Mystery Series Reviews | Iron Lake

William Kent Krueger, Cork O’Connor #1

Iron Lake coverFrom the high country of the Guadalupe Mountains, this week’s book review takes us to Aurora, Minnesota, in St. Louis County, just this side of the border with Canada. Like the mountain ranges of Texas, this county is rough and wild. Krueger does an excellent job, in my opinion, of describing the isolated lakes and desolate woodlands of this northernmost part of our country. He does this while his main character, Corcoran (“Cork”) O’Connor solves a few very gruesome murders.

Cork was the sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota, keyword being “was.” After an unfortunate event involving the death of a close friend, Cork was relieved of his duties. He also was living with his wife and three children, but putting it mildly, his marriage with Jo was on the rocks. And then the very dead body of Judge Parrant was discovered by the newsboy, Paul LeBeau, on one of his two routine paper routes. This discovery set in motion a complex hunt for both Paul, who disappeared, and the person who cold-bloodedly murdered the judge. Being an investigator at heart and part Native American Ojibwe by blood, Cork is naturally drawn in, along with his participation requested by those who trust him, to find the young boy and the ruthless killer.

Krueger has a style of writing that keeps you reading. His knowledge of the Native American people and their ancient customs, along with the lay of the land, makes for some very good reading.

Next up: The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

Harriet Engle, a Staff Assistant at the Manheim Community Library, is an avid reader of several authors who write murder mystery series. Look for her weekly reviews highlighting each of these series.

Note: If you decide to start one of the series being reviewed and wish to read the next in the series, go to, type in the author, and scroll down to see which book was written next under that series. The Manheim Community Library may not have the book you want, but staff will be happy to order it for you from another library.

You can also find and request the next book in the series right from the LSLC catalog. Search the book you have just read from the search bar at the top right of Click on the title to open up the book information and then scroll down to the section marked “Series”. At a glance, you can see the series and where the book you searched is in the series. For series of more than 14 titles, click on the button below that says “See Full Series”. To request another title from this section, just click on the cover and it will take you to the screen to request a copy from the Library System of Lancaster County to be delivered to Manheim Community Library (or another library in the LSLC.)