Red Knife: A Novel (Cork O'Connor Mystery Series)
William Kent Krueger
The newest book in William Kent Krueger's award-winning Corcoran O'Connor series finds the charismatic private investigator caught in the middle of a racial gang war that's turning picturesque Tamarack County, Minnesota, into a bloody battlefield.
When the daughter of a powerful businessman dies as a result of her meth addiction, her father, strong-willed and brutal Buck Reinhardt, vows revenge. His target is the Red Boyz, a gang of Ojibwe youths accused of supplying the girl's fatal drug dose. When the head of the Red Boyz and his wife are murdered in a way that suggests execution, the Ojibwe gang mobilizes, and the citizens of Tamarack County brace themselves for war, white against red.
Both sides look to Cork O'Connor, a man of mixed heritage, to uncover the truth behind the murders. A former sheriff, Cork has lived, fought, and nearly died to keep the small-town streets and his family safe from harm. He knows that violence is never a virtue, but he believes that it's sometimes a necessary response to the evil that men do. Racing to find answers before the bloodshed spreads, Cork himself becomes involved in the darkest of deeds. As the unspeakable unfolds in the remote and beautiful place he calls home, Cork is forced to confront the horrific truth: Violence is a beast that cannot be contained.
In Red Knife, Krueger gives his readers a vivid picture of racial conflict in small-town America, as well as a sensitive look at the secrets we keep from even those closest to us and the destructive nature of all that is left unsaid between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, friends and lovers.
the highway. “Anything?” Dross asked. Rutledge grinned and held up a plastic evidence bag. “Found the place in the pine needles where our shooter laid down to wait, and we got a shell casing. No tracks or anything else yet.” “Nobody saw the shooter leave the woods?” Cork asked. “Nope,” Larson replied. “Hiked out probably,” Rutledge said. “What’s the nearest road?” “That would be Lowell Lake Road, about half a mile that way.” Dross pointed north, up the highway. Rutledge said, “Any houses
still wearing the coveralls he’d had on when the shots had been fired at Buck earlier in the day. He looked stunned. Or drunk. Most probably some of both. “The shits, man. He’s buying you a drink one minute, the next minute his head’s all over the parking lot. Jesus.” “Mr. Richards, you need to step back behind the tape,” Dross said. Richards gave her a screw you look and made no move to comply. “I’ll be happy to have a deputy escort you,” Dross said. “All right, all right.” Richards lifted
red, his long hair white and dripping wet. He was alone. He glanced up and saw Cork, but said nothing, instead making his way down to the lake, where he waded in. Cork knew the lake hadn’t warmed enough yet from the winter ice to be comfortable. The water could still cramp a man’s muscles instantly. But the old Mide showed no sign of discomfort as he bathed himself and drank to replenish the water his body had lost. Cork lifted the blanket that had been folded on the ground and offered it when
haven’t seen your grandfather in a while. How is he?” “Old,” Gallagher said. “Going to my room,” Uly said. He didn’t wait for his mother to reply. Lucinda’s eyes followed where Gallagher had gone. “Do you know his family?” she asked Cork O’Connor. “He doesn’t have much family to speak of. Lives with his grandfather. I know Skip from way back. He was a state trooper for a long time. A crusty old guy. I can’t imagine he relates very well to a teenager.” “All that black,” Lucinda said, shaking
“I wish you wouldn’t say that.” “It’s what I always wish.” “Yeah, well it always sounds like you think I’m up to something.” “It’s just what parents say.” “Whatever.” He shrugged his jacket on and opened the front door. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Mom. ’Night, Mrs. O’Connor.” “Good night, Uly.” The front porch shivered as he clumped down the steps. Lucinda walked to the window and watched him jog into the night. “He’s going through a difficult time,” she said. “I understand.” “He really is a