Ken Resting on a Snowshoe Trail at Home















Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A Northern Minnesota Wilderness Crime Series

NOTE: Now I know where I received the inspiration to read Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger! My mind  is slipping exponentially in these times. I was inspired by Tracy of "Bitter Tea and Mystery."  (See the "Blogs of Substance" sidebar.) Thank you, Tracy! I am loving this book.

I've started reading the first in a crime series by William Kent Krueger about the ex-sheriff Cork (Corcoran) O'Connor in the fictional northern Minnesota community of Aurora, which lies close to the actual, real-life Iron Lake in the Lake Superior National Forest. The first book is, naturally, entitled Iron Lake. I was drawn to "test-drive" this series because of its location. It's not far from Lake Superior, but it is certainly not really close either, so the attraction was wilderness initially, and as I began to read, I thrilled to the type of community that abounds in true wilderness,  though I must admit that Aurora and Iron Lake have wilderness types who are so much worse than I know of where I live. 

Cork O'Connor is half Ojibwe, and an Ojibwe reservation lies within the lands of Iron Lake. Yes, Ojibwe is a broad tribal classification, and because the name of the tribe that inhabits the reservation is very, very difficult to spell, please forgive me for naming the larger group of Native Americans to which they belong. Tension abounds between the Native American and white residents of the area, yet there are many other cross-currents that demand attention in this compelling novel.
I imagine that some of you may be well acquainted with this series. Cork O'Connor is a wonderfully complex character.  And, in fact, the edition of Iron Lake that I'm reading is its 20th anniversary edition.
Krueger has written loads of books and has received numerous awards. I'm certainly thrilling to this one.

8 comments:

  1. I have it on my Kindle and will probably read it when I've finished my current book. So pleased that it's very good. Well done to Tracy!

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    1. Hi Cath,
      Well done to Tracy indeed! After I wrote the post, I visited your blog, and remembered that Tracy was the person who recommended the book, and I can't believe I was clueless about it for a bit. yikes--I'm definitely slipping. Things are a bit topsy-turvy right now. You will like it, I think.

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  2. This sounds good. I can see why a wilderness setting would be very appealing in a book as it is appealing in real life.

    Complex characters also really enhance a mystery.

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    1. Wilderness is beautiful as it is menacing, and people who choose to live in a wilderness area are their own unique species. This makes for exciting reading.

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  3. Judith, I am very glad you are liking Iron Lake and hope that continues.

    I know exactly what you mean. I am very challenged to remember anything lately. I used to have an excellent memory so I know this is different, but I hope it is temporarily worse because of all the distractions we have now.

    Take care.

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    1. Hi Tracy,
      I've downloaded the book on Ken's Kindle as well and hope he starts reading it tomorrow, because I'm dying to discuss it with him. He's been reading the David Downing spy novels, most recently one I gave him for Christmas, Diary of a Dead Man on Leave. It's an epistolary novel, and Ken loved that about it and loved the book. David Downing is an English author who's written quite a number novels, including a series set in WWII Britain.

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    2. I am familiar with David Downing but I have only read one of his books, Zoo Station. I have Silesian Station on my shelves. I knew he had written another series but I had not heard of this book. It sounds very good. Thanks for telling me about it, I will be looking for it.

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    3. Hi Tracy,
      Zoo Station--will have to look that one up for Ken. He really enjoyed the Downing novel he's just read.

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