There are so many books on my to-read list that I try - really - to mix things up; when I find a new-to-me series I love, I force myself not to run through every single one with nothing else in between. With this series, which I discovered quite recently, I stuck to that pattern and followed up the first book with something different. But an hour after that, I couldn't stand it; out came the next from this author's series featuring former backwoods Minnesota sheriff Cork O'Connor.
This time, a famous country-western singer named Shiloh - originally from Cork's neck of the woods in the Quetico-Superior Wilderness near the Canadian border - has gone missing. She left years ago to find fame and fortune and never returned, but her father, believing she may have come back, hires Cork to find her. Others, however, are intent on finding her as well, so a search party is formed that includes the father (who manages his daughter's successful recording company), a couple of FBI agents and a 10-year-old boy and his father from the local Anishinaabe tribe.
Back in the small town of Aurora, Cork's mostly estranged wife, Jo - a lawyer who specializes in Indian affairs, gets involved by working with the local sheriff to ferret out information on their end. As issues that change the direction of their investigation turn up, the search team's body count starts to climb as they follow the path they believe Shiloh took through the wilderness. Clearly, someone wants her dead - but now the search team has lost contact with civilization and are themselves being stalked. Who will be the next victim - perhaps Cork? And can whoever is left find Shiloh before the killer does?
There's plenty of action, starting at the beginning and finishing at the end, and it's is interspersed with interesting (to me, anyway), Indian stories and legends. There's also a bit of humor, such as Cork's observation when he notes that while the area is backwoods, tourism is in growth mode: Still, "In Aurora, a Lincoln Town Car would be as inconspicuous as a nun in a G-string."
Yes, folks, this book is another winner that makes me more eager than ever to see this series through to the end.
Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger (Atria Books Reprint, June 2009); 352 pp.