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Publisher's Summary

Drawing strong comparisons to the work of James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman, William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor mysteries never fail to please fans.

The Quetico-Superior Wilderness: more than two million acres of forest, white-water rapids, and uncharted islands on the Canadian/American border. Somewhere in the heart of this unforgiving territory, a young woman named Shiloh - a country-western singer at the height of her fame - has disappeared.

Her father arrives in Aurora, Minnesota, to hire former sheriff Cork O'Connor to find his daughter, and Cork joins a search party that includes an ex-con, two FBI agents, and a 10-year-old boy. Others are on Shiloh's trail as well - men hired not just to find her, but to kill her.

As the expedition ventures deeper into the wilderness, strangers descend on Aurora, threatening to spill blood on the town's snowy streets. Meanwhile, out on the Boundary Waters, winter falls hard. Cork's team of searchers loses contact with civilization, and like the brutal winds of a Minnesota blizzard, death - violent and sudden - stalks them.

©1999 William Kent Krueger (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

“Krueger’s writing, strong and bold yet with the mature mark of restraint, pulls this exciting search-and-rescue mission through with a hard yank.” (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Kruegers words and Chandlers voice a real win

I didn't think there could be a better series of rural life mysteries than those written of Sherif Walt Longmire by Craig Johnson. If this "Iron Lake" series continues to be as excellent as the first 2 in the series I'm going to revise my opinion.

Johnsons characters are well written and character development is excellent, however Krueger also draws his story arcs with subtleness and excitement that narrator David Chandler interprets with style. Many male narrators-Dick Hill comes quickly to mind here-have little ability to give a woman's voice a sense of realism. Chandlers smooth delivery is well tempered and without the constant sense of unrealistic hyper excitement that Hill seems to give every story.

I've just purchased several more of this nicely long series and I do believe it's on its way to becoming a true favorite for me.

Start with the first in the series-it builds nicely and though you can read these as stand alone, a real richness seems to develop with each episode. Maybe they will make a TV series out of these books as they did with Longmire...one can hope.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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An Engaging But Violent Wilderness Outdoor Mystery

Ok so to be honest I was surprised by the level of violence in this entry in the Cork O'Connor Series. Krueger really makes his villains evil--so prepare yourself for some nasty dealings. I know that the contrast is needed to show just what a great guy Cork is--but really some parts were over the top. I have to say up front that my favorite aspect of this series is when Cork's family and neighbors all take more central roles. I also think that the author writes of native American folklore and the wild beauty of Minnesota perfectly.

To my mind there were a few boggy spots involving the plot as the story progressed. I also found myself stuck with about 3 hours to go in the book and couldn't move forward. Maybe it was all the destruction and violence? Not sure, but I had to take a break. I went off and listened to Hillbilly Elegy (eyeopening and harrowing) and Louise Penny's The Long Road Home (really soggy and ultra slow). I found that when I returned to finish Boundary Waters I had a renewed interest and in the end all was not lost.

I will continue with the series and try the next book. Do be aware that if violence disturbs you this book might just be too much. I hope that the balance found in the first book of the series, which I really enjoyed, returns. Recommended with reservations.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Somewhat of a disappointment

I listened to Iron Lake and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed this one too, but the "bad guy" was so obvious I found it annoying. The issue wasn't with the plot so much--there was no reason that the characters should have known who was behind the "troubles"; so less of a hole in the plot than just not as much fun to try to figure out who-done-it. Also, a small thing, but I found the vocal inflection the narrator used to introduce chapters annoying. It seemed not to suit a suspense novel.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • adrienne
  • EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States
  • 10-29-13

Another unusual adventure

As usual, I recommend that you read the publisher's summary. Often there is more information than I would give: I really try not to write spoilers.

This is a mystery with murders and murderers literally coming out of the woods. I find it interesting that Cork O'Connor, no longer in law enforcement, is the "go to" guy for every agency and mercenary in his area. This story has twists and turns that kept me guessing until near the end. Also, new inforrmation is added about Cork's personal life, the Indian reservation, and the casino. This book seems to pick up where the last one left off, but it can easily stand alone.

David Chandler's narration includes voices for the different characters and he remains consistent with his portrayals. This is a good performance.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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I am hooked...

I started this series because my usual favorite authors had nothing new for me to buy. So I gave it gamble and I am so glad that I did. I must have more. I just downloaded the third and fourth book in the series. I can hardly wait to start listening.

This is an old book, published in 1999. Don't let that stop you, it is a good mystery. If you like mystery novels you will like this series.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Still disappointing..

Would you try another book from William Kent Krueger and/or David Chandler?

no, two is enough.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The story line itself could have been very interesting but so much of it was predictable.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Chandler?

George Guidall would have been wonderful!!

Did Boundary Waters inspire you to do anything?

not try anymore of the books in this series...

Any additional comments?

I travel a great deal and I listen to audiobooks so I'm always looking for good series books. I had high hopes for this series but I won't be listening to anymore of them. They were compared to the Longmire books which I love and have listened to twice. Maybe that comparison clouded my review, this book in no way compares to the Longmire series.....

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Stevon
  • Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 07-20-16

good second book in the series

The second book in the Cork O'Connor series by William Kent Krueger. Listening to the book while sitting here in July with the sweltering desert heat of Arizona, the setting along the Minnesota/Canada border in late October with cold rain, wind, snow, icy cold lake and river water, and I'm sure a spectacular beauty seemed very enticing.

For the story itself, the author has created a protagonist you can't help but like. Part Native American, ever resourceful, driven to do the right thing, Cork is developing into the kind of character you like and respect along with the other characters in the series. Since there are more books in the series you knew in the end it would all turn out well. Still, there was suspense to the story as it unfolded. I know I went through the book in short order, always wanting to get right back to it. And, I'll look forward to the third book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Charlene B
  • Martinsville, IN United States
  • 11-10-14

More moving than the average thriller

Any additional comments?

I really, really like this series. I have to confess that I only read these first two books because Audible offered them up as a special to discover new series. I am a native Minnesotan and the tone rings true to life. I love how these are written with obvious deep respect for the Native American culture and people. Cork is a believable protagonist; sometimes I get tired of the hero who is nearly supernatural in his/her looks, abilities, and powers of deduction all the while making poor choices that lead to dramatic scenarios, only to have them narrowly escape and live to continue the chase. While there is plenty of action and he obviously survives for another book in the series, the scenes seem realistic as to what you would expect of Cork. I also appreciate that while the adventures of the first book are alluded to, it is in a general manner and with only the subtle details to make the present understandable. The author does not feel he has to regurgitate the entire story (making you feel that you are coming into the story in the middle) so that if this were the first book you read in the series, you would not feel left out--it is a great stand-alone story. Overall, I am glad I discovered a new series, and look forward to the rest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I'm hooked on Cork

I like this character and I love the setting. I am also enjoying the development of the characters in Aurora and on the reservations. I especially appreciate that these are complex characters, full of strengths and flaws and good and bad.

In this story, the wilderness plays as big a role as the human characters and I think the author did a brilliant job of "taking us along" as the various characters dealt with the wild lands in which they found themselves.

It's a "rip-snorter" of a story full of complex characters and interesting plot lines and Corcoran is, of course, right in the middle of it.

Just purely good story-telling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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River/Treacherous/Determination

Would you consider the audio edition of Boundary Waters to be better than the print version?

I've never read the print version and now that I've listened to Boundary Waters I don't think that the written version could compare.

What other book might you compare Boundary Waters to and why?

I would compare the book The Templar Legacy. The reason being that the group of people who made the team to fight an adversary, came together and used all of their resources to conquer the impossible demons who challenged them to the death.

Which character – as performed by David Chandler – was your favorite?

Louis was my favorite character because even though he was only a child of 10, he didn't cower from participating in the most challenging and dangerous mission in his life. He proved to possess a powerful wisdom that was paramount in their search for Shiloh. His memory was spectacular. Louis was able to guide them along a dangerous, long journey that brought them face to face with further challenges where he stood strong and accepted the role of keeping the leadership role of guiding them them through the Quetico-Superior Wilderness.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes I did want to list to this book all in one sitting. However, I did finish in two days.

Any additional comments?

I will continue with the series. The novels are proving to be a series that contains so much history about the state of Minnesota that I am enthralled and eager to learn more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful