Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor Series #10)

Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor Series #10)

by William Kent Krueger
4.2 64

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Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor Series #10) by William Kent Krueger

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439172155
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Series: Cork O'Connor Series , #10
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 24,771
File size: 4 MB

About 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

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Vermilion Drift (Cork O'Connor Series #10) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 64 reviews.
Carl80 More than 1 year ago
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.
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
jilliemc More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
John_F48 More than 1 year ago
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.
book_lover5454 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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Spell binding
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