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I have been a true fan of William Kent Krueger's writing in general and especially the Cork O'Connor Mystery Series in particular. They are a little different with their back woods midwestern setting - lots of life in a small town flavor. Add in a background of great characters, lots of Native American influence and some good dialogue - not to mention the mystery at the heart of the story - and you're in for a really pleasant read! Until Windigo Island. When I read the great reviews I couldn't wait to get started. When I finished the book I had to go back and re-read a few of the most glowing reviews. I can't disagree more with them. I found the book terribly slow going. The focus on his daughter as a main character is so hard to fathom - as a background character in the mix she is fine - but there is nothing about her to commend her and warrant so much time (and dialogue - most of it tedious, naive and boring). Cork became a minor character in my opinion - it was as if everyone was just walking in place, trying to amble through the story. About 2/3's of the way I actually began to think I simply did not want to waste my time, but soldiered on. When I finished the book, I felt as though I had truly just wasted my time. Sure, there were small nuggets of past goodness in it - just enough to tantalize. But my suggestion? Stop at Book 13 (also not my favorite, but surely better than this one!) Books 1-12 are TRULY a pleasure. Skip the other two. It felt like watching an aging athlete continue to play the season, when all you can do is think of the past glory and be sorry he didn't "go out on top".
Ravenously read thru Krueger's first 13 or so novels. A fantastic writer, Krueger created great characters, compelling storylines, and left me thinking about the plot between reads. The last two books sadly indicate a downward trend, with "Windigo..." holding last place. The focal shift from the Cork character to his daughter was the greatest faux paux. She is a weak, naive, and righteous character who bored and aggravated me. I had no idea thru the close of the book why she was allowed to join this recent crusade. Just the fact that Cork took her away from her role (as a hamburger salesperson) and allowed her involvement (in a criminal investigation) was unbelievable. The gripping chapter ends that had previously defined my attraction to Krueger's book was absent. At about the halfway point, I wondered when the read would improve. At the 2/3rds point, I wondered why I was still reading. At the end, being left empty and feeling like I'd wasted my time, it was a relief to put the book down and go on to something more stimulating. Moreover, I was insulted that he took advantage of me as a reader by throwing in a dissertation by a character who apparently projected Krueger's political opinion about a topic that was irrelevant to the storyline. So disappointing from an author who held me captive for so many months prior. It seems that Krueger has lost the magic....and an avid supporter.
William Kent Krueger never disappoints when he writes a Cork O'Connor novel and he sure kept up his reputation on this book. Since I live in Superior, WI the book was double good to me. So much of it took place in my own neighborhood. He handled a very big subject of native American girls being sold into sex lives by bad people very well. I didn't really know that all this went on in my own backyard. It is not a nice subject, but one that we need to be aware of here in the Twin Ports. Anyone who enjoys the Cork O'Connor series will find they can't put down the book once they start it, and everyone in Duluth-Superior area or an area of sea shipping will learn a lot as can anyone who cares about what happens to some unfortunate girls. William Kent Krueger has not dropped the ball in this book, just like he had not dropped the ball in any of his older novels.
I like this series. But, the focus on Jenny and her non stop jabbering was annoying. It was so forced. Cork is the main character. When the kids are included/peripheral, great. But, this just went too far. Also, Krueger gets a little preachy sometimes and this book was full of that. It reminded me of the weird school shooting a few books back which was a complete non sequitur to the story. I'm not a gun nut, and I certainly don't approve of traffic in girls - obviously. But, fiction reading is an escape from reality, a rest for the brain. I'm not interested in Krueger's political thoughts while I am reading.
Do NOT come to this book expecting another great crime story swirling around Cork. In fact, if I weren't so OCD about reading an entire series, I would say skip it entirely. The plot is merely a bare framework on which to hang a skreed against the trafficking of young girls off Indian reservations, emphasizing the failures of the white man to truly care for the needs of said Indians. I have no arguments with the facts presented, but what I came looking for was another great Cork O'Connor mystery, not an excuse to rant in between illogical, drawn-out and undeveloped ideas. I say, read at your own risk!
I've read 14 of the Cork O'Connor books. Enjoyed them but this book is poorly written. For example, throughout the book, the author uses "Jenny's father" rather than Cork, the name of the character. What reader wouldn't know whose father Cork is? Krueger must be tired of writing these books. Last one I purchase.
I've read all Krueger's books and what started out as an engaging, interesting series has evolved to this book that I could hardly wait to finish JUST TO GET IT OVER WITH! I, like some others, found it disappointing - granted, he was trying to make a point about the sad plight of some young Native Americans, but the theme could have been written in 30 pages instead of 339! Somewhere in the middle of the book I even wondered if Krueger had written this or had someone else?
I'm not sure I will buy the next in the series, if there ever is one. Sad to see yet another promising series go downhill.
I bought this and read it due to another reader. Who stated he writes so much like CJ Box. Well, I have to disagree. CJ Box is one of my favorites. This book was not even close. Didn't like the main character, and some of the others. The descriptions of the land are not similar. Finally, fiction has to have some connection to reality, and therefor truth. This was also sadly lacking. My recommendation: don't waste your time.
I love this series. BUT could someone please tell the author to have the publishers put the # of the book in a conspicuous location. What a pain in the rear to have to search for the next book in the series. Almost makes me want to quit and find a new series. Thank you.