© William Kent Krueger; (P)2007 Recorded Books
I don't review every book--only books I feel strongly about--hence the many 4-5 star vs 1-2 star reviews. Just my opinions--hope they help.
So I finished book three--Purgatory Ridge and this book number four--Blood Hollow as back to back post holiday listening. I thought the third book in the series was really well written and very engaging. However, to me, it was also very sad. Krueger really captured the fragility of life and families and the loneliness that can exist in the midst of community.
This fourth book returns strongly to life in Aurora and focuses much more on Cork and his family and their day to day existence. Be aware that there is still a sense of angst and a strong feeling of how little neighbors often really know one another. Krueger really captures community conflict, Native American beliefs, religious thought and the natural beauty of wild Minnesota.
To me this is a multidimensional and complex series which weaves together many disparate people, concepts and ideas. At times it can feel a bit over done--a bit far fetched--but in the end I think there is a strong storyline with a high degree of consistency from book to book. Recommended if you like mysteries with depth and a solid sense of regional setting and atmosphere.
Do be aware that while the author takes on difficult topics, Krueger's writing engages, and he paints beautiful word pictures and images with his storytelling. Unusual for a thriller/mystery.
Listen to about four audio books a months. Never without one.
I live in Minnesota so there is some bias. I love William Kent Krueger. This is the 4th or 5th in his series and I've enjoyed them all. (As well as Ordinary Grace.). I always feel at home when I read his mysteries. This one kept me guessing to the end.
this story is a story on two levels, the secular and the spiritual. it keeps you listening and thinking right to the end. as a Catholic Priest myself, I was relieved that finally, after many years the priest was real , human and not a scum bag! there are many good priests in the world and Father Mals struggle is real. thank you Mr Kruger for a fantastic story and a renewed sense of the goodness in the struggle of being human!
I've just finished the first 4 books of this series over the last two weeks. I'm a huge fan of crime mysteries and have read many of the more popular authors of this type of genre including Michael Connelly, CJ Box, Craig Johnson, Robert Crais, and Harlen Coben to mention a few. Up until now I've enjoyed them all, but didn't think any of them would ever compare to Micheal Connelly and the Harry Bosch series. Well I'm here to tell you there's some competition in town now.
Although William Kent Kreugar may not have the intricate and surprising plot twists like Connelly, he more than makes up for it with his cast of characters and a very believable and relatable protagonist and his family living in a very unique area. There is always some form of moral conflict at the center of each of his stories and Blood Hollow is no different.
Don't be put off by the few that have problems with the Christian or Catholic underpinnings of this story. There has always been a very predominant aspect of spirituality in all of the books in this series. Mostly it's been oriented around Native American spirituality with just a few references to Cork O'Conner and his family's Catholic heritage. That never bothered anyone until the Christian heritage became more predominant in this book. I guess for some people mentioning Christianity is akin to "preaching" whereas native american spirituality isn't...go figure.
At any rate, this is a top-notch story told in a powerful and believable way that allows one to feel a real connection to the events and the people involved. What draws me into this book as well as his previous books is enjoying how the characters grow and change from the things they experience. By the time I get to the end I feel nearly as exhausted as the characters because I've been on the ride with them. And I also take away little bits of wisdom I've absorbed during the process that I can take with me on my own personal journey. To me, that's a pretty good deal.
It would be unlikely that I would listen to this or any books a second time.
The performance is okay. I was annoyed however by the change in the reader's voice style for a character that has been in all of the previous books.
While I enjoyed this book a great deal and would recommend it, I also felt that the author glossed over some very important details that occurred in the preceding book. Namely, the abduction of Cook's wife and son. Surely that would have created some residual emotions, especially for the son who is a sensitive child - but it was not referenced at any time in the book. Otherwise, except for the change in the voice style of a recurrent character, I really enjoyed this book!
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
There is a lot to like about the Cork O'Connor series by William Kent Kreuger. The novels a well written and the suspense is palpable. In this book ex-sheriff Cork O'Connor is a decent person with just the right amount of non-fatal flaws. The issue that keeps me from awarding this and other Kreuger novels 5 stars is the author's excessive (in my view) reliance on mysticism. For those without a similar objection this author and this series are a fine fit. I do recognize that the mysticism is my issue and will not put off most listeners.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
This is book number four in the Cork O'Connor series, and so far they have all been excellent. My husband and I have listened to all four together, so they are definitely for both men and women. The twists and turns in this one are REALLY unpredictable . . . we were guessing until the very end . . . The story begins with the murder of a beautiful young high school girl . . . You will find yourself wanting to learn more and more about her and her family . . . and you will grab all that is close to you and treasure it, fear for it, and wonder, "what, who is out there that would hurt a kid?" Some of the reviewers are critical of this book, saying it is overly "religious" . . . I did not find that to be true at all. In fact, since the beginning of the series, ex-sheriff, Cork O'Connor has been pretty much open and honest about his "crisis of faith" since leaving the Catholic church, where he grew up, went to school, and even served as an altar boy. If readers were paying attention, this theme of "examining the heart" has been there all along. The story line has included the church, priests, and a very faithful and grounded sister-in-law, Rose, who lives in the house with Cork and Jo and helps to raise their three kids. The moral compass which has been Cork's guide from day one has been from God . . . a God that is plenty big enough to allow Cork to question His existence . . . I love the inclusion of the spiritual stories of the Indians, who know God on a very personal level . . . so whatever you call God . . . even when you deny His existence, He always brings you around . . . This book in no way "preaches" to anyone. It leaves readers to their own conclusions. It isn't "goody goody" or even full of theology. So if anyone is offended, maybe they should check to see who that voice is that is speaking to them . . . These books are mysteries/thrillers which include all areas of the lives of their characters. To exclude this one area would just be dicing up the story. Can't wait for book five!!!
As always, William Kent Kruger delivers another good story that keeps you guessing right up to the end. Well developed characters and enough detail to make you feel,like you are right in Aurora, MN.
"Balance of Novel Spoiled by Too Much Religion"
I would definitively lessen the amount of reference to religious issues.
I write this as a non-believer and I am therefore conscious that many readers who know the authors work well, will buy his work specifically because it combines religion with crime and crime solving. This is the third novel I've read by William Kent Krueger and now I know that whilst they're well written, the formula is just not for me. My view is that there is just too much reliance on religion and it tips the balance of this crime novel in the wrong direction.
Less of that and more time spent on developing robust characters and plots and would do it for me.
I generally enjoy the authors prowess in scene setting and excellent descriptive passages of the Minnesota climate and landscape.
I've previously bought 'Ordinary Grace' (which I really rate) and 'Iron Lake' which was pretty good but I don't think I'll bother with any more. Great pity, but no, the intensity of religious themes and mystic 'goings -on' are just not for me.
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