In the end, this thoughtful exploration of law, truth and justice and their profound influences on all of us is a highly successful emotionally moving effort.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2010

    10th in Cork O'Connor series is top notch literary mystery

    Vermilion Drift by William Kent Krueger is the tenth book in the Cork O'Connor series. Cork is still recovering after his wife Jo's murder and is feeling a bit lost as all of his three children are far from home. No longer sheriff of Tamarack County, Minnesota, he's now a private investigator, hired to look into threats against an old iron mine that the government is considering as storage for nuclear waste. The local Ojibwa consider him to be betraying his own blood by working on a case that will damage the environment, but things get suddenly much worse when while searching the mine tunnel known as Vermilion Drift, he discovers six bodies, five of whom have been dead for over forty years, but one is the body of a woman he had just been hired to find. Even worse, two of the bodies were killed by a bullet that came from Cork's gun, the one he inherited from his father, another former Tamarack County sheriff. While there is lots of history in this superb mystery, it's not necessary to have read the previous books in the series (although after reading this, I certainly want to), because Krueger expertly weaves Cork's personal history with that of the town. He has a different personality from most detectives; while he does have the usual tendency of going rogue, he's more interested in talking to people and discovering truth than he is meting out personal justice. There are lots of twists and turns as well as red herrings to keep readers guessing and second guessing, and the resolution is satisfying and provides some long-term healing for Cork. Vermilion Drift is suspenseful without being overtly violent, and intelligent without being pretentious. It's a literary mystery with a stand-out hero.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a terrific whodunit

    Mining heir Max Cavanagh hires Tamarack County, Minnesota private investigator Cork O'Connor to find his missing sister, Lauren. She established an artists' retreat so Cork starts there. He also looks into who is threatening people involved in the Cavanagh Vermilion One mine that U.S. Department of Energy evaluates as a potential nuclear waste storage site.----------------------------

    Cork and a mine official descend into the Vermilion One mine where they find five skeletons and a fresh corpse. The quintet is probably the remains of the 1964 "the Vanishings" that Cork's father Liam as county sheriff unsuccessfully investigated. The sixth body buried in the mine for about a week is that of a well-dressed woman, who Cork assumes is Lauren.--------------

    The tenth Cork Minnesota investigative thriller (see Red Knife and Heaven's Keep) is a terrific whodunit as a homicidal cold case of the hero's father merges with a present day murder. The whodunit is well written hooking the readers early on with trying to find the connection between the deaths over four decades apart. With a bit of Native American mysticism enhancing the plot, fans will appreciate this strong regional mystery.------------

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    I highly recommend the entire Cork O' Connor series.

    Vermilion Drift is just one of the series that I could hardly put down. I have become enthralled with Cork and his family, his history, his career ups and downs, his personal challenges. The setting, Northern Minnesota, is beautifully described, to the point when you can feel the air and hear the sounds.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Terrific

    Spell binding

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    MN girl

    I just LOVE the Cork O'Connor series; Kreuger is such a wonderful writer and so perfectly descriptive and detailed I can picture exactly what he is writing about. Highly recommend his books!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    Series

    I love this series. It always keeps me guessing and I cannot put the books down.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Everyone of the series is excellent but this was my favorite. I will read any book this author has wrote and love.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Highly Recommed

    I have read all 10 of Krueger's books and they are impossible to put down once you start reading. I axniously await the next one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Highly recommended

    I love his Cork O'Connor series,once I start it is hard to put down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Heather&co

    Forest

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Great reads

    I'm reading all William Kent Krueger's books. Cork O'Connor is a great character.
    I've recommended these to a friend and now she's hooked, too. These books
    are of interest to men and women. Start with the first title and read in order.

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  • Posted May 26, 2014

    Krueger does a masterful job of story telling

    This story spins the past of Cork with the present in a masterful way.
    Several famillies are involved with varying degrees knowledge of the past which affects the way they deal with the world. Some are angry at the world because of anceint child abuse, others live with it better, and Cork has terrible dreams that he does not understand. In the end a sociopathic sister has died and is placed with some dead from forty years before the current events in an unused portion of an Iron-Ore mine that is being considered for a radio-active waste site. The story resolves around a largely discounted idea of the bad seed and the survivors coming to terms with their history.

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  • Posted March 19, 2014

    I like this author.

    I have read the first ten of the Cork O'Connor series, and have really enjoyed them. I like the characters and the locale. This book was a little darker than the previous ones. I'm don't like for things to get too gruesome, I'm hoping the next book is a little lighter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    I'd recommend this

    After the seismic shift in series mythology in #9, I was curious to see how Krueger would deal with Cork's "new normal". In this entry, themes taken from today's headlines regarding environmentalists are juxtaposed to the mysteries of multiple murders from decades before. Cork must face his own family's deep secrets; buried as deep in his own mind as the tunnels far beneath the earth from mining operations. Krueger, once again, peels away another layer of what makes his protagonist tick.

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    Great read

    Loking for more

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 7, 2012

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    Posted July 21, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2011

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    Posted August 6, 2011

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