Thursday, August 27, 2015

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger Rocks!

by Jackie King

Long before I decided to write, I was a reader. I still am. I love everything about all books. Especially mysteries.

Books made of paper rock: their smell, their feel, their bright covers. Most of all, I love losing myself in a new world created by a gifted writer.

Virtual books rock: the ability to read the story immediately; the capability to make print larger for my aging eyes; the convenience of being able to read in dark places. Most of all, I love disappearing into a new domain shaped by a creative author.

William Kent Krueger
Currently I'm living in a biosphere molded by William Kent Krueger. His first words quickened my pulse, and instantly I cared about a teen-aged boy he had created. Here’s that paragraph from the prologue:

Cork O'Connor first heard the story of the Windigo in the fall of 1965 when he hunted the big bear with Sam Winter Moon. He was fourteen and his father was dead a year.

The pages flew and my knuckles turned as white as the Minnesota blizzard where the story was set.

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
The book itself features Cork as a grown man. Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota. His heart, wounded by a recent tragedy, seems unable to heal. Needless to say, I'm now in love with Cork, so Joe Pike can eat his heart out. (smile)

I bought this book at Killer Nashville in 2014, along with ORDINARY GRACE, which won the Edgar and other prestigious mystery awards. Krueger spoke at the conference and I was impressed by this kind, smart and eloquent man.

Ordinary Grace--an extraordinary novel
I read ORDINARY GRACE, first, since this book had won several prestigious mystery awards. ORDINARY GRACE, an exceptionally fine literary novel, wasn't a mystery.  At least not to me. Because of this, I was disappointed. (Will all those who loved the book as a mystery  please forgive me?) I do like literary novels, just not when my appetite is set for murder and mayhem.

This week IRON LAKE rose to the top of my To Be Read pile. And wow! This book is an outstanding mystery, and I'm loving it. As Hank Phillipi Ryan said at the same conference, "Every mystery needs to have three things: hook, stakes, and beautiful Writing. IRON LAKE has all three.

Mystery novels by William Kent Krueger will never again stay in my TBR pile for such a long time.


Susan said...

I LOVE your blog. Your kind heart just shines through your words. You make me want to run right out and buy Iron Lake.
Do you get a commission? You should!
Thanks for the heads up about this great writer.
Love you!

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie King said...

Thanks, Susan. There are some other excellent writers on this blogsite who post regularly. I hope you'll check back later. I loved hearing from you.

Rhenna Morgan said...

I always find it fascinating how books impact people unexpectedly. One might be the rave for many, but when I read it, I'm not as thrilled. Then something else less publicized hits me out of the blue, and I'm Gobsmacked. Other times, I fall into the stream of adoration along with everyone else. Congrats on finding a new treasure, and thanks for sharing so others might have a chance to enjoy it as well. :)

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Wm. Kent Krueger has been a favorite of mine for years. Met him a long time ago at a Mayhem in the Midlands in Omaha which we attended regularly. He and my husband vied for the best actor several years in a row at the mystery dinners. (Both were great hams.) I loved Ordinary Grace and yes, I say it's a mystery--just a very different kind of mystery. Good post.

Jackie King said...

Well said, Rhenna! And so true.

Jackie King said...

Thanks for your input, Marilyn. Reading any book is a personal and subjective experience. We both agree that Wm. Kent Krueger is a wonderful writer. Wish I could have seen the skits you were talking about. That sounds so fun.

Bill Wetterman said...

I love to read as well, although my taste run all over the place. I have a tendency to reread the books I love, and stop halfway through the ones I don't A waste of time I figure. Yours are ones I love.

Jackie King said...

Thanks, Bill! I appreciate your kind words so much. And I, too, don't stay in a book that doesn't work for me. Usually I'll stay for about 50 pages.

Jean Henry Mead said...

Beautifully written review of Kreuger's work, Jackie. I look forward to reading his books.

Jackie King said...

Thanks, Jean. Your opinion means a lot to me.