Friday, April 21, 2017

Book of the Week Manitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger

I like the Cork O'Connor series of mystery books by William Kent Krueger quite a bit.  More importantly, for myself, I like Krueger quite a bit.  I've met him twice, both times in Ely.  He's been here at Piragis for a book signing and reading and he's been to our new Ely Library.  At the time of his last visit Manitou Canyon was about to be released and I got my hands on an advanced reader's copy.  It didn't disappoint.

 Buy Here

Everyone loves a good car chase in a movie and Krueger delivers on some great canoe chases in the wilderness.  There's something about a wilderness mystery that includes danger from humans that moves the story even more fluidly forward (and sideways) through an already wild environment.  Add in the unknown approach of Winter's grip and after just a few pages (paragraphs really) the reader wishes they had the whole day to spend in the midst of this story.

Perhaps the real reason that William Kent Krueger finds his novels on the New York Times Bestsellers list is because he naturally slips in between the pages of his stories.  Ordinary Grace won the Edgar Award for Best Novel and many think this stand alone book holds some of his greatest work.  Fans of the world that Cork finds himself in, the land of the Superior National Forest, Boundary Waters and Beyond, though, find themselves connected in very personal ways to Krueger's cast of characters.  His unabashed efforts to incorporate social problems that face us all but women and Native Americans in particular deliver a punch to our reality gut that can't be ignored. This writer takes the time to know the land and the people he writes about.  The fact that these stories are woven into the fabric of our own backyard makes our paths cross in ways that other books can't.  We find ourselves walking and paddling the same routes, capturing the same sights and smells around the campfire with O'Connor.

In person he is generous with his time (he's taken a few minutes each time I've met him to discuss with me the pages of my own novel in the works).  He is engaging and honest about his path to success and the power of story.  He's also committed to the story itself.  Oh, and he's generous with his time.  Yes, I repeated that because I would encourage you to attend a reading and signing if he is scheduled to appear in a local bookstore near you.  The talk and question and answer sessions are worth the time!

If you've been looking for a good series that won't fail to entertain, don't miss out on Krueger, he won't let you down.  And... you don't have to start at the beginning.  Give Manitou Canyon a try!

"Manitou Canyon 
by William Kent Krueger
Since the violent deaths of his wife, father, and best friend all occurred in previous Novembers, Cork O’Connor has always considered it to be the cruelest of months. Yet, his daughter has chosen this dismal time of year in which to marry, and Cork is understandably uneasy.

His concern comes to a head when a man camping in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness goes missing. As the official search ends with no recovery in sight, Cork is asked by the man’s family to stay on the case. Although the wedding is fast approaching and the weather looks threatening, he accepts and returns to that vast wilderness on his own."

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