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Publisher's Summary

Anthony Award-winning author William Kent Krueger crafts this riveting tale about a small Minnesota town’s ex-sheriff who is having trouble retiring his badge. Cork O’Connor loses his job after being blamed for a tragedy on the local Anishinaabe Indian reservation. But he must set aside his personal demons when a young boy goes missing on the same day a judge commits suicide—and no one but O’Connor suspects foul play.

Solve another case with Cork O'Connor.
©1998 William Kent Krueger (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Krueger makes Cork a real person beneath his genre garments, mostly by showing him dealing with the needs of his two very different teenage daughters. And the author's deft eye for the details of everyday life brings the town and its peculiar problems to vivid life." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Story

Good start to a mystery series

This is my first book by William Kent Krueger and I was really pleased. I really enjoyed the background of this upper Minnesota setting and the Native Indian culture. I figured out the "whodunit" too soon, but the story was still interesting. There were some parts of the story where my heart was really beating fast so I am looking forward to continuing this series. I love the main character, Cork O'Connor. The narrator, David Chandler, did a good job. I don't remember him using different voices for the different characters, but the writing was so well done that I always knew whose voice was talking. The dialogues were very well done and fun to listen to throughout the story.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Telfair
  • Shepherdstown, WV, United States
  • 10-24-12

Crackerjack Beginning to a Great Series

I have been re-visiting in audio the first volumes in some of my favorite series! William Kent Krueger's is as good as I remembered, and, with David Chandler's terrific narration, listening is even better than reading. "Iron Lake" is full of non-stop suspense and introduces characters who grab your interest and sympathy at once. Ex-Sheriff Cork O'Connor is a decent man with an interesting cultural heritage, a troubled past, and a complicated family life. You'll want to follow him anywhere!



35 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Mel
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 05-14-13

Who came first - Wm Krueger or CJ Box ???

I'm a HUGE CJ Box fan. As I listened to this narrator - David Chandler (also the voice of Box's Joe Pickett) I had to keep reminding myself this was Cork nor Joe. Cork and Joe are brothers from different mothers.

Finding Krueger and his large collection of Cork novels I feel like I've found long lost CJ Box stories. Both involve rural outdoors and a straight arrow hero with a family. Just enough differences in the two (Joe and Cork) to make all the books interesting.

36 of 44 people found this review helpful

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A Frozen Minnesota Thriller

This was a complex, well written and at times just plain terrifying first book in a series set around Christmas time in ice cold Minnesota. Don't get me wrong--Christmas is woven into the book but this isn't a Christmas story. For me, it was perfectly timed for a cold December listen. Chandler did an excellent job with the narration. I really loved the way he captured all the different characters and voices. His timing was perfect.

The descriptions of Native American myths and lore were fantastic. The characters were fully developed and had real depth. Heart pounding, fast paced, keep you guessing storytelling captured a sense of isolation, disappointment and the need for strength in the hunt for truth. Do be aware that the book contains strong themes of evil and considerable violence.

A favorite quote from the book for me was "we have been rabbits--it's time we became a scarier animal". I can see why people love this series. Looking forward to book two.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 05-26-13

Riveting Mystery

My husband and I listened to this on our way to New Orleans to visit our daughter and her family. Couldn't stop listening . . . listened to it in bed after we got there . . . listened to it on our little side trips . . . finally finished it in bed the second day we were there . . . this is a book for both men and women . . . and it will keep you guessing . . . I love the historical aspect of the Indian customs and superstitions . . . Cork the ex-sheriff is a normal guy, with an arrow straight moral compass . . . I like that about him . . . and what he uncovers will blow your mind . . . thought I had it figured out, then I didn't . . .

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Reno, NV, United States
  • 01-20-17

My new favorite series

Thoroughly enjoyed this. It’s a bit like Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire books in that it features a (former) sheriff in the American West, strong female and Indian characters, and a tiny dash of mysticism. This is less funny but more thrilling — and it has inspired me to set aside the Longmire books for now to read these instead. What put it over the top for me was the way it still thrilled and kept you guessing long after you thought the mystery was solved. Bechdel test: Pass. Grade: A-

The narration is perfect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good action but some poor development

Very disappointed in loose ends not resolved with family. Some actions do not fit with personalities of characters. Jo was much too intelligent and strong to be as naive as she appeared late in book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Is this gonna be a good series, or what?

This was a surprisingly good book. I think I picked it up in a 3 for 2 credit sale because I am always looking for a new series in this genre. I think I may have found one. Krueger not only tells a good story, he creates and develops interesting characters that should be interesting to follow. Moreover, this is not a "they lived happily thereafter book". I get the feeling nobody, the main character not withstanding, is safe in Krueger's plots. I suppose time will tell if this theme continues as I go through the 13 available books.

From a more critical point of view, Krueger's plot in Iron Lake might have been a bit over extended. There were a lot of characters and sub-plots that didn't add much, if anything, to the story. Are some of them going to play roles in later books? I don't know. But, I'd like to give the author a little slack in the first book in his series and move on to the next one. In my experience, the good authors usually get better with experience (probably because they get better editors who polish the work). I hope that will be the case in later Cork O'Connor stories.

The narrator, David Chandler, did a great job. I almost did notice he was there and I could usually identify the character by the sound of his voice.

In any event, I will purchase the next book in the series right after I submit this review. I suppose that best expresses my feelings toward this one.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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What a wonderfully sad story

A great narrator adds to this story, but reading it would not have taken anything away from this heart gripping tale. It's a story of a good man, that has lost most everything of his way of life; his job, his wife, his home and is trying to hang on to his children. It's a suspenseful thriller/mystery that explains the circumstances of each character as you try to figure out, just who can be trusted. With lots of twists and turns along the way,
you can see the perspective of each person as the story unfolds, with greed, murder, deception, and love, all entangled in this complex mystery.
With a justifiable ending, it leaves you glad you listened to it, but not feeling warm and fuzzy... mainly thankful there's another in the series to go to.....cause you won't want to leave Iron Lake just yet.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Eau Claire, WI, United States
  • 12-04-11

Full of surprises

What did you like about this audiobook?

I live in Northern Wisconsin and been to the range many times so it was easy to picture the scenes and the people and the town. The character were especially colorful and I enjoyed the mysteries, twists and turns of the plot.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

The main character has such an interesting complex personality that I want to listen to the next book right away so I can find out more about him.<br/>I love that part of the country and now I can't wait to get back up to the Boundary Waters as soon as spring arrives (That's late June up there)

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

Northern Minnesotan dialect

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

One half chapter seemed to be repeated right after itself but slightly differently. I listened to it 3 times and I never did figure it out

9 of 12 people found this review helpful